Well, after 3 ½ years of evening and weekend classes, I am finally finished with school. Friday was my last day student teaching in room 3-P. Now, as soon as I can find a job, I can finally call myself a teacher. (As one of my kids wrote in a farewell letter, "Mrs. H. I hope you get a job as a real teacher someday.")
I am surprised I didn’t cry on Friday when I opened my gifts from the kids. I got very emotional for a minute and then talked myself down, thinking that I didn’t want them to see me cry because I didn’t want to upset them too. But it was a bittersweet moment. I was so happy to finally be finished but was also so sorry to have to let them all go. I told them they were one of the best groups of kids I had ever been lucky enough to work with and that’s the truth – they are amazing.
It’s been a strange week. This is a huge accomplishment for me…and for my family. I feel like I am finally in a position where we might finally be able to get our sh*t together. 4 years ago when I finished college, my mom had to persuade me to have a graduation party. I didn’t feel much like celebrating. Yes, it was a big accomplishment since I had left school after Owen and I got married. But I knew I wasn’t finished - it was only a short-term victory. It didn’t seem worthy a big celebration. I knew I wouldn’t yet be able to begin my career and so it didn’t seem like much of a big deal.
Now I am ready. After 10 years of “post-secondary” education, I have finally finished and am ready to begin my career. I feel ready. I know I am well prepared. And I can honestly say that my “taking the long route” has better prepared me to be a good teacher. But this too has been a bittersweet ending. Finally, I feel that I have made a tremendous accomplishment. I have finished…this is huge. I am now able to have a real career. This means big things…HUGE things…for Sam and Owen and I…and yet I feel unable to celebrate it because…
And all that remains is for me to get a job and this is the very difficult part. The market for teachers in the state of
Despite almost daily searches for available positions, I have thus far found exactly zero positions for which I am eligible in this state. Opportunities in other states abound. In fact, I am flying to
But let me make one thing clear: I don’t want to leave. I lived in
The mere possibility of leaving home has already caused me more sleepless nights than I can count. I cannot communicate how much I hate the thought of taking Sam so far away from his grandparents and the rest of my family. I was so close to my grandparents…and I have always wanted that amazing relationship for him. He adores his grandparents. The thought of taking that away from him and from them breaks my heart. I tell myself that it will only be for a couple of years until the MI economy improves or until I have some experience under my belt and am more employable here. I could work on additional certifications so that I can find a job here and we can come back home. But still, leaving is leaving…for one year or 10…or whatever…and the thought of it makes me sick.
And so I don’t much feel like celebrating…even though I had just made one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.