These last couple of weeks have been really hectic. It was a perfect storm of converging obligations. First there was the end of the trimester, with all the grading and inputting of those grades that entails. Then there was the contract work I agreed to do for the father of one of my students who is putting out an education game for kids in Spanish. I didn’t agree to do this for the money, but because I love working in my second language and thought it would be fun to see what goes into creating an app like this. Also, I think it’s awesome they are making this app and really want to get it for my own kids! (Of course it’s requiring more time than they thought it would, but I’m still glad I’m doing it.) Finally, there was the stress of our Kindergarten placement and my increasing levels of panic as we waited to hear where we got in.
Add in a couple birthday parties, a dinner party at my parents’ house and an ill-timed date night (that my husband just would not let me back out of) and the last two weeks have been super crazy. I’m running on 4-5 hours of sleep and am just totally exhausted.
While all that was going on, my good friend at work (I have a good friend at work! Yay!) alerted me to an email (that I had missed in my own inbox) about job opportunities at a local alternative high school in the area: they were looking for Spanish teachers and she thought I should check it out.
Cue more stress.
My friend got to work investigating the school because they basically had her dream position opening up. I was way too swamped with all of my own shit to do much work on it myself, but the seed was germinating and I had every intention of putting together my application once things calmed down.
I felt a lot of conflicting emotions as I considered applying for a new job: excitement, enthusiasm, fear, anxiety, ambivalence. On the one hand I could finally make a move, once we knew were my daughter was going to Kindergarten, on the other hand making a huge transition myself, when my family would be making the biggest transitions of our (as a family) lives, seemed like a poor choice.
When I found out my daughter got into a school we liked in the city, one of my first thoughts was about the job. Now I could definitely apply!
Except as I looked into it I realized this school was REALLY not a good fit for me. They had an extended day, and school year, and despite working more hours I’d be making less money. At this point I’m prepared to take a pay cut to work somewhere else (I’ll probably have to) but I’m not prepared to be away from my kids more while I take that cut. Especially not next year, when they will both need me more than ever.
I expected to feel a flood of relief once I realized I just couldn’t apply for the job. Instead I felt a very real disappointment. I was actually quite upset that I couldn’t apply for the job.
Then we had a staff meeting where certain realities were presented about what the next couple of years will look like while they build a new campus on our site, reorganize our existing infrastructure to incorporate this new building and its students, and attempt to accommodate 50 more students at our own school without actually building any new classrooms. By the end of the meeting, and the staff bitch fest that followed, I was absolutely crestfallen that I couldn’t apply for that job.
And that’s when I decided that I was going to start looking. Clearly I am more interested in leaving my current position than I realized. When I think about staying here the words that rise up are pretty negative: stagnant, disappointed, uninspired, bored. There are other words, like easy and comfortable that might be worth embracing for a year or two, while my daughter transitions to a K-8 school and my son transitions to group care.
All that to say, I’m officially looking for a new job. I’m putting that intention out there, into the universe, so that hopefully I will find my way to whatever position is right for me.
My friend also decided the alternative school was not the right fit (for different reasons) and we’ve decided to come together in our efforts to find new teaching positions at a higher level. I think with her support and encouragement, I will be way more inclined to actually search out, and apply for, new opportunities.
I know next year isn’t the best for me to make this kind of big transition, but I also know how hard it is to find high school Spanish positions and I really want to apply for jobs that seem like a good fit for me and my teaching style, which will be even fewer and farther between. If something comes up this year I don’t want to miss the opportunity, and if something doesn’t I’ll hopefully be in a better position to find something in the coming years, when a big transition for me won’t be so taxing for my family.
If you’d asked me a month ago if I was going to look for a new job after my daughter was placed for Kindergarten I would have said absolutely not. I just didn’t think there was a high enough chance I’d be more fulfilled in a new position. I was very surprised by how disappointed I was to find out this recent opportunity wasn’t a good fit for me and that I couldn’t apply. I clearly am more interested in leaving my job than I thought, and I’m very thankful this situation arose so I could learn that.
What circumstances have led you to search for new jobs over the years? What were the results of those searches?