Tis Friday, the last day of my spring break.
I kept this day free of appointments and lunches and planned on taking it as a “sick day” to stay home and watch movies without a care in the world. I believe it was Tuesday that my husband casually mentioned he hoped I could bring our son to lunch on Friday because that would be fun. Why would I bring our son to lunch on Friday when he would be at school and I would taking my “sick day”? Ah, but he doesn’t have school this Friday, it’s Spring Day! I was so bummed out I may have cried. Briefly.
So here we are today, mother and son. But I’m intent on salvaging a little of my “sick day.” Right now he’s in the bath (I have two iPads set up so I can see him) and I’m working out, so that I can finish the last two episodes of Big Little Lies while he’s napping. I refuse to feel guilty about it.
It was so nice to get a week away from work. I find I’m dreading going back but I’m deft at pushing that feeling aside and breathing through the panicky aftermath. I will get through the end of the year. It’s been a tough one, and I haven’t been happy at work, but I will get through the last ten weeks and then it will be summer.
At this point I’ve pretty much given up hope for getting a new job next year. It’s been almost a month since I sent out my application to the one school that still might contact me and they haven’t even opened it (I can see that it’s still only been “submitted” on the website I used to apply). Most of my friends who have been through the teacher job search said that if I don’t hear back in a month I probably won’t ever. That position never even got back to me when I sent a check in email on Monday of this week (they are not on spring break right now).
The alternative school still might contact me. They actually have an end date for submissions and it’s this Sunday night, so who knows. At this point I doubt I’d take a job from them, as I’ve heard more about their situation and it’s a little less secure than I’m comfortable with at this point. I don’t actually think they’ll call me. I’d definitely interview if they asked me to come in, but I probably wouldn’t take the position.
So yeah, it’s not going to happen. I feel… a lot of things about that. One the one hand I have a plan for moving forward, three action items to focus on in the next school year to up my chances of getting a new job next spring (more on those below). But if I don’t even get contacted by any of these jobs, I will definitely have a hard time rallying to apply next year. I mean, it’s one thing if they meet me and decide I’m not a good enough fit because my Spanish isn’t up to par. I can do something about that. If my resume and coverletter aren’t enticing enough, I don’t know how I’ll have a better chance in the future. It’s already hard enough knowing I’ll have to wait until next spring to even try again, if I don’t feel like I have what they are looking for it might be better to just accept that I’ll be at my job for the rest of my life, and then if I get something some day it will be a nice surprise. Of course, every year I stay at my job, the pay cut for leaving gets bigger. I might have really missed my opportunity to leave this position a LONG time ago. I wish I had known…
But there are things I’m going to do heighten my chances next year. This is my three pronged plan:
- Work on my Spanish skills so that I’ll be more confident in my ability to teach higher level classes. I’ll keep working with L in Guatemala and I have some other resources I plan to tap to improve my skills.
- Enroll in some classes at a foreign language teaching workshop at Stanford. This will help give me ideas for innovative ways to teach and hopefully get me excited about teaching again. It will also provide networking opportunities, though the workshop is south of where I work and evidently a lot of the connections are based in the South Bay, which I can’t possible commute to, but still, any networking is better than no networking (and no, I haven’t found anything that is focused more in the northern peninsula, only the East and South Bay areas).
- Plan some impressive lessons/projects and curate my kids work in an eprofile. This is the one thing I can do that would help me in the application process of job searching, as I can embed a link to my eprofile and they can click on and see the work my kids produce. Hopefully the workshop will give me some ideas I can implement for this.
The truth is, I haven’t done anything in the 7th/8th grade that I feel particularly proud of in a long time. I want to change that. I’ll have two classes of 7th/8th graders next year and I can keep them on the same teaching schedule so anything I make can be used twice. I am excited about trying some new things and incorporating some new ideas into my teaching next year.
I still feel really disappointed when I think about teaching on two campuses next year. I’ll be using my lunch to commute between them (because I’m asking for a 1st period prep so I can continue driving my daughter to school) and that sucks because I’ve actually been eating with some friends at lunch, which has made work a lot more bearable. Commuting between campuses during lunch will definitely leave me even more isolated, but I’m used to that. I can manage it. And just like I got through this year, I’ll make it through next year too. I think having some action items to focus on will help keep me invested. I definitely wasn’t invested this year, and I feel guilty about that.
I will also be planning my first summer abroad with the kids next year, and that will definitely raise my spirits. I can’t wait to take them somewhere new and exciting. I also plan to speak to them exclusively in Spanish next year. This is important as I’ll be trying to get my son into a TK program the following school year and I need to be confident in my ability to provide Spanish at home, because all of the Spanish immersion TKs in the city are defunct. Ironically, it’s too hard to find bilingual teachers to keep them open.
If we do get my son into a TK for the 2018-19 school year, that will make it easier for me to take a pay cut that year, as we’ll be saving close to $20K in childcare. I can’t wait to be done paying for childcare!
So that is where I am, at the end of my final break of the school year. Not too many weeks left. I can do this. It will be okay. I keep saying that to myself. Some of the time I even believe it.