Moving back to Tennessee and leaving New York means leaving my job and looking for a new one. For the first time in my entire life I am really not excited about this. As a young child I was thrilled to learn to “work” (i.e. vacuum and wash dishes). All I wanted was to help out around the house like a “big girl”. (Of course, I realized my mistake as soon as I learned to do real chores.) In high school, I worked 4 jobs: cashier at the local grocery store, tutor, dance teacher, and worked at my Mom’s dress shop. In college I worked full-time at a daycare, part-time at Blockbuster, and then at a big fitness center in the area.
I rushed through college because I could not wait to get into the real world. I wanted a real job, I wanted to make real money (hah!) and I wanted to make a real difference. I graduated in December, but I didn’t want to wait to teach. I found a full-time tutoring job at a local elementary school, worked in the after school program, taught Sunday school, and adult aerobics. I love teaching, all kinds and all ages.
The summer after graduation I moved to Tennessee and drove from elementary school to elementary school dropping off my resume. I quickly got a job at a great school where I worked for three years…I also co-led the dance team and drama club at the school. I like to stay busy, and I love working with kids, especially in an artistic environment.
It was a great three years, but I had a desire to teach abroad and put all of my efforts into finding a job teaching overseas. I landed in Albania where I worked for a year creating a curriculum at a new school, teaching 2nd grade, dance, phonics and organizing all the school programs. What can I say, I love to work/teach. When the year was over, husband and I decided to move to NYC.
We arrived to New York with no home and no jobs. I spent my first 48 hours here walking from school to school dropping off my resume and researching job openings at local schools. I was fortunately hired right away at my current job and have loved it over the last two years. Like my other teaching jobs I picked up additional responsibilities and now have various titles. I’ve loved working here, and I am sad to leave…
So knowing all of this, why is that I have no desire to find a new job?! I forced myself to look for jobs the other night and I almost cried. What has gotten into me?
I have a couple of theories:
Theory 1: My baby fever has spiked and I can only dream of being a Mother, staying home to raise a family and doing a million crafts, projects and recipes I never imagined myself doing. I know being a stay-at-home Mom is a tough job, but it’s a job I want.
Theory 2: I’m terrified to go back into public schools and be a traditional classroom teacher.
Teaching in any environment is hard, but my three years teaching in public school were the hardest years of my life. Like all good teachers, I love my students and I could not help but take all of their problems home with me. I had students with no parents, students who lost their homes, students with parents in prison and students who were being abused. I cried myself to sleep many nights because I felt helpless, like I could never do enough for these children I loved so much.
Beyond that was the testing, the paper work, the IEP’s, reports, training, meetings, conferences, emails, phone calls, lesson plans, documentation and crafts. I made virtually everything in my classroom. Science projects, math manipulatives, reading stations, costumes, puppets, arts and crafts, rewards, games, and everything else under the sun were often hand-crafted in the wee hours of the night. I cannot tell you how often the night janitor had to come to my classroom to tell me I HAD to leave because he was locking the building. We often shared pizza for dinner. I didn’t mind the work or the effort. I loved reaping the benefits and seeing the joy on my students faces each morning when they walked in to find out what exciting activity was prepared for the day.
Now, my job is busy, crazy busy, but not as stressful. Even if I have to deal with some ridiculous people or expectations I never cry myself to sleep anymore, and I don’t have to deal with even a quarter of the paperwork I dealt with in Tennessee….and it feels good, really good. I didn’t realize how much the stress and lack of sleep was affecting me. Now, that I know what life is like without it, do I really want to put myself back in that position?
On top of all of this, it just sucks to start a new job. I’d have to make new friends, learn new ropes, master another finicky copy machine and all that jazz.
I don’t know. I don’t have an answer or conclusion for this post. In fact, I would like you to answer for me. I’m feeling all out of sorts.
I’ll let you know where I land on my job hunt, but I think my shoes need to be organized by season and color first.