Accidental Teacher

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In October I shared that I had started a new job as a substitute teacher at a local preschool.  Ever since elementary school, two professions have drawn me to them.  No matter how I tried to fight my desires or reroute my life plans, I've always ended back where I started.  It's like, I can't fight what I'm suppose to do or who I'm suppose to be.

I've always been passionate about writing, though I often have to kick myself in the butt for my lack of effort anymore.  I rarely write the things I used to (and still do) love to explore in print.  Fiction, especially fantasy, has always been appealing to me.  Every time I read an amazing novel, I am a little pained by the fact that I haven't took it upon myself to explore such wonderful things.  I mean, it could've been my mind that thought of such great things.

Other than writing, I have always had an unexplainable desire to be a teacher.  I seek out knowledge on my own and truly love learning.  However, over the years I've had influential teachers of my childhood tell me it wasn't worth it or I could do better.  As a waitress, I also served several retired teachers' reunions and was always told the same thing:  don't do it.  This was a little sad to me.  I can't lie; it crushed my spirits a little.  I had intended to redirect my career path, though I'm not even sure to what now...I had considered so many options (massage therapist, photographer, computer programmer, web design, etc).

My job at the preschool was, in all honesty, a complete accident.  I was not seeking work in the field, though I was desperately seeking work in general.  I stumbled across the job posting online and couldn't think of a reason not to apply (you'd think the forty minute drive would have been reason enough, right?).  After applying for the job, I called a lot.  I was pretty sure I had it, but I needed to be offered the job before I could have any rest.

Obviously, we know I was offered the job.  At the end of December, I was working full-time (more or less) at a newly opened gas station and subbing at the preschool.  Lucky for me, I had been hounding the assistant director and director about my desire to be full time.  When the assistant Pre-K teacher accepted a new job, guess who was the first to find out?  Me!  You're so smart.  How did you know?  I, literally, knew first.

I never expected to love my job as much as I have.  Even before I accepted the full time job, I was loving it so much more than I had thought I would.  I came into a classroom that was struggling in more ways that I can explain, but the root was behavioral issues and lack of respect for the head teacher.  I have been very aggressive in my attempts to help turn the class around and (not to toot my own horn or anything but) I think it's be a success.  Is my classroom perfect?  No.  Am I always happy with the way situations are handled?  No.

At the end of the day though, I know that I have come into my class giving 110% and left satisfied that I did my best that day.  Expect to hear about some of the trials of day to day life as a Pre-K teacher.


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