Making the Right Decision

life is sum of all decisions determined by priorities

My previous post discussed the frustration of having to interview.  For the most part, I feel I interview well.  I may come on strong, but I think it’s because I am not shy.  I don’t hesitate to answer questions and I try to come off knowledgable.  Most of the time, I feel this is accurately conveyed.  Fortunately, it was today.

Today, I interviewed for a 5th grade position about an hour away.  I was hesitant about the location but figured interviewing couldn’t hurt.  Practice makes perfect and it’s important to be open-minded.  At the very least, maybe I would make new connections that could lead me to where I am meant to be.

While driving home from the interview, I received a phone call asking for permission to contact references.  Of course this was a good sign.  The principal did not hesitate to call all three references and got back to me within an hour or so.  As you have probably assumed while reading this, I was offered the job.  Despite my gut instinct, I asked for time to discuss this over with my husband and get back to her which she had no problem doing.

I rarely ask for opinions on Facebook.  However, I put it out there to get feedback on if an hour drive is a crazy commute.  I think it’s good to have different opinions and perspectives (in all areas of life) as it allows you to see things differently.  It pushes you to evaluate your priorities and has you question how best to represent yourself and your morals.

Driving an hour there and an hour back adds up quickly.  However, I would get to have my own classroom and do something I’m truly passionate about.  I’m eager to perform well and learn as much as I can – and I could do that here.  But the man, who would be my co-teacher, specifically said he is hoping to find someone who will be here and commit to this family of teachers.

The most popular response on Facebook suggested that I take the job, and if something better comes along to turn it down.  Although it is true this is just business and this happens a log, it makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t want to burn any bridges and I don’t want to screw anyone over.  I would hate to leave them scrambling at the last minute to fill the position.  At the same time, it’s a job – I could love it.  It would help bring in money so we can finally have the funds to adopt a child of our own.  Maybe it won’t be too bad if I find podcasts and music and use that time to decompress.  However, in the winters the roads are horrible…. and this mental debate goes on and on and on and on….

I think at the end of the day, when making a decision like this, you have to go with your gut instinct.  Despite needing the money, I think it would be unfair to take the job.  I can’t commit to being apart of the community long-term as I assume after a year or so that drive would eat at me.  I would much rather have a job close by and I think I need to have faith that it will all work out how it’s supposed to.

For me, it’s important I walk away feeling good about how I handled the situation.  Hopefully, the principal will appreciate my honesty and maybe even pass my name on to someone in my area.  I need to just trust that it happens for a reason, and the job I’m meant to be in will fall in my lap – even if the school year is inching closer and closer.  My priority is being with my family, holding up a good reputation, and finding a job that I want to be in for years to come.  Therefore, I think I have concluded this isn’t the best fit and I will need to respectfully decline the offer.

Silver lining: At least I’m in a position to turn down an offer.  At least I have an offer.  At least I had an interview and hopefully there are more to follow.

So the Hunt Begins…

As you can tell from the title of this blog, the hunt for a teaching job has officially begun.  I have been filling out applications like mad online, posting on Facebook asking for any connections or suggestions in the area, emailing principals directly, and getting feedback from newly established friends in the area as well.

Emailing principals is hit or miss.  Some principals will look at your resume and perhaps consider you.  Others will see your email and immediately delete it as nobody got time for that.  It’s all a numbers game thIMG_0091ough.  Eventually something has to hit, doesn’t it?

I so badly want to be teaching.  It is something I truly feel I am meant to do and is something I am
passionate about.  Getting emails parents reaffirms what I already knew, not to stroke my own ego.

I feel that the emails point out how I already feel.  I strive so hard to build connections with parents and students and try to provide that positive feedback so students have a good feeling about themselves.  They feel recognized and it makes them want to come to my class.  Parents see that I am doing my best to recognize the best in their kids and communicate effectively with them.  Providing that communication makes us a team – they know I want what’s best so if I need help they are more willing to provide that additional support that will enable that success.

But how do you show that in an application.  How do you show principals and hiring teams that you truly mean it.  How do you prove you aren’t full of bullshit and you truly do the best you can to be the best.

I want to improve.  I want to be that teacher that families in the community hope to have when their children reach my grade-level.  I want to be the teacher students look back on and say, “Mrs. Budden was my favorite teacher.  She got me and she made learning fun.”

I’m not perfect by any means.  I still have a long ways to go to be where I want to be as far as my development is concerned as a teacher.  But teaching is something I am meant to do.  Teaching is a job that gives me a sense of fulfillment.  Even on my worst day, I still loved my job.  There were random things that made my day.  For example, I love playing music in the classroom.  I played “Man in the Mirror” while they were independently working and randomly, when the chorus hit, ALL of them just started singing it out loud.  I couldn’t be mad as it was done in unison so perfectly.

Although I love middle school, I’m willing to teach whatever I have to in order to be back in the classroom.  I just wished that I was able to better sell myself than answering generic questions on an online application that doesn’t enable me to truly show who I am as a teacher.  I want schools to see that I am a teacher that is passionate and a team-player.  That I enjoy being as involved as possible and am a go-getter.

So, if you happen to be reading this, and have connections within the Michigan school system – I welcome any help, suggestions, feedback, etc.  Starting anew is not easy.  Building those connections, making yourself new with no other connections is difficult to do.  But I’m hopeful and determined and I will be working in a classroom come this fall if it is the last thing I do.