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.

To Know Me is to Love Me

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I adore teaching.  It is truly something I am passionate and I feel lucky to have found it.  I was so excited last year because I found a school I fit in, a team I loved, a community I loved, and best of all… I wouldn’t have to go back to job hunting.

Early in our careers it seems like all we do is interview.  As a new teacher, it is normal to get bounced around from school to school.  Maybe you were a long-term sub, maybe they didn’t have the FTE to keep you, or maybe it just wasn’t the right fit for you.  Whatever the reason to be, that probationary period really sucks.  I hate that time of not being 100% sure if there is a job for me next year, if I will get renewed, if I’m doing all that I can be doing.

So naturally, that is where life has led me. Back to the interviewing stages.  The worst part of this process, now, is that today everything is done electronically.  Although it makes it more convenient, it’s hard to stand out from the 100s of applicants that are applying to the same job.  As my mother has always said, “To know me is to love me!”  And it’s true! I personally make the best impressions, at least professionally, is to meet me in person.

I remember my first interview right after student teaching.  I was asked about RTI (response to intervention) and didn’t know the acronym.  I was so nervous and right before the interview itself, my husband had accidentally taken my keys along with his to work.  So I was stranded.  Which left me knocking on my neighbors door in a panic asking awkwardly if I could borrow her car.  I left that interview knowing instantly… “Welp, didn’t get that job!”

It can be a frustrating experience – especially when you know personally how good you are.  You have been told from administrators, parents, students, and other colleagues.  I by no means am perfect.  I’m still very new and have no problem owning my mistakes.  I have a lot to learn.  But I want to learn.  I’m eager and willing to learn.  I’m passionate about teaching and want to grow as a teacher.  I want to be that teacher students look back over the years and think to themselves, “Man, that Mrs. B really made an impact on me.”

I just went through my first interview experience while living in Michigan now.  I loved the  team.  The superintendent acted very befuddled when I entered the office asking me, “Are you sure you’re in the right place? Who told you to come here? What position?” Which left my heart beating and me in a panic knowing my interview was in 8 minutes.  He then cut himself off, ” — hahah I’m just kidding! They’ll be right with you!”

The community is small.  I like that.  The people were nice.  The superintendent was involved and made connections.  Unfortunately, I did not get the position.  But that is not to say I didn’t make connections I could use in the future.  They gave me a lot of positive feedback and it just came down to best fit.

My husband reminds me that it all happens for a reason.  I believe that.  I have to believe that.  But it still doesn’t make it any less disappointing or frustrating.  Time will tell.  It always does.  And I know I will look back and be like, “Isn’t it funny how things worked out?”  Now that I’m settled and I at least got one interview under my belt, it’s easier for me to stay positive.  Hopefully that perfect job is just around the corner.  Until then, I’ll keep chugging along! 🙂

Warm Rain

“I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain; What a wonderful feeling, I’m happy again.”  ~ Arthur Freed

I’m left with shock.  My mouth is dry and speechless. I’m left with this anger stirring inside me.  Furious.  Vulnerable.  Disgusted.  A knot consisting of twists and turns sits at the base of my hollow stomach.  As it sits their my skin begins to boil.  I sit still.  The stillness enables the disruptive scene to play in my head over and over again.  The repetition becomes a broken record and my rage struggles to settle.

I find myself sitting on the couch.  The cushions that have yet to be broken in surround me and try to comfort me.  It as if they I know I need to be comforted and calmed.  They remind me I need to breathe.  The encourage me to vent and reflect on recent events.  So I do.  I reflect and ponder on the pros and cons of the situation.  I’m not happy. I wasn’t happy. I dreaded going to sleep because sleep brought morning.  With the morning brought what I was dreading to begin with.  The dreadful brought a subtle depression.  Unhappiness.  A desire to no longer participate and just give up.  Defeat.  The only thing keeping me there was the obligation to contribute to our responsibilities and priorities.

However, now there is this release.  I’m relieved.  I no longer carry this unsettling feeling in my throat.  I no longer have to battle this burden.  I am at peace again.  At the same time I struggle with the hypocrisy that just invaded my life and caused this sudden change.  It’s not how I wanted it to happen.  It’s not how I imagined the events to occur.  But it did.  And because of it I no longer battle with that internal conflict and that obligation keeping me restrained.

The following day breaks the routine that lacked any motivation.  I was in the process of creating a new routine.  Occupying my empty schedule and doing my best to not simply exist but exist with purpose.

I wander outside. I have things that all of a sudden need to be done.  It begins to rain.  It’s not like most rains I’ve grown accustomed to.  It’s a warm rain.  It’s refreshing.  It’s a rain that is full of life and full of grace and peace.  Rain has always been symbolic  of cleanliness – something that provides a blank slate.

Without thought I become still.  I breathe in the fresh smells that summer rains create.  I am currently in the now.  I’m living in the present.  It was as if my God above reassured me that the pros outweighed the cons and this is where I’m supposed to be.  This rain showed me the light yet again and reminded me that everything happens for a reason.

This warm rain has let me feel at peace again.  I have reunited with the familiar feeling of happiness that I used to know so well.  I have hope again.  I’m consumed with relief and appreciation again for what I the things that I took for granted.  I no longer have to battle with that question I once had of “what-if?”  The question that created this mess in the first place.  I know now.  I know where I’m supposed to be.  I have a clean slate and it’s now that I need to continue on the path that I always knew I was meant to be on.  This is a good thing.  This is a great thing.  And for that, I am thankful.