Walking on Water Again

I have eleven different education-related jobs listed on my resume.  Eleven jobs in six years.  That’s not counting the filler jobs like nannying or that time I worked for the children’s theater, either.  Teaching, subbing, tutoring, test prep, program development… I’ve pretty much done it all by now.  And I’ve walked away from it all, too.  My nomadic life following my husband makes for an interesting work history.

I thought I’d found somewhere I’d finally get to stay.  I thought I was done updating my resume for a while.

I was wrong.  I have to walk away again.

I found out a week ago, and I’ve been through the gamut of emotions over that last seven days.  My principal told me after school last Monday that he’d hired someone else to fill the position next year.  I cried right there in his office.  I’d braced myself for the news, but it still knocked the breath out of me.  I guess you can’t ever be completely prepared for something like that.

He told me I’ve done an amazing job as a long-term sub.  He said I’ve done everything the school has asked of me.  It didn’t help to hear that.  It just made me more confused.  If that’s true, why did he choose someone else?  What need does she fill that I don’t?  His answers were cryptic at best.  I still don’t really know why he didn’t pick me.

That was Monday.  My overriding emotion then was disappointment.  I cried on the drive home.  I cried again into my husband’s shoulder.  And then I sat down that night and began updating my resume.  I suppose by now resume updates are part of my knee-jerk reaction to leaving a job.  Habit. It sucks that I have habits for something like this. Tuesday was awkward as my coworkers gave me sympathetic looks and I tried to push through the day.  The anger hit on Wednesday, which morphed into discouragement on Thursday.  Friday was better.  I don’t think “acceptance” is the right word, but I wasn’t wallowing in emotion, either.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a very “teaching-heavy” week.  I listened to presentations and then reviewed for and gave a test.  I collected a huge stack of grading that I’ve been attempting to tackle with mixed success.  I kept up appearances with my students since they didn’t know yet, and I maintained a good professional rapport with my coworkers.  It’s a good staff.  I’m going to miss them, too.

The announcement went out to the students today.  We decided telling them all at once would be better than feeding the rumor mill by telling one class at a time.  So I sat in lunch and listened to my principal explain into the microphone that “Mrs. Roberson will not be joining us next year,” and I held back the tears better than I expected.

I never thought I’d become a “career” woman.  My high school dreams generally focused on family and children, and I thought of my career as a means to support myself until then.  But I’m a good teacher.  I take pride in my work, and I want to do more.  Despite everything, I don’t want to be done.  If my teenage self could see me now, tenaciously fighting to hold on to my career by my fingertips, I don’t know how that girl would react.  I have dreams and ambitions, but I’m also exhausted.  Constantly starting over, constantly establishing and proving myself, only to walk away again and again – it’s taking its toll on me.  How could it not?

I don’t know what my next step will be.  My principal said he might have a lead for me, but he was pretty cryptic about that, too.  Fortunately, my husband landed a job that will pay enough to support us both, so I don’t need another job.  We’ve talked about it, and we’ve decided that I should hold out for the right job, instead of just taking anything.  I’ve had my share of stressful jobs that didn’t fit my niche, and I don’t want to do that again.  I can always sub until something else comes along.  I can fall into that routine again.  I don’t want to, but I can.

I want to be teaching next year.  I hate the thought of facing yet another year without my own students and curriculum to teach.  It’s who I am.  So I’ll try, despite the fatigue.  I’ll send out those resumes and see if anything strikes, even if it is late in the teacher-hiring game.

I’ll end on this.  Despite everything, the frustrations and fatigue, I can’t shake the feeling that God has a plan in all of this.  I just don’t know what it is.  I know what I want, but His plans don’t often match mine.  Looking back, His plans are always better, so I’d really like to know where this plan is going.  I’m not going to lie – I’m still mad, frustrated, and confused at my current situation, but I also know that God is in control.

Does walking on water count as an act of faith if I can’t find the boat?

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12 thoughts on “Walking on Water Again

  1. Dear Mrs. Roberson,
    It is so sad that we have come to the just-in-time-employment state. It has got to hurt each time one goes through this. Just rest assured that you are a capable teacher and that the society that is here today just doesn’t give a great deal of thought to the situation. Sometimes it is situations like these that open up to even better opportunities.
    Leslie

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  2. I have been following your saga silently all through this year, and I have been holding my breath to hear what would happen. I felt it in the guts when I read this post and I am saddened and angered for you. But you’re right to trust that there is another place where you are meant to be. If this job didn’t work out, there must be a reason, somehow. I have faith in you, and in myself, too, that we will end up where we are “meant” to be if we keep working away at it. Hang in there!

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  3. I think that the perfect teaching job is just around the corner for you! Your job is one of, if the not the most important one in existence. Keep your optimism! My sister and her best friends are teachers and I remember the ups and downs during the summer hiring period. My sister almost did not have a job, and then she was hired the week before classes started. Your experience, passion, and positivity will shine through. The right position is out there.

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  4. I have been exactly where you sit now. So committed to a school, the curriculum I helped develop, the kids I coached and taught, only to be let go. “You are doing an amazing job, it’s just that we had to choose the other candidate.”

    At the time I remember not being to hold it together at any school function. The hard part was answering my students’ questions. “Why are you leaving?” As if it was my choice. But I didn’t want to burn any bridges. It was a balancing act.

    Teaching as a long term sub or in a temporary contract to fill in for maternity or leave of absence is sometimes messy business. And as I’m sure you are going to hear time and again, “you will find a better place.” You will! (2 weeks later I landed a job I was in for 11 years.) And when you reach YOUR place, you will have relationships with teachers, students, parents that go far beyond your expectations.

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  5. I am so sorry you are going through this. So much in getting a teaching game is politics. I’ve been subbing for three years now, this year I taught mostly at the same middle school in Alaska. I have gone back and forth about getting my teaching certificate switched to an Alaska one, but recently the school district handed out 50+ “doubtful rehire” slips to their teachers. I feel like I can’t handle the uncertainty of it all. Teachers are treated like replaceable commodities-never mind how attached the students and teachers get through the year.

    I recently accepted a job on the army base at the child development center and I’m happy about my choice. It’s a stable job and I’ll still be able to work with children.

    I’m sad that my dreams aren’t panning out how I imagined when I was younger, but I also know that this is life.

    I think the perfect job will come to you, and you will be happier than ever.

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  6. i am deeply sorry you did not get the job. I believe it was a behind the scene move. Someone pulled a favor or someone has a grudge. If you did a great job and your students adored you the lingering why will always be there. Will he give you a great reference? What about your department head? Somewhere there is another position for you. But that is sugar coated because you have been wounded. Been there and it still hurts years later. I can only tell you to march on. I look forward to hearing that you nailed another job. Good luck. Barry

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  7. I feel for you. Our school district this year has let go of 50+ IRT positions, eliminated all the substitutes, there will be no pay raises or COLA (and haven’t been for the past four years), and many departments have been restructured to downsize by at least three people (out of an office of six). Education is a scary place right now.

    You are blessed that your husband is able to provide for both of you while you look for something that you really love. Enjoy the time and something wonderful will come along. I wish you all the best until then. Hopefully it will be a teaching job that is everything you’ve dreamed of!

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  8. I’m so sorry to hear this! What a blow – and an insult, too – if he thought you did a great job! But your attitude is right…God has a plan in this somewhere. I am struggling with similar feelings, different situation (infertility) – but I know that feeling of being tired of trying, tired of fighting, tired of having to do it all over again.

    I’m glad you aren’t pressed to just take any job. That’s a blessing. But I know how it feels to not be able to do something you were made to do.

    Sending prayers your way. I really believe God is leading you to just where He wants you. Wherever that is…right? 🙂

    And yes, it still counts as faith! 🙂

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  9. That just sucks. I am sorry for your “loss,” which it really is. It feels like you are losing a part of you.

    It is hard to not have the security of where you’ll be next year. Starting over is the worst.

    You will land on your feet. God has a plan. You know this, still not easy to swallow.

    Good luck. Enjoy the end, and revel in the encouraging words your kids are going to give you as you leave. YOU made a difference IN THEIR LIVES.

    You in their lives.

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  10. Pingback: The Year in Review-My favorite reads of 2014 | Lehrer Werkstatt

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