everyone is posting there back to school posts and photos and i’m still at home searching for a job. i’m crushed. i feel so lost without my art room. i should be at school reorganizing the tables, and cleaning the art bins.
this is the first year ever that i have not returned to school- besides when i was an infant/toddler, that is before i started going to school. i have always been in the routine of returning to school after summer. and now, i very well might not be. most of my identity is wrapped up in school, in teaching- in my art room. being an art teacher is all i ever wanted to be, and now what- I have to give it up for a year? maybe more? who knows?? this sucks. plain and simple sucks. nine years of teaching. undergrad and grad degree going to waste right now. i belong in the classroom. i am great at what i do. i love what i do. it’s not just a job for me. it’s more than that.
so as everybody posts their back to school shots i feel the anxiety stir in my chest. what grand reason am i being held back a year? is there a plan here? people keep saying it will get better, but when?
i can make a lot of great things happen for wherever i end up. i hope they see that in me. i hope i can convey that. i can do a lot for them. and wherever it is, i assume it is meant to be. i just hope it is sooner than later.
I meant to post this a couple weeks ago while actually on an airplane… whoops…
I’m really not finding my situation any easier. Coming to work becomes more difficult every day knowing that I am closer and closer to uncertainty in my future work. I fear not having a placement lined up. I become more and more anxious, and more and more resentful of those who get to keep their jobs.
I am a great teacher. I know I am. I love what I do, and I want to keep doing it. Why can’t I find a job?? Why won’t anyone call me back?? Am I not that. Good on paper? Or have my colleagues and supervisors pulled a veil over my eyes to lead me to falsely believe I am a great educator?
Right now as I write this I am sitting on a plane, Flying back to Atlanta, the city I left where I landed probably the best job a new and old teacher could get in the metropolitan area. Sometimes I resent that I left that job. But then I never would have met Michael, and let’s just hope there’s more to this sentence with a better job waiting to find me here in Philly.
During the majority of the flight I read most of an e-book written by one of my college professors, Paula Eubanks. She wrote about pinhole photography; the history, the process, artists, projects, etc. It had me reflecting back to my teaching photography classes at North Springs High School. I loved it so much. I loved the students, and their enthusiasm for the art, and how exciting the whole process was for both of us. And we were all so good at it! I was able to teach them in an orderly, systematic way with clarity so they unrestored the material, and they produced stunning, captivating work that spoke with subtle sophistication. I could not have asked for a better first two years of teaching. Reading Paula’s book really made me want to teach photography again, and to take my own photos again.
I know ultimately that I want to be in the high school level classroom again, and I certainly hope that is what I am granted, though I know I can do good wherever I go. I just hope that some principle or human resources person out there just reads my info and realizes what there is in me. Get past the paper and get me in the classroom.
It’s raining. My room is chilly. Emiliana Torrini is on Spotify. I have a candle lit, and am drinking hot tea. It’s feeling particularly moody right now in my empty classroom.
As everyday goes by, I find it easier to accept that I am being laid off, and I become more comfortable with the idea of moving on to a different placement. I gather more strength as time passess and look forward to truly shining somewhere else. But what doesn’t get easier is thinking about saying goodbye to my students and colleagues. Truth is, I probably will never see them again, and it sucks. With colleagues we’ll say, “Let’s stay in touch. Meet up for dinner soon. Catch up over the summer.” But that’s never worked before, and probably won’t come to fruition. Empty promises. And it’s not like we ever really got together outside of school in the past, so I would not be surprised to find my inbox void of requests to meet up. I understand, and am okay with that. I’m pretty socially awkward anyway….
But it’s with the thought of leaving my students that I find myself welling in the tear ducts the most. I feel like I am letting them down, but at no fault of my own. I tried so hard to keep my job- to make myself invaluable to the school, and to show everyone how much I care about the community…but priorities are different than I assumed, so I must leave them.
I stutter when I try to talk to them about what they will do next year. I made promises of projects with them, and built up hopes of iPads and technology in the art room. I gave them false excitement, only I did not know that at the time. I don’t even know that I will get to say goodbye to each one of them. So as everyday goes by, I think that is one day less with my students, and it’s getting closer to the end.
It sucks to be so committed to something, only to get dumped.
It’s not you- it’s me.