Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fear and Loathing

I finally finished my class, but the accomplishment has been overshadowed by my growing apprehension that it was in vain because there appears to be a rapid decline in Social Studies jobs. And I'm still facing down the barrel of two geography courses this summer, of which I have no inkling of what they will be like. Will they be labor intensive like these last two courses? A lot of homework? Scheduled lecture times you have to be online? I guess I shouldn't worry about it, but take it as it comes. If I could just get my brain to listen to that advice!

There are no jobs, and I feel trapped in a system that is rife with nepotism, where it's not what you know, but who you know. At least it feels like that. I have a little piggy in the door because a few teachers have taken note, request me as their sub, and have offered to be a reference, but if there are no jobs they can't help.

There were these jobs posted that were 1/2 teaching and 1/2 activities director, and I hemmed and hawed about whether that's what I wanted, and two weeks after being posted online, they were gone, I had missed my chance to apply. I called just to check to see if it was too late, and left a message, but have not received a call back. I jumped on a coaching position I heard would be open, I've heard my stuff is floating around and people have seen it, but my phone call was not returned, once again. Isn't it still common courtesy to at least return people's phone calls and let them know?

The confidence I have in my ability to teach is weakened by all this, because that annoying little voice says, "If you're really that good, why don't you have a real teaching job?" I know, I wish I could shut that little bastard up, but it's so persistent! I want to whine to the world, "But, I'm really awesome! Just give me a chance!"

Then, there is the other little voice that says, "What kind of a mother, and person, are you, that you are not happy with all the blessings you have?" Why do I base so much of my self worth on the fact that I'm "just a sub" and I don't have a "real" job? Shouldn't I be happy that I'm able to spend more time of these precious years with my children?

I just have this fear that my energy and passion are being wasted not doing what I'm meant to do, what I love to do. Not that I don't love raising my little girls, and it has been luxurious being able to say, "No, I'm not going to work today, I'm going to spend time with my babies because they need me!"

I know this: it is not worth it to just get a job, any job, for the sake of working. History, and the social sciences is what I am passionate about and what I want to teach, and subbing is about as far from that as I'm willing to go. If I can't teach full time then that is what I will do, so that I can make the most out of those opportunities to spend time with my family. Which I do enjoy, really!

The other option is to create my own circumstances and take advantage of opportunities, like I did in MA with the case manager position. I fell into that job, and was allowed to create it into what I wanted and I really thrived at it. I discovered I could be creative, and I felt I was making a difference and was valued. What does that look like here? Is there a market for education consultants? Or a tutoring business? How do I get out of the public education system I'm trapped in (or kept out of, in this case) and create my own opportunities?


trinity_ray said...

I think you need to see the 2 seperate parts of yourself as 2 seperate parts...the mommy part and the professional part. The professional you shouldn't feel guilty for wanting a career and the mommy you shouldn't feel guilty for enjoying time with your children.
There seems to be this mindset in America that you're on one-side of the fence or the other...a mommy or a professional. Seems silly to me. Be yourself and your children will benefit from seeing a composed, strong and self assured parent.

Anonymous said...

Discouragement is one of the devil's best tools to stealing peace. No matter what role in life you are in, he will creep in however he can. Try to offer up your frustrations the best you can and pray for peace in the now. Easier said than done, for me in my daily experience. Maybe we can have a playdate soon. I know the kids would sure enjoy it too!

chrissyrudd said...

Thanks guys! Good advice!

Sarah said...

IDK...I feel your pain, though. We are in the "failing" schools list and that means the federal gov't regs are all over our ass. We are choosing the transformation model and let me tell you, it's a bunch of bullshit. The kids are going to have 90 minutes every day of LA and Math. SS, Science, PE and electives will be cut down and some electives will only be offered after school! It's all just a big ridiculous issue. Our public school system is so screwed up in so many ways and these proposed plans devised by Mr. Duncan himself are freaking ridiculous. I wish I could bitch him out right now. Even in our elementary schools, we see kids who have little to none SS or Science backgrounds. It's really sad. When I handed a U.S. map to my kids at the beginning of the year as a "quiz" and ask them to plot and draw as many states as they can, you wouldn't believe how many Floridas I get where WA is (WHERE THEY LIVE!!!) Someone even put Mexico inside the lower 48 states. It's just so sad. Honestly, that is one reason I went back to grad school to get a Master's in C&I so maybe I could have other opportunities outside of public education to teach or instruct. We have the option to say we don't want to commit to the new changes (I lost my honors LA/SS core altogether according to next year's plan, which I've been teaching for nearly 10 years and wrote the curriculum myself). but, with all of the budget cuts, there really isn't much movement that can happen b/c people are going to stay in their jobs b/c there's not much else out there. Maybe private schools are the way to go for teaching. I keep thinking maybe that's actually working...then at least my kids could get a well-rounded education for half the cost.