Two important developments in my life:
I got a job! For the rest of the year, I'm a teacher's assistant at the middle school where I coach. I got off the sub lists at my other schools and accepted this job offer because I was able to work in the classroom every day at the same place, without missing days that we have track meets. I essentially hound three students who are at-risk all day. They are in danger of failing, mainly because they aren't organized and don't prioritize their time yet. Part of my usefulness is to document what is happening so it can be presented for IEPs. I can truly help these students, and that feels nice.
The thing is, as was blatantly pointed out by a student one day, I'm not a teacher. And it certainly isn't social studies!
This kid simply put out in words one day what my apprehension toward this job is. It was the start of math class, and the teacher wasn't in the classroom yet. The natives were getting restless, so I decided to review what we had learned yesterday. When I announced this to the class and walked up to the board with the marker, I was met with resistance, groans, and the phrase, "But you're not a teacher!", which is exactly when the "real" teacher walked in, scolded him, and apologised profusely. She pointed out I was actually a certified teacher. But, in that situation, he's right.
I love having colleagues, they respect me, I'm doing important work, it's convenient in my life right now, but... it's not my end goal. It's not what I dream about!
Which brings me to the 2nd important development:
There's a job. It is a social studies job. It is in our school district. It was brought to my attention by two teachers in that building who are rooting for me, one of which is in the social studies department. I think it was MADE for me!
My sources tell me that a technology teacher is retiring, and leaving a few computer courses open, but it's not full time. Departments were asked where they needed another teacher. The one teacher pushed for social studies. He's pretty good at being a squeaky wheel and getting things for his department. As soon as it was posted, he let the English teacher that I sub for know to let me know. And they both said they would like me to teach there and they would write recommendation letters for me. YAY!!!
A job! A real job!
Now here's my problem (well, besides the fact that I still need to actually apply once I get the recommendation letters, still need to get an interview or two, and still need to get actually offered a job):
I am attached to my cross country and dance team kids. My biggest holes in my heart were put there by me doing what I had to do for myself and my family, following my dream, and leaving people I cared about behind. Not that they can't live without me, and they understand, but I just hate disappointing people that I'm fiercely loyal to. My former colleagues, my friends I have grown close to, my students I have taught and loved, and athletes I have coached and loved. Having to move away from them has broken my heart, and I dread doing that in this situation to further my career. But, teaching is such a big part of my life, having my own classroom is too much to pass up.
Ideally, what I would love to happen is that the school district I coach at would find a social studies position for me. Then I could stay and teach and coach. I would love that. I did ask the superintendent, who is the principal where I'm working now too, to write a recommendation letter for this. I'm hoping it will light that fire. I know there's a plan here somewhere, and it will all work out for the best. One step at a time, right?