I’m thinking through career options right now. I’ve been on 5 interviews, and have another scheduled. I’ve heard back from one school- we were mutually repelled by each other. I am waiting to hear back from the 13 schools represented by the other 4 interviews. It’s been a costly process, not just in days off and gasoline, but also the mental toll. I leave each one without any real feel for the outcome ((Most are non-traditional interviews that consist of time in the classroom with people in and out to observe you interacting with students using a random activity during a 15 min. block or a group interview or a writing sample. Very little opportunity for personal interaction and connection.)) and start to question myself as an educator as each day passes by without an email, phone call, or letter in the mail. Questions like: Who am I? Can I really answer that question? Will people like who I am? Do those issues really matter as much as I think they do? Am I crazy? Will anyone ever see value in my experience and perspective? Will there be a place for a non-traditional teacher in a profession steeped in traditionalism? What is it about me that looks good on paper, but not so much in person? Do I need to be less transparent? Should I be less ‘me’ and more mainstream? Am I the problem?
And that last question is the one that really sticks out….
Am I the problem?
It’s so easy to spot attitude issues in our children that create the very situations that they are trying to avoid. I wonder if I do the same thing. Is it me? What am I communicating that isn’t acceptable? I don’t want to be the problem. I want to collaboratively create solutions for 21st century education. Please, tell me if I’m the problem! I honestly need to know.
My dad stopped me in a conversation about work environments the other day and said, “… or, you could just learn to deal with it, Julie.” My rose colored glasses are feeling a bit cracked. Deal with it? Really? Maybe I’m just a very naive 36-year-old, but I don’t want to pour my heart and soul into a teaching career and just ‘deal with it’. I want to build relationships, to communicate freely, to share ideas, to disagree respectfully, to learn daily and generally grow with those around me.
Dealing with it sounds like a raw deal. But maybe that’s my problem. Maybe that makes me the problem.