Firstly I must apologize for the extremely lengthy post... but it's worth it, I promise!
Today, my dear friends, is a grand ol' glorious day! Why is that, you ask?
Well, don't you worry, my pretties, I'm gonna tell ya!
First, today (Friday, May 6), I started my brand new, wonderful teaching job. YES, that's right, I got a REAL job in the REAL world! With REAL PAY! And while I'm done with my classes (Yay!), I haven't even officially graduated, nor am I certified yet. But, YAY! The reason I am starting so late into the school year is because the other teacher, who I am replacing, well, let's be blunt, was fired. For a ton of different crazy things she did over the course of the year that just proves she is batshit insane and should never be around children, regardless of age... ever. Not only is she a complete nutjob, she's also a nitwitted fool who has somehow acquired no teaching abilities whatsoever. I walked in today as the new teacher, and the students literally cheered for joy. That's not good – well, for her anyway... it's great for me!
Here's how it happened on my end...
Tuesday, May 3 (the day after my birthday, yay!), I received a call from the foreign language department chairperson at the school where I did my first semester of student teaching. She informed me that they needed a new teacher to replace the second ASL teacher, immediately. Long story short... I sent her my resume, she forwarded it to the principals of the two high schools and the district office, and about an hour later I had an interview for the next morning (Wednesday) at the district office with the Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and the principal of the high school at which I would be teaching. The interview went well, I was hired immediately, I filled out a ton of paperwork, got fingerprinted, ran around collecting the last documents I needed, and was told since I'm not certified (yet!), the Board of Education needed to give the final approval that night at the Board meeting, and I would be given a call the next morning to confirm. The next morning (Thursday) came, the principal called me, and told me I started the next morning (today), and BOOM, I was in! Happy Birthday to me!
Now, in this district, there are two high schools. Teachers of the same subject therefore try to generally be on the same page and pace when it comes to the curriculum, even when at different schools, as the students of the same levels have to take the same final exam. This “teacher,” who I shall affectionately name Crazy Lady, has not kept up with the curriculum and the other ASL teacher at the other school necessary for students to take the final at the end of the year. The students are now three entire units behind where they should be. Additionally, they seem to know bits and pieces of each unit, rather than everything they should actually know by now. And the signs that they do know, half of them are wrong because Crazy Lady doesn't know what she's talking about. So really, I have to play catch-up, review everything, AND teach them the rest of the curriculum for the end of the year final, or the final has to be changed for these classes.
Don't get me wrong, now, I'm completely grateful for this opportunity to have my own classroom and classes, and I'm very excited to work with these kids. It will just be challenging due to the unique situation we are now in.
This post could go on forever about the psychotic nature of Crazy Lady, her teaching methods, and her “unorthodox” (and that's putting it nicely) behaviors. However, this story is not about her. It's about me, and all of you. Stay with me...
Secondly, the next reason why today is as wonderful as it is... starting this teaching job means I finally have the ability to get the HELL out of retail. That's right, you read that correctly. I put in my two weeks notice TODAY. And goddamn, it's a GREAT feeling. This does mean, however, that as of now I have NO income over the summer, but at this moment in time I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING BABOON'S RED MONKEY ASS. Because after six long, exhausting, infuriatingly painful years in retail HELL, this slave is finally free. Although I still now have two weeks left to finish, it no longer matters, because I know there is finally an end to this misery. There IS a very bright light at the end of the dark and gloomy tunnel, and it's finally so close it makes all my Spidey senses tingle.
Now, how is this about the rest of you? Well, my dears, because this story relates to you all who are working endlessly and diligently to finish school and get out in the real world where you are so destined, motivated, and determined to be. I worked my ass off, especially these past two years in graduate school, wrote countless papers, researched tons of articles, conducted my own study while student teaching, and wrote a seemingly endless Master's Thesis, all in the name of graduation and certification as a teacher, while continuing to work in the hell that is retail, and keeping my romantic and familial relationships in tact. I sacrificed countless nights of socializing, drinking, movies, parties, Deaf events, cousins' communions and school concerts, family birthday parties, sporting events (pick a sport – I missed them all), concerts, reading (I'm one of the few who enjoy it), summers (I took summer classes in BOTH sessions), date nights with my wonderful, amazingly supportive and loving boyfriend, and simply taking a day or night to myself to just relax. You name it, I sacrificed and missed it, due to either work, homework, papers, student teaching, lesson planning, or my thesis. And now, finally, after six incessant years, the end has come. I persevered, and I made it through, and you can too.
I've felt the stress, I've felt the anger, the anxiety, sadness, nervousness, and pain. I've felt the urge to procrastinate, to deal with things later, the stress of time management, money management, the apathy, the hunger, the fear, and the absolute exhaustion. I've felt it all. And I made it through.
Don't feel discouraged. Don't feel hopeless. The end of the stress is near. I know it's hard, believe me, I know how difficult it really is, but it's there, and it's worth it. I also have an interview on Thursday for a teaching position in the fall at another high school. That doesn't mean I'll get it, but the opportunity is there. If I can make it through, and find jobs, especially in this economy where teachers are being cut left and right, you can too.
Hang in there, RHUers, and keep your head up.
Best of luck to you all. You got this!