This has been a ridiculous week. No really. This time, last Friday I had just gotten out of an interview at Lakeview Middle School that I was absolutely convinced went terribly. I was nervous and genuinely unqualified for the job. I knew that dozens of people had applied for the position, which only heightened my fear. I do not thrive in competition. When it came time for my interview I was ushered into a room with five people surrounding this long intimidating wooden table. I was asked to sit at the head, and basically answer questions about my educational philosophy, disciplinary strategies, organizational skills, and student relations in rapid fire succession, as these five strangers furiously scribbled notes onto their papers. My voice was quivering, my hands were shaking, and I kept tugging at my fingers in an effort to stop myself from pulling out my hair. I finished the interview and I was quite certain I had sweated through the three layers of shirts I was wearing. I shook everyone’s hand, and was told a flippant “we’ll be in touch” as I left the room. I was shaking all the way to the car, and then after collapsing into the car seat, I called my mother.
“Hey Meg. Soooo, how did it go?”
“Well, ummmm, it was the single most terrifying experience of my life. I hate job interviews. I don’t think I blew them away or anything, so let’s just chalk it up to practice for future scenarios..."
About an hour later I was sitting on Kate’s porch hanging out with Jahred, doing basically nothing. I went to check my e-mail, and I noticed something strange. Two jobs that I had been signed up for at Legacy Middle School (the school where I did my senior internship and substitute teach most frequently) had been cancelled. This was extremely bizarre, because they were two different teachers on two completely different weeks. Well, to make a very long story short, after some phone calls I was able to say with certainty that I had been put on the “substitute exclusion list.” Basically, I was blacklisted from subbing there. And no, they don’t have to provide me a reason. Anyways, this really hurt me. This was the second time I had been screwed over by this school. (Remember that unfortunate case of nepotism?) I felt the tears swelling up, and instead of letting Kate (shhhh, don’t tell her that I have emotions) and Sonny see me cry, I left the house in a hurry and drove home to drink a lot of wine and crawl under my covers.
Saturday morning I woke up totally discouraged. Depressed, even. Nothing was working out. I couldn’t find a job anywhere, my one semi-steady income was just taken away from me without reason or precedent, and my mom and I got in a fight over the phone.
Skip to Monday morning. I wake up and log onto Kelly Services to look for substituting jobs outside of Legacy. Within 5 minutes I had found work for the rest of the week. That has never happened to me before. Ever. Then these words came to my head "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” In that moment an overwhelming peace filled my heart, and I knew everything was going to be okay. I didn’t know how, but I just knew. Shoving logic and reason aside, I relinquished myself to the peace and let my soul breathe for a moment.
Skip to Wednesday morning. I arrive at the UCF campus at 8:30am for the College of Education job fair. There are about 38768726 million other education majors attending. I’m standing in this line that extends out of the door and around the corner, and fighting the urge to just turn on my heels and leave. I hate big crowds. Despise. Loathe. But I remain, because reason and responsibility always prevail in me.
I finally enter the gymnasium and after signing in, I pause by the Page Private School table and survey the room. I overhear the Page woman telling an eager group of elementary education majors, “no, I’m sorry... we have no positions available at this time.” (Just as an aside, I can’t help but judge all elementary education majors. I know this is terrible, but it spawns from four years of volatile frustration at being forced to attend classes where they tell us that giving “gold stickers to good students” is an effective method for classroom management. Ummm, if I give a 13-year-old boy that attends public school in Orlando a gold star for behaving well, they will probably cuss me out.) Anyways, I’m standing there, rolling my eyes and smirking to myself, and the woman says “we are actually looking for a middle school language arts teacher, is anyone interested in that?” Ummm, perfect. My passion. I raise my hand, and of course I am the only one in the group because honestly, who in their right mind WANTS to teach in middle school? So the woman glances quickly over my resume and tells me to stick around so she can talk to me. I stand nearby and listen to her talk to another girl who had apparently done her internship at Legacy Middle School as well, and the woman from Page says “Oh, do you know Tammi Jones?” The girl didn’t, so I interrupted the conversation (the look I received from this girl for interrupting her probably could have melted cement). Ignoring her obvious disdain (C'mon girl, it's a job fair. You need tougher skin) I told the woman that Tammi was my supervising teacher and I pulled my recommendation letter from Tammi out of my portfolio, and hand it to her. At this point the woman dismisses all the other girls, and basically begins interviewing me on the spot. Apparently Tammi worked at Page for about 15 years, and knows the entire faculty, and is even best friends with the Director of the school. Ummm, perfect.
I leave the job fair with a promise from the woman that I will be receiving a phone call in the very near future. Discouragement evaporated. I talk to Tammi on the phone on my way home, and she assures me that if I really want the job… it’s mine. She carries a lot of weight with the administration there, and with her recommendation I am basically a shoo-in.
Skip forward to today. Around 4 o’clock this afternoon I receive a call from Lakeview Middle School telling me that they are going to “recommend me for the position.” Really? Really??? The gifted position is technically only till the end of the school year, with the possibility of renewal next year. The Page Private School position will begin in the fall. Basically, within one week I went from tears on Kate’s porch about the futility of a job in education, to possibly having two positions to choose from.
Are we serious right now???
Ummm, thank you Jesus.
P.S. Kate and Alecia, please feel free to speak scripture verses over me as often as you like. That shit apparently works.
1 week ago