Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Well. That Ended Quickly.
Early in the summer I applied for a teaching position at a local high school. Two days after the interview, they were calling me to tell me I got the job. When I got the call I was relieved to know I'd be back to making a good salary. I was also smug that they'd chosen me so fast. Clearly I'm excellent at bull shitting through an interview. But was I excited? Nope. I was glad to have a job but that was about it.
Fast forward to the first day of school. I should be up and dressed, headed into campus with my lunch box and my satchel full of First Day of School lessons. But I wasn't. I was at home in the bed panicking because I didn't want to go. So I emailed (yes emailed, I was too afraid to call) my department chair and said I couldn't come in because I had a migraine. I actually ended up giving myself one I was so stressed, so I guess I wasn't lying.
I stayed home the first day of school for the first time ever. My plan was to get my shit together and be ready to go in the next day. Yeah, that didn't happen. I freaked out and did the same thing again. Halfway through the day (after I'd come back from hiding in the park so my niece wouldn't know I wasn't at work) I realized I was fucking glad not to be in that classroom. Not because of that school. I'm sure it's a great place. But there were some BIG RED FLAGS telling me that I didn't want to teach. If I'd paid attention to them, I would have realized that my dislike of teaching from two years before was still there. Let's take a look at those red flags, shall we?
1. I wasn't at all excited to have the job. See opening paragraph. After the initial phone call I went right back to lazing around the house instead of doing teacher type things to prepare.
2. I had an inner sneer all through my two weeks of professional development. As I sat through each of those meetings, I was annoyed at the people all excited to teach and sharing their ideas of what worked for them in the classroom. I'm pretty sure I glared at one guy and called him a nerd under my breath. I felt like I didn't fit in amongst them.
3. I'm a big planner and organizer. But I hadn't planned anything for my classroom. No guidelines. No classroom policies. No reward system. Nothing.
4. I procrastinated on lesson plans until Monday morning at 4 a.m. GIANT red flag. I'm a head in sand kinda gal. Meaning if I don't want to do something I'll avoid doing it indefinitely if possible. I kept sitting down to start lessons, but I never once opened a Word doc or cracked a book. Clearly, my brain was not in teacher mode.
5. And the biggest red flag of all? I put off signing my contract. Well, I kept "forgetting" to go to HR with my paperwork. I'm totally ADD and forget stuff all the time. But something that important should have lit a fire under my ass.
Face? Meet Palm. How did I not see these signs? I taught before and ended up hating it. This time I thought it'd be better. But honestly, in the back of my mind I was telling myself to just stick it out. Any time you're saying that before the job even starts is a bad sign.
So I quit. I'm not a teacher. And I don't plan to ever try and be one again. Am I proud of the way I handled this situation? No. I feel really shitty about it. I know I let that school down. I did go up and apologize but that's not much help to them. Plus, I know I'm insane for quitting my job without having another one lined up. I guess it just took all of that for me to finally see education is not for me.
Now I just gotta figure out a way to keep me in shoes and my dogs in kibble. What about you? Have you ever been in a similar situation?