Saturday, April 2, 2011

Butterfly Kisses - Inside my Stomach

Today is a pretty big day for me.

In a couple of hours, I will be walking in for an interview. 

A 25 minute interview with one of the principals from the school district - have no idea which principal.

An interview that approximately 700 people are also attending today.

There are less than 100 positions open.

Not the best of odds.

Trying to find a teaching job in my area is the equivalent of selecting the winning raffle ticket at a charity event - where the prize is a brand new car.  There are literally thousands of teachers in the area trying to find jobs.  The fact that I'm graduating with 42 other people looking for jobs is no comparison to the amount of transfering teachers, unemployed teachers, Masters degree graduates, and other local college graduates that will be on the hunt for the same job this coming school year.

I remember being told a few months ago that in the school district I'm currently interning for, there are approximately 2500 applications on file looking for classroom teaching positions.  Two thousand five hundred applications!  Only one school district!

I've known since the first day of starting my college career that this day would come.  The day where I would start wondering "will I find a job?"  The day that everyone has warned me about, scared me about....there aren't enough positions in the area to accommodate the amount of teachers applying for them.

Am I scared?  Of course I am.

It's hard to face the reality that for four years I've spent thousands of hours attending classes, studying, observing teachers, teaching classes, writing lesson plans, attending professional development, listening to speakers, and getting to understand why I want to be a teacher so bad - and knowing that being able to do the job that I've trained so hard for isn't going to be as easy to obtain as I'd hoped.

It's coming to the realization that I have to step into that room, today, and stick out from 700 as qualified or more qualified applicants.

It doesn't matter how great of a teacher I am.  It doesn't matter what I've accomplished through my education career.  It doesn't matter how bad I want it.

All that matters is that the words I chose to let out of my mouth today - so that the person on the other side of the table thinks that I really am good enough to call back for another interview.

I have to bring that person into my mind and allow him/her to see me as a classroom teacher in their school.  I have to provide the picture of what I will do for my students each and every day.
I have to fill them with the excitement and desire that I have - and make them want to have me.

Not an easy task.

Seven hundred other people will be doing the exact same thing.

If I had a dollar for every time I have been told this past year "you were born to be a teacher" - I would be able to live comfortably for a year without having to worry about getting a job.

Those people were right.

I am born to be a teacher.  It races through my blood.  I am a teacher from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep - and even in the time in between I have spent my dreams working in my classroom.

Like Whoopi Goldberg pointed out in Sister Act II: "If you wake up in the morning and all you think about is singing then you're supposed to be a singer, girl"

Well, I wake up in the morning, and all I think about is teaching - I'm meant to be a teacher!

I have never, in my entire life, wanted anything as much as I want to be a teacher.  It's who I am.  It's how I live.  Just ask my kids.  They've heard about it ever since they were born.  Ask my mom, as she had to tear me away from my stuffed animals as I played "schools" just to eat dinner.  Ask my fiance who pretends to care each and every day as I bombard him with the excitement and minute by minute replay of the amazing day I had in the classroom.  They will all tell you how important this is to me.

So, here I go.  It is time.  The butterflies have begun to wake up.  I feel their soft kisses on the inside of my stomach.  The pitter patter of their wings reminding me how important today is.

Stay with me, little butterflies. For you remind me how important today is.  Please refrain, however, from getting too excited in there - I need to be able to concentrate on making my dream come true.


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