Sunday, June 19, 2011

Do You Believe In Signs?

If I could pick one motto to describe my life, it would be "everything happens for a reason". 

I've used that motto a thousand times when talking about every aspect of my life - and the life of others.  I believe I've spoken about it here, on this blog, too. I mentioned in a recent post how I believe everything happens for a reason - and sometimes the reason isn't known at first... it takes time for things to come into light and reveal themselves.

Because of my belief in this motto - I often make rash decisions, don't let many opportunities slip by me, and often take chances....because I don't want to regret anything.  If it turns out that something isn't supposed to be - then I accept it and move on... but at least I can say I tried.

That's happened a lot this past week. 

I've mentioned my trying other avenues in finding a job - DHS, working for an early childcare center.

The childcare center thing?  Well, I spent two days writing up a very basic grant proposal - and never heard back from them after submitting it.   That was one of those "I tried, and obviously isn't meant to be" scenarios.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine that I graduated with told me she had found a teaching position at a private Catholic School.  I was happy for her.  I was surprised, because she isn't Catholic - but happy that she'd found a job doing what she wants to do.

Friday morning, she gives me a call.  She was out with one of the teachers she's going to be working with, and found out that there was also a 3rd grade position open at her school.  They were talking about the kind of teacher the principle was looking for....and my name came up.  Her teacher friend told her to call me and have me contact the principle.

At first, I think - urm..well..I'm not Catholic.  Well - neither is she.  Then I think, well..urm..I'm not really that religious at all.  She tells me she's not either.  I then think...well, I could give it a shot... no harm in trying, right?

I call the school.  No answer.  Then a recorded message that says the school is closed for the summer and to leave a message.  I hung up. I tried to call my friend back.  No answer.  UGH!!  I take this as a sign.  Then, I think that's not fair - call back one more time and leave a message at the school. 

I call the school again to leave a message - and this time someone answers.  It's a woman that tells me she had just stopped by the school to gather a few things, and decided to answer the phone.  We get to talking - and she reveals that she is the assistant principle.  She tells me that she's not sure if the position has been filled, but she wanted me to send her my resume - and that she would personally call the principle to speak to him.  She told me that it had to be some kind of sign for her to be there to answer the phone.  I, at that moment, had to agree.

Not even ten minutes later, I get a call from the principle - asking if I can come in for an interview.  He sounded very nice - had a great sense of humor (didn't want to interview on Friday, because he "needed a nap" LOL).  He asked me if I'd be available Saturday morning because he "wanted to get this position filled as soon as possible - so he could enjoy his summer off".  I, of course, agreed.

The interview went very well - at first.  We had a great conversation about the school's curriculum, the beliefs of the school - including not necessarily hiring Catholic teachers in order to get the best education for the students - and the requirements of the job.  He told me about the benefits and gave me a tour of the school.  I have to admit, I was very excited...I really could see myself teaching in the school.

Then...I think I made a big mistake.  I told the principle that even though I wasn't Catholic, I thought it only fair to study Catholicism - so that I knew the foundation and beliefs of the church.  I'm not sure why, but his demeanor changed a little after my professing that I would dedicate some of my time learning about the Catholic faith.  He then explained that it wasn't a case of "knowing how to be a Catholic" that was important - but giving children a good education, while allowing them their religious freedoms in the classroom. 

He spoke of other Catholic schools that he'd taught in where there were Muslim students, Jewish students, Christian students, etc.  It was about community, fellowship, and instilling good religious morals into each of the children.  I had seemed to have missed the point. 

After hearing him speak, my heart sank.  It appeared I had somehow offended him.  It wasn't intentional, of course, and I understood what he was saying.  What I thought to be a good gesture on my part - ended up being, in my mind, the worst thing I could have said.

He told me at the end of the interview that he had to pray about what to do with the decision.  He escorted me out - while we chit chatted.  It was his last statement that resounded inside of me.  "Well, Joanna, wherever you end up just remember that it's impacting the children that's important."

That was it.  The nail in the coffin.  The famous words I have heard many a time in my journey of finding a teaching job.

Unlike previous let downs, I wasn't emotional or distraught.  Disappointed? Yes, a little. 

I am still a firm believer in everything happening for a reason - and signs.  I mistook the signs associated with this opportunity wrong, apparently - but I had to try.

Now, I'm back to living one day at a time - there are a few new openings that have appeared on the public school websites.  I applied - again - now, time to wait - again.



  1. Hmmm...I wonder if you might consider sending him a note thanking him for taking the time to interview you. And then being very honest and saying that you hoped your comments about studying Catholicism hadn't offended him or given him a negative view of you. And reinforce your commitment to bringing a true understanding of diversity to your teaching. Just a thought.

  2. Thanks, Cathy. I thought about sending him a thank you note...I think I will.


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