Saturday, January 3, 2009

Retrospect...part 1

The past few years have brought about monumental change in my life. At the risk of waxing philosophic, I cannot help but wonder why I plan anything beyond what we are having for dinner next week. After all, what is the saying? We make plans and God laughs.

In January 2003, after an almost 20 year absence, I entered a college classroom. I had decided to pursue a mid-life career change, after spending much of the previous 12 years as an at-home mom. I frequently supplemented our family's income by substituting throughout the district, teaching a variety of grade levels. Through these experiences, I learned that I really enjoy being around middle school-aged kids. Crazy, right? What can I say...we click. So I began to pursue a teaching degree in middle level language arts, so I could teach reading, my favorite pastime. I would reach every 12-14 year old who crossed my path by arming them with a copy of Harry Potter or Hatchet or A Wrinkle in Time. I was going to change the world by turning all of the young teen-aged knuckleheads in our town into readers. Heh...God laughs.

I graduated in May 2007, 30 years almost to the day after receiving my high school diploma, with a brand spanking new Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, which, along with a set of fingerprints, afforded me a teaching license in the state of Oklahoma. This degree, coupled with many extraneous English credits, allowed me to "build my housse" in language arts...aka, prove I was "highly qualified" to teach our youth in middle school. Now all I had to do was find a job. I was looking, of course, to teach reading. Reading is the foundation of everything. It's not boring like social studies. It's facinating. It's not technical or confusing like math, although you do have to be able to read in order to pass a state math test. And it certainly isn't scary, like science. Just ask any of my students...I don't do science. I was thinking 6th grade. They're still moldable. They can still be polite. They're still young enough not to see through you when you haven't got a clue as to what it is you are doing. 6th grade reading...yes sir, that's my dream job. God laughs.

I got a phone call from my son's principal. He wanted to know if I was interested in working for him. 8th grade English. 8th grade? They're almost high schoolers. I'd never be able to fool any of them into believing I was a teacher. English? That's writing, not reading. They even test the 8th grade in writing. Well, my degree and my housse say I am qualified to teach them, so why not? God laughs...out loud.

After just one interview and just one day, I was offered the job, and I took it. And I've been laughing with God ever since.

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