Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Day 5: Ready, Set, Teach!
Today my official professional teaching certificate finally showed up. I cheered, I danced around, and I declared that now I am a real life teacher. Now the task of hunting down my first classroom begins.
I said I'd never be a teacher because I believed I lacked the gland that produces patience. My mother taught preschool, and was of course beloved by her students; I had no trouble getting well-paying babysitting jobs, which I genuinely enjoyed; and I majored in English in college. Being a teacher seemed the natural choice to everyone else, but I wasn't having it. I was going to be a writer, and that was it, quit asking.
When I moved to Italy with my husband for his job, what was initially an eighteen month stay turned into five years, and what began as a beautiful stretch of time and opportunity to focus on my writing turned into me really needing to figure out a career for myself. I started substitute teaching at the American school on the military base because it was the best paying part-time gig available to me. Nobody expected me to fall in love with working with kids, especially me. Suddenly a small reserve of patience revealed itself from somewhere (deep) inside and I ended up working with children with special needs - patience certainly required. It was during my second year working as a Special Education Paraprofessional (Aide) that I realized a sneaky little teacher was hiding inside of me. Office Max gets me giddy, I love organizing, I'm very hands-on and I love making charts, I've always had a knack for explaining things, I love school, and I enjoy being in control. Who knew? So the journey began of earning my professional teaching certificate through a distance learning program online. Long story short, I started a 9 month program in December of 2006, had an almost issue with student teaching, then definite issues getting my exams taken are of, but today can finally call myself a teacher. It's a little sad, and frankly embarrassing that it took so long, but whatever, it's done!
So now we're back to finding a classroom for next fall. My chances of getting a job where I currently work are slim, as this area is teeming with much more experienced teachers, but I'm going to apply for a spot anyway and see what happens. What I'd love even more would be to get picked up by the international school here. Either way, I'll be crossing my fingers and hoping my good fortune will continue and put me in my own classroom soon.