They say when you find a job you love, you never work a day in your life again. Well, I can’t say that I don’t work, but what I can say is that I love the work that I do. How do I know I love it? Well, I wake up every morning, Monday through Friday, NOT dreading getting up, NOT dreading the day ahead of me, and NOT dreading the week ahead. In fact, I find my weekend ending with me saying “man, I can’t wait to get to work tomorrow!” And I find that in itself, exciting! For years, I had been saying “I just want to make a ton of money and not have to do a lot of work!” Classic, right? How did I get from there to where I am now?
In late 2019, my mom sent me a link to fill out a job application to be a substitute teacher. Even then, I kept thinking to myself “man, I don’t want to be a substitute. But I need a job.” Then the dreaded 2020 happened and we didn’t work for about a year and a half. All through the pandemic, I was thinking “I should figure out how to work from home. I don’t want to be a substitute teacher. I need to find a way to work from home.” I never did. I hadn’t planned on going back to subbing, it was awful for me. The schools I was choosing to work at were terrible experiences. But when my partner couldn’t find a job, I had to suck it up and go back to subbing. I woke up every morning, my stomach turning, wanting to vomit. And crying. Oh boy, the crying. Even when I found a school I actually liked mid-2021, I still couldn’t stand the job. And it’s because I didn’t feel like I belonged in the classroom. I was not fit to be a teacher. I realized all too quickly that I didn’t want to be a teacher or a substitute teacher. I vowed I would figure it out, but for the time-being, I needed to continue on and make money. Money is what drove me to keep going. But I needed more. I wanted to be passionate about what I was doing. I wanted to love my job.
After about 6 months of substitute teaching at the same school, I had the opportunity to go substitute long-term at my elementary school that I went to as a kid. However, my partner had gotten a new job and we only have one car. He would need the car for work and he would have to drop me off and my elementary school was just too out of the way. I was hoping that the school I had been subbing at would have a job, but then I heard that had become fully staffed with teachers and wouldn’t need a long-term sub in any classes. I became worried I would have to find work elsewhere or just be on-call at that school. My worry grew as the summer came to an end and my partner told me: “just call the principal and see if she has anything to offer you. The first step is asking.” And then he headed off to work. I knew he was right, so I messaged the principal and I expressed my concerns and she immediately called me back with the most wonderful news: “the behavior redirector we had coming in decided to go to a different school, will you be our new behavior redirector?” I knew little about the job, only having observed and talking with the behavior redirector employed before me, who ended up telling me “I always thought it was you who should take my job. You’ll be great!”
I quickly accepted the job and immediately did any and all paperwork; I wanted to start as soon as possible. I told my partner and he congratulated me, I called my parents and they were excited for me also. I wasn’t as nervous as I usually get when I start a new job and I certainly wasn’t feeling sick over my decision. I was elated and excited for this new journey. And sure, we’re only a month into the new school year, but so far it’s been wonderful and insightful. I’m learning every day how to help kids handle their strong emotions, how I can help them move on and get back to learning. “Regulate, then Educate.”
My partner always said: "you just need to figure out what you like. Once you figure that out, everything will work out." And he was absolutely right. But don't tell him I actually said that.
About the author
I'm back into writing and can't wait to get some stories that have been moving around in my head. I love to write fiction and I love to journal. My hopes are to become a better writer and avid reader. I love wine and cats.