When I turned 40 I was on top of the world, feeling great, feeling sexy and I had a plan. I knew where I was going and the Universe seemed to be conspiring on my behalf. I followed its lead and ended up teaching again.`
You see, in 1996 I graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors in Education. I received my teaching permit and received an immediate contract. I did not have my own classroom mind you, however, I was teaching Math to second graders and loving it.
When my son was born, my relationship with my boyfriend ended and I was suffering from Post Partum depression. So, I quit teaching in 1999 to raise my two children. I stayed home on a very small budget and made it work. It was, in my opinion, the best decision I have ever made. I mean, I was not the type of mother who wanted to work and raise children anyhow. I stuck to my values and gave my kids the best of me!
When my children were old enough (my son 7 and my daughter 9), I decided to get back into teaching. I seized a contract. It was baptism by fire. I was teaching a 5 month English intensive program to 6 graders who did not want to learn english, except for a few. I thought I was going to die a slow death! I was so proud of myself in the end, because I hung in there and I think I inspired at least a few to learn a new language. There is where I learned to be tough.. ok.. tougher.. (because I’m a really mush).
The next two years were heaven. I was in a great school, with a great team and students who wanted to learn. I kept on bragging to my friends on how much I loved my job. It was what I was envisioning for a long time: My thoughts had become things!
However, in Canada, one cannot keep a job in teaching because one is great and doing a super! No……….. the union in place makes it so one can get bumped, and I did, and I ended up in a school from hell! Plus, I just happened to fall very ill with anemia. So, suffice it to say, my year teaching was not great. The children ‘hated’ english class due to previous years of constant changing teachers, and on top of me being sick, I just couldn’t get it together in the classroom. I hated my job!!
So how does one go from loving their job to hating their job? I guess environment and health matter.
This year I do not have any contract and I am still recovering from my illness: Anemia paired with Generalized Anxiety disorder. These two gems are still hanging around and I do not seem to have the energy to keep going on the 6am substitute teacher call. So… I unplug the phone.
Now I am at a crossroads. I need to bring income into my home, I need to work, however, I do not have the stamina to get into a room of 27 students and babysit them all day. Children today are not the same with subs, and even worse with subs who are not feeling well. They sense it!! and they kill me!!
Don’t get me wrong, when the ingredients are all there: I LOVE TEACHING, but they are not .. and I don’t..
I do not want to teach right now because I feel I cannot give the children my all, which is not fair to them. Yet, if I refuse too many jobs, I will not have the income to take care of my own children.
So, there I said it. I am not up to it. I am up to taking care of my health and getting better. I am into regaining strength and getting my mind in gear. I am into connections and support systems. I am listening to my body and myself. The toughest part is the looks of the people around me who do not understand why I am doing what I am doing.
Be truthful.. what do you think?