I’ve been a teacher for almost three years. In that short amount of time I’ve been to enough conferences to know that in education there is no “magic bullet.” There is no one thing that will make you the best teacher. You must work to improve yourself in a multitude of ways.
Life is similar.
There is no one thing that will make you a better person. There is no one thing that will make you happier. There is no one thing that will give your life meaning or improve it.
Job, money, family, hobbies, and religion all come up short on their own. To be happy and successful our lives need balance. In a world of limited time and resources this can be especially tough as people move through major life changes.
Over the last three years my life has changed more than it did in the first twenty-three combined. During the last three years I hit rock bottom and I’ve had some of my greatest triumphs. All the while I’ve been learning and growing.
Three years ago I moved from Hudson, WI to Houston, TX for student teaching.
It was the most physically and mentally demanding time in my life. There were moments I didn’t know if I would make it through. Every day was a battle to go back and do it again, but as they say, ‘If you can make it in Aldine you can make it anywhere.’
I kept working and I passed by the skin of my teeth.
It wasn’t pretty, but I made it through and was asked back as a long term substitute for the spring semester; so I packed up my ’96 corolla with everything I owned and moved into the spare bedroom of my cooperating teacher.
My classroom management was pathetic and my organization and planning was worse. Luckily, I had the support of some fantastic people and teachers that kept me going and continued to look out for me.
Then I made a mistake.
I allowed a student into my classroom that wasn’t on my roster. The student had a medical condition that I was unaware of that made it life threatening to be in my alternative P.E. class.
I was threatened with a lawsuit from the parents and fired a day later.
I decided to use the remaining month of the school year to work on my resume’ and get a jump on the next year’s job.
During the following summer I went back to Wisconsin to work at my Dad’s store and save up some money one last time. When I left Texas I had just started dating the daughter of one of my coworkers at the school.
She came to Wisconsin to visit that summer and I was offered a job at a brand new high school with state of the art facilities. Unfortunately, my teaching license hadn’t been approved by Texas Education Agency yet.
I moved back to Texas at the end of the summer with my Texas license in hand, only the job I had been offered was no longer on the table. I had a few more interviews, but never heard anything back. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had been blacklisted. One thousand miles from home without a job…