The Teacher Choice
...that I almost missed
Rewind to ten years ago. I look exactly the same as I do now. (Insert sarcasm tone with that sentence). I have graduated teachers college and I am working at Blockbuster Video. Yes, the family video store that we all know and love.
I liked working for Blockbuster. I really did. I was one of two assistant store managers. I had a meeting with the District Leader (the boss of a few blockbusters) about having my own store to manage.
This was a dilemma in my life at the time. Should I? I toyed with this decision for a while. My colleague (the other assistant store manager) was shocked that I even had to consider it.
He looked at me right in the eye and said,
"Is this honestly what you want to do with your life? This is it?" As he was waving his arms around in the air at the store. Then his voice became real firm and he told me his plan to move out west. He told me that if he came back to Ontario and I was still working at Blockbuster that he would be mad at me. I laughed...uncomfortably. He stared me down and went walking away mumbling something about sitting on a degree.
We were friends!
How could he be so upset with this decision. A store manager is a great job.
I had to ask myself why I wasn't sure about teaching. Didn't I want it? The answer was yes. I did want to teach. I wanted to teach badly. I envisioned myself standing with a group of students for picture day with the sense of pride and joy. I wanted it.
Why was I hesitant then? Why was I willing to settle for something else?
I was afraid.
There is no walking into a job teaching in Ontario. There just were not any jobs in my area. With small children moving to another province or another part of my province was not an option. I would have to take the leap of faith and supply. Hope for an LTO (long term occasional position) and eventually a contract teaching position.
Years later with my contract and at a school I love to teach at, I look back at that moment and sigh with relief. I liked working for Blockbuster but I LOVE teaching.
I am a teacher.
It is not just a job, but a way of life.
For other people who are currently in Teachers College, supplying or on an LTO: Don't give up. The road may be long, discouraging and you will feel like giving up, but it will be worth it.
Follow your passion!
Follow your dream!
Your day will come when you stand with your class on picture day and smile ever so big.
You will get there!
Side Note: Life would prove to me once and for all that I made that right decision (not that I doubted) as Blockbuster Video closed the doors to Canadian stores in 2011. If I had stayed in my fear I would have been out of a job.