When Things Don't Go According to Plan
I had it all planned out- I would complete my internship in third grade, then be hired at the same school in the same grade. By the end of the school year, both of my teammates were on maternity leave and planning to transition to being full time moms. This left two open positions in third grade, making me a shoe in for a position I had experience in. I would have a whole year under my belt (and not get mono again) making the coming school year a breeze. I wouldn’t have to learn a new curriculum, I wouldn’t have to figure out what a “third grader” looks and acts like, I would know how to deal with some of those challenging students, and I would have ideas on how to teach the units I had already taught. I would be a helpful mentor to the intern replacing me, giving me more opportunities to learn and improve my craft. I interviewed with my principal and others at my school I knew well, and felt confident the interview was just a formality.
It was a couple weeks before I heard back from my school. I would not be returning to third grade the following year. I was devastated. I started to disconnect from the school at this time, though I still had another month or so left in the school year. I was frustrated with having so many interviews all over Utah Valley, but not hearing back or not getting hired even when I felt I had had great interviews.
I finally took a mental health and mono recovery day, and when I returned I was feeling a little better. That morning I had two people casually mention to me that the art specialist at our school was leaving, and my principal was looking for referrals for her replacement. Unbeknownst to them, I had mentioned in passing to my husband several days before how much I would love to stay at my school as an art teacher if there was an open position. At the time, my principal had no idea that I had experience with or an interest in art, but within hours I had an interview set up for the next day. The interview went fabulously and I had the position that day.
So, for the 2018-2019 school year, I will be teaching art to grades K-6. This wasn’t my plan! However, I am more excited about this opportunity than I ever was about teaching third grade. Teaching art perfectly blends my hobbies, interests, ideal schedule, and teaching style into a perfect package. My number one goal when I thought I would be teaching third next year was integration, and coincidentally our school and district are pushing STEAM integration for the upcoming year. I have experience that allows me to easily make connections between core content and the arts, bringing out a new skill I never knew I had. My husband has commented on the change in enthusiasm in me about teaching. This is a challenge I am ready to take on.
All this to say, if things aren’t working out for you right now, they will. If you had a plan in mind and that plan isn’t happening the way you wanted it to, it will be just fine. This might be the year you end up in a grade, classroom, school, district, or position you feel at home in. Keep your head up and keep on keeping on- you got this!