Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 177 of 365

On a Friday in August of 1993, I canned tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. Quarts and quarts of them.

I had graduated from college with my teaching degree the previous May, but no jobs were available. I had applied to be a teacher's assistant in the school where I did 2nd grade and 5th grade student teaching. I got an interview, but no job offer. I figured if I couldn't even get an assistant job, I certainly would never get a teacher job. I thought my career was over before it ever started.

Though, after two years of juggling my college schedule with my daughter's preschool schedule, I was more than happy to be a stay-at-home mom again. She was getting ready to head into Kindergarten, freeing me up to have half a day to myself.

A phone call at 3:00 in the afternoon, in the middle of canning all those tomatoes, changed that.

That phone call changed my life forever.

That phone call was from the principal of the school I had student taught at. The same school that didn't want me for the teacher's assistant job. This school had an increase in enrollment in 2nd grade and needed to hire a 2nd grade teacher immediately. And that principal wanted me to have the job. No interview, no interview questions. Just show up in a few minutes and get the keys to my new classroom. Oh, and don't forget, school will start on Tuesday.

So on a Friday afternoon in August in the middle of my tomato canning, four days before school was to start, I had a job. I was a teacher with a classroom and students.

My career did start. (Only later did I learn the reason I wasn't hired for the assistant job was because the principal told them not to hire me because he wanted me for the teacher job.)

That was 18 years ago and I am still in that same school. The principal has moved on and some of the second grade teachers have moved on. The students from that first year are all grown up now, with careers of their own. One of my 2nd graders from that year is now teaching just a few feet from my office. (Now, that'll make ya feel old!)

Just a few short months ago, I thought my career had ended. Guess not.

And here I am, just like the Friday in August of 1993, canning tomatoes.