Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Teaching Career

A comment was left asking me about my teaching career so I decided to blog my story.

My husband attended St. Joseph Catholic School as a child. I attended St. Benedict's Catholic School as a child. The difference in the schools, that I only realized as an adult, was the St.Joseph was a private school that charged tuition. St. Benedict's was a part of the public school system. Instead of school beginning at 8 or 8:30 in the morning, we went to school between 7 and 7:30 a.m. During this time we attended Mass and had our religion classes. I didn't realize it then, but we had the best of both worlds. We received our religious education and there was no tuition charged.

When my son was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I attended Mass with the school one morning. I tiny whisper told me  "You, too, could be a teacher." I had just completed my Associates Degree in Accounting and changed my major to education. When I finished school, I interviewed at two public schools and St. Joseph School. I was hired by St. Joseph and I know without a doubt that that was where I needed to be. I taught for 6 1/2 years and when my principal resigned was asked to take his place. The only reason I agreed to be principal was because it was the school that I held near to my heart and I knew I was needed. During the next few years, I received my Master's Degree in Administration.

Unfortunately, the stress that comes with running a small, private school (you are basically a superintendent responsible for all employees, funding, etc.) paid a toll on my health and after a few years of sleeping very little and the endless worry, I made the decision that it was time to go back in the classroom as a teacher.

At that time, I have 1 child in college and another starting in the fall.  I felt I needed an increase in pay to help support my children during their years in college. Yes, I do spoil my children, but I can't stand the thought of them finishing school with students loans. I feel like that puts them a step behind as they finish college, look for jobs, settle down in a home and start a family.

Both of my children do have scholarships and are working hard to keep them, but their scholarships are not enough to pay for everything.

It was very hard to walk out of St. Joseph School last June 15 when my final contract was over. It was and still is hard to drive past the school and know it is being run by a new principal. But, I was told by a wise former principal that "You have made the decision to leave. Now, you need to walk out and let the new person run the school. If you keep returning, the school will not be theirs and you will get in the way."

So I have walked away. It has been hard. But I do still support the school by attending fund raisers. I love the fact that the teachers there now can truly be friends (as I am not their boss any longer). I stay in touch with them, they ask for advice from time to time, and I can still give them guidance in their teaching and working with the children.

The hardest part is seeing the children and knowing that I am not that central role model in their lives. Most of them still smile and hug me when they see me, but it's just a little different.

But, now I have a new family at my current public school. During the past week or so, some of the students have begun to ask me if I can be their teacher again next year. As most teachers know, this is high praise. This is when you know that no matter how tough you are on them, that they appreciate you and know you are a good teacher and someone they can trust and depend on.

Please stop by Spiritual Sunday blog for more inspiration.

Take Care and God Bless!


Gayle said...

Interesting story. Teachers are such important people in our lives, and their influence never dies.

Susan said...

I enjoyed reading your story. Everyone has our own personal story and that makes it more special.

Sandy said...

As a fellow teacher, I enjoyed reading this so much today! Thank you for sharing!

Debbie said...

My last two posts are about my daughter finishing up her last little bit to become a teacher. I feel it has become a little appreciated line of work today. I feel you have captured the heart of what being a "teacher" is all about. I really enjoyed this post and truly DO appreciate all you have done to educate the people of our future. Blessings to you, Debbie

Charlotte said...

I can see how hard it must have been for you to walk away from that job. It takes time to adjust when making a change like this. How wonderful it must be to be able to make such an impact on so many people. Thank you for sharing your story.

Sewconsult said...

Wonderful post. I, too, believe a teacher is one of the most important people who touch a child's life. I too have an education degree. I subbed for a year after we married, mostly in music classes & upper elementary. I think that I was the only one on the sub list that had music background! In the early 70's there was an abundance of teachers. When we moved back to TN, we decided that I would stay at home because of the amount of traveling that my husband's job required. No regrets.
I have never heard of a Catholic school being a part of the public system, but I live in a state where Catholics are in the minority.

Denise said...

Such a good post.

LeAnn * ~ See Great Things said...

What a blessing. How sweet to hear those words from your students! It makes it all worth it. :)

Ginger said...

Thank-you for sharing this story. It seems like the Lord has been with you during this journey. Your students sound so wonderful.
God Bless,

jo.attalife said...

I have a very high regard for teachers. I know what a blessing you guys are, and how much you touch others' lives, not just one student at a time, but an entire family per student. And to share a title and calling with our Lord and Savior is a real honor!
I salute you and wish you many more opportunities to be a blessing to the nations!
Please see mine here.

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