Sunday, February 21, 2010
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!