to go back to teaching, again *now with a career quiz*
I had been wondering not too long ago if what we set out doing we are bound to do. Can a tiger really change its stripes? I have taught in some capacity ever since I finished university and just can't seem to help myself. But it's different this time.
I have spoken of trying to not be such a millennial and follow the old beating, bleeding heart, and work for money. I say that, though, knowing that I am a natural teacher. I try not to be a condescending one; I just cannot help but disseminate knowledge. Once I've read an article I must bring it up in conversation, or store the information for when I need it next. It's all about sharing what I've learned *this blog* through life. But just because it is what I will do does not mean it is who I am. I have had such a hard time with identity in recent months. We are so defined by what we do, The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) said it best,
I have worked hard to avoid asking the question, "What do you do?" upon meeting someone. Part of it was because I didn't want to divulge that at this point in life I still have very little idea of how I will go about doing exactly what it is that I want to do (which is also a work in progress). I confided in a friend that I have held onto some things in the past simply because I didn't want to admit that I was only a substitute teacher. She replied by saying that I am so much more than that, I am a wife and a friend, and blah blah blah, I don't think she realized that she revealed that being a substitute wasn't enough in her attempted encouraging statement. Simply choosing to work as a substitute made me enough. I am enough. You are enough. In whatever capacity you are in, that's enough.
See, I can't resist a teachable moment.
I made the choice to sub back in January because I wanted to give my head some space to explore. I have a tendency to grab hold of anything and make it THE THING. I chose to "say no" and downsize the things in life that were taking up my attention to get a better understanding of who I am and what makes me tick. I chose to focus on fewer priorities well. It was a bit of soul searching, of sorts, I guess. I wanted to determine the priorities I had in life instead of simply seizing any and every opportunity that came up.
After subbing full time for a few months I realized that I had missed it. I enjoyed interacting with kids and feeling purposeful at the end of a day. There have been difficult days and easy days, but I saw what I was missing by not giving my all to something. I had been half-heartedly toe-touching so many things in pursuit of THE THING that I was missing out on what it was like to be immersed in something.
Photo courtesy of unsplash
In the midst of the job-search-career-quiz panic a woman I had met briefly while subbing offered me a job. A short contract that isn't for full days. It's about as non-committed as a contract can be. I started this week and I wish I could tell you that I feel alive and exactly in my calling. I can find a purpose in each day. And I can see where the gaps are and fill them. I like it. For now, liking it is enough and it affords me the space to still explore. Using what I learned from the assessment I look for ways to make this gig fit what I like to do, where can I be creative, help people, try new things, and be part of a team. I don't need to find the exact fit right now, instead, I need to fit into it the way that I wear it best.
I didn't forget: The Quiz