Saturday, June 09, 2007


How do you work best? Under pressure or no pressure? Scheduled or no schedule?

I have always seemed to be the most productive with pressure and a plan. I always have a list, actually multiple lists, going. So there's my plan. But I don't always have pressure. A deadline. A goal that is expected by someone else. I am very good at defining my own goal and just as good at changing the goal at whim.

Such has been my week.
Since my disappointment at not receiving the long-awaited and long-hoped for teaching position, I've been at odds with myself. Though not given to depression, in some odd sort of way I think I've been struggling with direction after the disappointment.

That's it...direction.

Even with my lists and my plans and my need-to-do this and that, I've had difficulty with the
umph. Do you know what I mean?

Last week, after my disappointing day, I e-mailed a friend (she's really more like an acquaintance) who teaches at an area Christian school. She has always said she wanted to get me on at this school. I have been a little reluctant, for one, because I was holding out for the other school, and for another, because this school is not classical and is what one might call mediocre. Or at least it has developed this reputation in the past few years.

Anyway, I e-mailed my friend to see if she knew of any upcoming openings at the school (she is the high school director), and she called me the next day excited beyond words that I was interested in something. Unbeknownst to me, she had already arranged for a meeting for me with herself, the elementary director, and the headmaster. I somewhat reluctantly agreed to meet. I say reluctantly because if there were no teaching positions open, what was the point. I guess my lip was still dragging the floor.

The meeting lasted just shy of two hours and only ended because the headmaster had another meeting. I had updated my resume and information (that I still had on my computer from a previous interview with them years ago) and provided them for the headmaster at the end of the meeting, just in case.

During the meeting, the headmaster asked for my "story" which I briefly shared. Then he started asking me "What would you do if..." questions in which he prefaced, "Now this isn't an interview, but if it was, I would ask you this,...". I answered the questions. He seemed overwhelmingly pleased with my answers. He kept asking the two directors, "What do you think?" They kept answering, "I like what I hear and see. " The headmaster said, "Well, if I were to ask you to join ABC, would you teach sixth grade history and English and probably pick up another class?" Of course, I answered yes. What did I have to lose?

He went on to say that they are revamping the whole sixth grade and everything of what they used in the past might be completely changed.
I, on the other hand, was baffled. It was like an impromptu interview. One that happened but wasn't planned or supposed to happen. The comparison between the two interviews was so different. The first was so planned, proper, and dignified. This was so ...comfortable. Almost laid back.

I was, and still am, cautious about letting my hopes be kindled. To be on the front lines of new changes sounds like something I would like.
In the end, he asked for me to come back early Monday morning for another meeting with the same group. Before then, he is to check my references and, if everything looked good, he said he might "slide your books for next year across the desk to you."

I want a job. I want to continue to do what I love. To teach. To develop life-long learners.

Even though this school was not my first choice, I had decided that whatever crossed my path in the way of a teaching position, I would accept.
I've not talked much about this. In fact, very few people know. One friend who I did briefly share it with asked me why I wasn't more excited. I guess I'm cautious. Maybe even skeptical. I don't know and don't care to analyze it like I normally would. Because I am rather anonymous here at SS, I have shared here. Mostly the reason I've written this is to try to jumpstart my doldrums, to try to put some wind in my droopy sails.

I do hope that I can come back here on Monday and announce good news. I need that direction. That goal. That plan. That structure a teaching position will bring to my life. I've been in limbo too long as it is.

Now off to try to "work my (Saturday) list."


Kathleen Hamilton said...

Janie, this sounds pretty exciting, not to mention providential. I will be praying!

Miss Paula said...

I am an under pressure worker. I have things to do but no deadline. I guess I need deadlines!

Carrie K. said...

I will be praying, also.

DebD said...

My prayers are with you.

Dana said...

Why, this sounds like an answer to prayer.......

Dana in GA

Anonymous said...

Very encouraging post. Am actually in similar situation -- taught in classical school 4 years, moving this summer, considering taking position at non-classical school, finding myself somewhat ambivalent.

Some helpful books -- anything by Carol Jago (With Rigor for All, Classics in the Classroom, etc.); public school teacher who incorporates lots of classical ideas into her classroom. Very inspiring.

~ Blair

Carol in Oregon said...

I'm late to the coffee klatch, but I'm eager to hear how this goes.

You will be a blessing to whatever school hires you, I KNOW that.