Thursday, July 5, 2012

Just Call Me Doubting Thomas...Part 2

On Thursday of that same week, I got a phone call from another school in that same district, an elementary school.  My mom knew the principal.  I didn't call him back.  I had a the middle school...that I didn't want.  On Friday, I got a phone call from another district around the Metro.  This one closer to Edmond (Oooohhh...upscale Edmond...almost Edmond.  Deer's upscale, too.).  I took that call, and told the lady I wasn't interested.  I had a job in Putnam City.  (That I didn't want.)  

Why were all these schools calling now?  I had applied weeks ago, and heard nothing from them.  I was pretty frustrated with them for calling and giving me options now, after I had decided that I was taking the middle school job that I didn't really want.  {Mumble, mumble, complain, grumble, gripe}

I tried to contact my new principal again on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, I was getting ready to prepare lunch for the guy staff members that were out here working to get ready for camp to start.  As I was walking out the door, my phone rang.  I checked the number, ready to reject the call, and realized it was a local number.  There is not a single person out in this area that has my phone number.  It wasn't either of the numbers I had used to contact Mrs. Wolf before, so I knew it wasn't her or the high school.  Curiosity got the best of me and I answered it.  

I took the most interesting of phone calls then walked out to the then-not-completed-zip line to talk to my dad.  The conversation went something like this...

"Dad, I--"
"We are eating lunch at the house.  Sorry I couldn't answer the phone."
"Ok, but I need to tell you--"
"We're trying to get this all finished before lunch in case the wind picks up again."
"Ok, but Dad, will you listen.  I got a job interview."

Now, I should mention here that my dad was really not a fan of the job in the city.  He really wants us to move home.  So the conversation continued...

"Yeah, I know.  You got a job at Putnam City at that Middle School.  You're mother told me."
"Dad, I don't have to interview for that job.  It's mine.  I have a different interview."
Dad finally pauses...
"Oh.  Where at?"
"Kingfisher Heritage School."

Dad then acted a little crazy and may have danced a little jig.  He was obviously excited.

I went to an interview at Kingfisher Heritage with the new principal, Kathy Kadavy.  Turns out, special ed teachers weren't the only thing that was being shuffled around in the district.  Principals were too.  I had a great interview with Mrs. Kadavy.  She made me feel really at ease and we talked about a lot of things.  She gave me a tour of the school and told me that they still were not sure where the position was going to be, but now knew it was going to be in the High School or the Heritage.  She sent me to visit the superintendent.  That had to be good, right?  

Mr. Sternberger is the superintendent in Kingfisher.  He asked me some questions that had already been asked by the other three that I interviewed with.  He asked me if I had a preferred age group.  I decided to be honest and tell him that high school terrified me.  He laughed and said they would keep that in mind.  I decided to be even more honest and tell him that I had a job offer at another school.  You know, that middle school position that I didn't really want.  He promised I would get a call sometime the next week.  

We had a small gun training and safety/security camp out here that week.  I jumped to answer my phone every time it rang.  I didn't hear anything all week, and was getting worried again.  Obviously, my faith runs out quick.  Not something I'm particularly proud of.  

We were dropping off people at the church on Friday afternoon, my friend Mandy was telling one of the staff members about her impending deportation back to Canada and the resulting marriage to one of our guy staff members to avoid said event, and I was following Amy Vineyard down the hallway while I waited on my mom and Mandy.  My phone rang. It was another new number this time, still from around Kingfisher.  I answered it (while Amy watched).  

Mrs. Wolf was calling to tell me that I had a job.  IN KINGFISHER!!  The very place that I just knew wasn't going to ever have an opening because teachers stay until they die (sort of).  Not only that, but I got a job in a position that DEFINITELY was not going to be open.  A job that I really didn't interview for.  I am officially the new teacher for the Multiple Disabilities classroom at Kingfisher Heritage School!

Kingfisher Heritage School

I don't know why I got that position that was DEFINITELY not going to be available.  I don't know if that was just how the rearranging worked, or if it had something to do with my having student taught at The Children's Center.  I do know that once again God showed me that I had no reason to doubt.  I spent a week being miserable and discontent because I was blaming God for "making" me take a position I didn't want.  I do so need to learn to rest on His promises.  The biggest one being that He will work all things together for my good.  

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
~Romans 8:28~

Just Call Me Doubting Thomas...Part 1

What makes us as Christians doubt?  It really is the most illogical thing if you really think about it.  God proves Himself to us time and again, yet if given the opportunity we quickly revert to doubting his promises to us time and again.  It makes me ashamed of myself just thinking about it now.  He has given me no reason to doubt Him, but I always do.  Let me tell you all about how God proved Himself to me one more time...

Even though I graduated in December, I didn't start job hunting until around April.  Partly, because I was finishing the school year at KIPP, which of course led me to meet a bunch of amazing little 6th graders.  Also, because there were some major issues with my transcript and degree that had to be rectified first.  (Many thanks to Dean Robinson and Darla Demo for all of their help in getting that straightened out!)

When I started making applications in April, my first desire was to apply at one of the rural schools close to Loyal so that I (and more importantly, my mom) could move home full-time. Unfortunately, in these little country towns teachers tend to stick around until they retire, and even then, many of them still work part-time.  There seemed to be no openings anywhere around.  I was discouraged, but not completely surprised, so I started applying at some of the "better" districts in the Metro.

I filled out tons of applications online and didn't hear anything.  I attended a district's career fair, and even interviewed with the assistant director of special services.   I was sent to that interview with glowing recommendations from my current boss at KIPP.  She happens to be good friends with the HR director, and the Special Services director.  I got a phone call from the Special Services director a few days later where she promised me a job based solely on the recommendations she had received.  I had mixed emotions about that.  I got one other interview from a specific school in that district which turned out to be filled by someone in district.  Then I didn't hear anything for weeks.  

I kept checking websites for job openings, kept applying, but overall was really disappointed.  Honestly, my heart really wasn't in it.  I wanted to move home.  But not only were there not any openings around home, I wasn't getting any offers anywhere else, either.  I was beginning to think I had been lied to.  The whole time I was in school, everyone kept telling me what a commodity Special Ed teachers were and how in demand we were and how we would have lots and lots of job offers.  I had zero.  Sigh...

On the first day of May while I was scrolling through the job openings, I decided to go ahead and disappoint myself one more time by checking the openings in those little rural schools close to home.  Boy, was I in for a surprise.  When I clicked on that little "Employment" link that for the last month had posted nothing but openings for a Spanish teacher, speech pathologist, and art teacher, I was quite surprised to see a posting for a special education teacher.  What?!?  Where did this come from?

I think it took me about thirty seconds to whip up an email to send to the address listed.  The email I got back listed three positions that were POSSIBLY open.  The district knew for certain someone was retiring, and planned on rearranging the current SPED teachers to accommodate that, but would still need to hire another teacher.  I played phone and email tag with the Special Services director for a few days before I finally got a call for an interview.

If you know anything about me, or have read this silly blog for any length of time, you know that I like LITTLE kids.  My degree is in Elementary Education and Special Education.  My interview was at the High School.  YIKES!!  I met with the Glenda Wolf, the director of Special Services, and Sammy Jackson, the Principal of the high school.  The interview went really well, much better than my first two (although that wasn't hard to do).   They told me about their predicament with the rearranging of the teachers and told me that I would receive a call from one of them soon, when they knew what they had open.  They also made it very clear that it seemed as if the SPED position was probably going to be at the high school. They even asked me if I was willing to take the secondary Math certification test.   

Mrs. Wolf also took me to the 3rd & 4th grade school, Kingfisher Heritage, to show me the multiple disabilities classroom.  This position was DEFINITELY not open, but she new I had an interest in that classroom because of my experience at The Children's Center.  (Small world, she taught at The Children's Center for 18 years.)

I didn't hear anything for a while.  So, my disappointment and doubting started all over again.  On Wednesday of the third week in May, I received a call from the SPED director at that other district--the one that promised me a job because of my glowing recommendation--to tell me that they were placing me at a middle school.  The job was mine for the taking.  

I wasn't excited.  At all.  Why not?  I wanted a job, right?  And to be perfectly honest, during the weeks that I didn't hear anything from Kingfisher, I had talked myself out of working there.  I certainly didn't want to work with high school students.  The thought of teaching high school scared me out of my wits.  I got so worked up over it that I sent my sister a text at 2 o'clock in the morning telling her that I had made up my mind to take the job in the city, even though it was going to really disappoint my parents.  Having a job in the city now that I didn't really want was better than waiting for a job in the country that I also may not want.  

I decided that's what I would do, take the job in the city.  I went so far as to add all of their calendar events into my personal calendar so that I was ready for the year.  I tried to contact my new principal to set up a meeting.  (Because I was "placed," I had never even met her.  No interview required.)  

It was settled, but I still wasn't completely happy.  To my doubting little mind, I had been failed.  God just didn't want me to move home.  He didn't want my mom to be able to move home.  He didn't want me to get out of the nasty, old city.  He wanted me to teach middle school in Putnam City.  Sigh...