Monday, March 10, 2014

When One Door Closes ...

If You Come In, You Will Have a Bad Day. Danger.
These signs are taped to my daughters' bedroom door.
Translation: If you come in, you will have a bad day. Danger.
Some of you know that I used to be a classroom teacher. I loved teaching middle school Language Arts, but I loved teaching striving readers even more. One of the best jobs I've ever had was teaching middle school remedial reading in Pennsylvania. I looked forward to going to work every day.

When we decided to return to KC, my Ideal Reality included finding a spot-on replacement for that position. By the time we had settled into our KC lives and I began my job search, the economic recession had settled into everyone's lives, and it drastically altered the landscape of education. My Real Reality = very few permanent teaching jobs. So, I worked as a long-term sub for more than a year, thinking that building new connections and a reputation as a quality educator would lead to something permanent. But when I heard someone refer to me as "The Baby Sub," (the endearing term for the go-to person for teachers taking maternity leave), my hope faltered.

I continued my job search and landed a spot in a charter school. I stayed a year. The demands of the position and the general working environment strained me and my family, and I made the decision to walk away. I also decided to hold off looking for another teaching position right away. Instead, I returned to my writing and editing roots in a freelance capacity. Still, I hung onto all of my teaching supplies and materials, waiting for the day when I was ready to jump back into the classroom. I thought numerous times about purging my teaching closets, but could never quite bring myself to do it.

Until this past weekend.

I hosted a "fire" sale consisting of most of my teaching supplies, classroom library novels and lesson plans.What I didn't sell I either tossed or donated.

It's all gone. Poof. One door closed.

And now, I'm trying to find the open door. (You know the saying, "When one door closes, another door opens," right?) Instead of waiting for one to open, I'm trying to make it happen by expanding my freelance services. It's tough. I hate putting myself out there, marketing myself, dealing with rejection, constantly figuring out how to create my own opportunities, pushing  myself. I just want something to come to me. I want it to be easy. I want someone to hand me the next opportunity (on a silver platter would be a total bonus). That's my Ideal Reality.

My Real Reality is that I must continuing taking risks, learning lessons, educating myself and making things happen. Whatever those "things"  may be.

How about you? What challenges are you facing? Or, what exciting opportunities have you created? Or stumbled upon? Please share.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing  ... Keep It Real.

No comments:

Post a Comment