A Fun, Hectic End to (F)Unemployment
I spent the last week of December 2018 playing, having fun, and spending time with family and friends. December 31st, I was out the entire day with a good friend, and January 1st through 3rd, we had family over.
I received a phone call in the afternoon on January 2nd asking if I would be interested in a job that I had interviewed for a few weeks prior. I eagerly agreed to the position over the phone. Of course, I thought in my mind, that I would begin the following Monday. “Perfect,” I thought… “a nice end to the first week of the new year, and a relaxing weekend.” The director of the program asked if I could come in and pick up books that day. I was thinking…. Why on a Wednesday? Right after the new year??
The director replied: “We’re open early tomorrow morning if you would like to come in, but you start teaching tomorrow!” My jaw nearly dropped out of my mouth. So… there went unemployment.
Enter: Job Two
At the end of my second day of teaching, I received another phone call from a University ESL Extension Program that I had sent my resume to but completely forgot about. To be honest, to this day, I still don’t remember when I sent my resume in! Never mind about that… Day 2 of teaching and I had received another job offer to work longer hours at this university. Would I have to immediately leave the private ESL college? Would I ignore this interview opportunity?
Eventually, I decided to interview at the university. Luckily, after finding out about my availability, I don’t have to choose between the two jobs. I will actually be working part time at BOTH locations (private ESL college & at a formal university ESL setting) starting at the end of February…. WOW!
A Month of Working
It’s been a month now since I’ve been working at the private ESL college, and it’s been pretty good. I feel like I’ve gotten into a nice rhythm of lesson planning, waking up at a decent time in the morning, and staying on top of grading and other teacher related tasks.
The hardest part of teaching? Trying to stay on top of daily lesson planning. What I’m realizing works well (for now) is to have a big picture or idea of what I’m going to teach for the next two weeks, and write daily lesson plans around those big ideas. It helps to keep me from sinking in the black hole of planning each night for the next night.
Way too Eager?
Right around the same time as I had received an offer from the university ESL program, I was also given the opportunity to teach a third class at my current job (I am currently teaching 2 separate classes at the moment). Of course, I jumped on it right away.
I had to be knocked down to planet earth by the parents. (The benefit of living at home, I guess??). Had I taken this position, I would be leaving home everyday at around 8 am, and not get back until around 5 or 6 pm. A full day of work by most Americans’ standards.
But teacher work includes **even more** hours after the teaching day. It requires going home, lesson planning, preparing materials and handouts, and beginning all over again the next day. Not to mention the side tutoring positions that I still have.
Lessons Yet to Be Learned…
I guess regardless of whether I’m at school or being given work opportunities, the lesson I have yet to learn is the same. I assume I can handle all tasks given to me in the world, and yet when life hits, it will *really* hit. How much energy do I have to handle not only teaching-related work, but a class that I’m taking, and life demands (such as chores, and time to just “be”)? I never factor in the latter issues…
Turning down opportunities is difficult. Wanting to take on ALL the challenges and ALL the difficult tasks simultaneously seems like a noble task, but at the end of the day, I risk my sanity and my health when I want to take on the world and then some.
To say that the stresses that I endured a few months back were **all** caused by school would be overexaggerating. Really, learning to balance life demands with “work” will be a life-long lesson to be learned. But I guess turning down teaching a third class at my current workplace is a good place to start…