It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here. There have been plenty of posts I’ve wanted to write, but none have them have managed to get finished. Even the one that you’re reading right now has been around in my head for weeks now. I hope to get to my almost-finished ones at some point too, but for now I can only write what’s on my mind, so let’s jump right in.
I got fired twenty four days ago.
This is the first I’ve posted about it anywhere publicly, so unless you heard it from me personally, that’s probably a bit of a shock for you. Let me tell you, it was for me too. I’d held that job for over four years. There were reasons why I got fired. Not necessarily reasons that I agree should’ve ended in termination, but there were reasons. I want to say that I was devestated. I want to say that it shook my world. That it caused some sort of dread or pessimism to overtake me. These all feel like things that I’m supposed to say, but I can’t say them and remain truthful like I promised I always would be here. I did shed a few tears. It was a bittersweet day. Bitter because I already missed those crazy kids I was looking after and the coworkers who were like another family to me. But sweet because I was finally free of all the stress that came with that job.
I knew I had been stressed out (cue obligatory Twenty One Pilots reference). I absolutely loved my kids, but elementary schoolers were defintely not my forté. For my first three years at the daycare, I’d always played the role of the assistant, helping out the lead teacher. And I was good at that. I liked working in tandem with another teacher. The only issue was that, since I technically wasn’t leading the class, I often got pulled to other rooms. So I desperately started hoping and praying for my own room to have. And I got my wish. As this past summer was coming to an end, I was offered a position as the sole before- and after-school 2nd grade teacher. I wasn’t entirely sure that I was ready to take on a room by myself, but I’ve never been very good at saying “no,” plus it was so close to what I’d been looking for, so I agreed to it. I’m not going to say that was a terrible decision to make, but it definitely came with higher costs than I anticipated.
From the first day, it was a tough job. Throughout my time at the daycare, I’d spent time with kids everywhere from two year olds to kids just about to go to middle school, but most of my time was with the fourth and fifth graders. Transistioning from that to only being with second graders was an adjustment that I knew in my head would be rough, but for months I couldn’t alter my expectations of them to where they actually were developmentally. It caused a lot of stress between me and my kids, and I know it’s one of my biggest failings from my entire tenure there.
Eventually, though, things started to smooth out. There were still a few flare-ups, and I’d never say that I handled every situation perfectly, but I was learning how to deal with their different, not-quite-as-mature-as-I-wanted-them-to-be personalities, and they were learning how to deal with my normally-but-not-always patient nature. There was still a fair amount of disrespect in the air though, aimed both at me and fellow students, so I tried to emphasize kindness – even when the other person didn’t deserve it. It was a hard sell, and only a couple of them really seemed to get it. Not that they were perfect at it, but you could tell they were trying, and that was enough. I finally felt like I was starting to get through to my kids about things that were important for them to understand before they really started exploring this world that they’re inheriting, and then I was out the door without a chance to say goodbye.
I’m really just rambling now, but I guess what I really want to get across to you, my friend, is that despite everything, I’m not moping. I’m not discouraged about my lot in life. I could very easily turn this into a time of “woe is me” and just play the victim. But I won’t. Because I’m not a victim. In fact, I’m very lucky to be in the position I am. I’m still living at home, so I’ve been able to save up enough money that this past month without work hasn’t completely drained my resources. I’ve still been able to give money to my church every week (although that’s the subject for another post). I was able to buy plane tickets to visit my mom for her birthday in a couple of weeks. I’ve been sleeping better than I have in months. I’m actually writing again (just in case you hadn’t noticed). I’ve read eleven books already since I got fired. I’ve even got a couple of potential jobs lined up to hold me over until I finish the credentialling process so that I can become a youth pastor. Life may not be perfect, but it is pretty decent.
All is not lost. There’s a lot of good going on in the world. Don’t focus so much on what’s going wrong that you miss out on it.