This post is much different than any posts I have shared before. This post will not have cute pictures of my classroom or ideas I've found recently on Pinterest. It's not a Five for Friday, Monday Made it, or Wordless Wednesday. It is however, a reflection and a look back on where I was and where I am now...three years later.
I started teaching kindergarten at a small private school in a job I had thought would be temporary. Time passes quickly and I had a child, got divorced and 13 years later....I was stuck. I had applied to countless public school jobs to no avail. No "thanks but no thanks" letter, very little interviews and the feeling of being stuck...well....it stuck. And then it happened. Three years ago I got called for an interview for a public school kindergarten position. The interview went great and I got called back for a second interview. My heart was broken when I was told that after it being narrowed down to me and another finalist, that the other person was chosen. I emailed the principal and he very politely explained that they had found a better fit. In hindsight I know that he was right. Two weeks later I saw another posting at the same school for a first grade position. I immediately emailed the principal and was fortunate enough to get an interview and this time....it happened. My dream came true. Aside from getting remarried and having my son, it was the happiest day of my life. Until...the principal said he would need to contact my current employer-the small private school. This was not going to go well.
I wanted them to hear it from me first. After having worked with them for 13 years and parents paying a tuition to send their child to my classroom I wanted to do what I thought was the right thing. I ran out into the parking lot with my cell phone and placed the call. To say they were angry was an understatement. I drove straight there and listened to them yell and carry on for half an hour about how I was leaving them high and dry three weeks before school started. It was actually one day shy of three weeks. How could I do this to them and so on. I was shocked, taken aback and frankly hurt. I knew in that moment that they didn't truly care about me. They cared about making money and I was in many ways, an easy way for them to do that. I left in tears.
They never returned my principal's phone call until 3PM that day. I left them at 11AM. Perhaps it was to punish me or perhaps it was to gossip just a bit more. I suspect both. The next day when I came to collect my things the locks were changed. All of my stuff had been gone through and packed up. They had taken it upon themselves to rifle through all of my belongings and pack it up. I was shocked. I was being treated like a terminated employee. I remember my father holding up a laminated anchor chart that I had made on my living room floor at 9PM one night and he asked if it was mine. My former boss started screaming that it was hers because it went through their laminating machine and was on their chart paper. Really?! I still cannot believe the lack of professionalism, class, and basic manners.
That day I left knowing that I had made the best decision in leaving. Their actions solidified to me that I had indeed been stuck. I don't know what I was expecting them to say. Perhaps "Congratulations, Julie. Although we are disappointed to lose you, we wish you much luck in your new position." I taught there for 13 years. My first class of students there went to my wedding and they are now in high school. My own son attended every classroom there from infancy up to preschool. I considered them friends as well as colleagues. Three years later and it still hurts. I still keep hoping they'll wish me well. I am learning to accept that won't come.
Three years later though and I am so happy, so fortunate to have my dream job. I couldn't ask for more supportive administrators.
I'm proud to be where I am now and though it may hurt sometimes to look back it has paved the road to where I am now and for that....I am very grateful.