"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

14 March 2017

Yes, Lord.

So, as many of you know, I quit my special education teacher aide job with my local public school in Sept due to many issues, one of which was being placed in a classroom with multiply handicapped children ages 7-12 with whom I have no experience, nor desire to work with. The worse part was the no experience because as a parent of a child in the district, (although my daughters don't have special needs), I can't imagine anyone working with children who aren't qualified to be with them.  That and special education administrators who've never taught, never really been in the classrooms to see what actually goes on, and turns a blind eye to things that they know of but don't care about changing.

I was unemployed from Sept until mid-December when I accepted a part time special education aide position with a preschool across the river from where we live.  This preschool is ECEC.  I am at the Troy site and love it.  It is so similar to when I was a master teacher for an Albany special ed prek that I just couldn't believe God dropped this in my lap.  Because that's what it was.  I wasn't really actively looking for a new job. Dave and I figured I'd take the year off, doing some home projects and volunteering at church, and then find a job come Sept. to help our youngest with college costs. I happened to see the opening while helping my oldest daughter look for a design job!  God always has these plans...and they are often so different from what we imagine will happen.


Fast forward to mid-January. I'm preparing a lesson one morning for the behaviorally challenged, emotionally disturbed little boy I'm working with as a 1:1 teacher and the executive director of the entire agency asks to meet with me.  She offers me a SEIT job which I told her I was very honored to be considered for but that I really didn't want to go back to the days of driving all over the tri-county area and writing 10 IEPS,  conducting annual reviews, home visits, etc etc. (all those things that go into being a Master Teacher).  So I politely declined, telling her if there was ever an assistant teacher opening, I would be thrilled to be considered or to interview for it.  I didn't think anything of this conversation and just kept praying for this little boy and telling Dave I would find something else for autumn as this contract ends in August.  Of course I'm not thrilled to have to work this summer as I haven't worked summer months since 1994 unless you count the summers I did volunteer work two days a week for 5 years at a crisis pregnancy center.

Now.....the decision to look for another teaching position has been on my mind for most of the winter.  I know I need to help Claire out just like we helped out Courtney so that she doesn't have a  big bank loan for college tuition.  We are praising the Lord she was offered a good scholarship at one university and we are still waiting to hear from another college.  This whole idea of working in the summer was bugging me.  I tend to be selfish with my summer time.  I'm a hiker...an avid hiker..and around these parts, hiking in deep snow doesn't thrill me and I'm not a cold weather gal unless I'm cozy indoors reading a good book, watching a good movie and drinking lots of tea or coffee.  So my summers are precious to me. It's when all the sports I love can be done and it's when I feel most alive...it sounds weird but it's true.  The hiking, kayaking, and biking just make me feel so good and getting up in my mountains, whether for a day, an evening or an entire week is something I look forward to.  Life slows down in summer and yet at the same time it revs up. For those of you who know me, you know what I mean.

So I figured I would work this summer as promised via contract and then for next year and the next few years, find another position that would give me summers off.

God had other plans.

Isn't that always the way??

It is now late February.  The assistant teacher in the classroom where I am currently a 1:1, has announced she is leaving to go work in her daughter's daycare.  We will miss her!

I am offered the position of Assistant Teacher with a bigger salary, 6 weeks paid vacations, retirement benefits and free dental along with medical/vision (none of which I need other than the retirement benefits. My work with the little boy will not change....I will continue to teach him exclusively with the goal of getting him to join the class (hopefully before summer school) but with the pay and hours of the Assistant teacher.  As an Assistant, I do have to help plan lessons and prepare but I don't have all the paperwork of a special education master teacher.  I do have to stay longer (hours are 8-2:30) but that is still better than in the public schools!

Now....I had a decision to make. Do I take it which means giving up my summers? We do get 2 weeks off at the beginning of the summer and 2 weeks off at the end....all of which we get paid for!  So that is ok.

Like I said, I'm selfish.  I started really asking God to show me His plan.

I'm at the point in life, at age 57, where I can pretty much not have to run daughters around, where Dave and I can go off for long weekends and not have to get babysitters or schlep kids with us, where I can just wake up, go biking, go kayaking, etc etc and not have major home management issues to deal with.

In the fall, I was planning on doing more ministry at church.

If I'm working a longer day, I have to be more intentional about finding time to work out, meet friends for coffee, etc etc.

Hm...what to do???

I told the director I could give her an answer by this week's end.

On Saturday morning, Dave and I prayed together...he initiated it.  We talked about the pros and cons.  And then in church my pastor just kind of confirmed some things for me when he was sharing about our church's vision for the next few years.

I had that deep peace in my heart.  I knew what my answer would be!!

I would take the job!  

You see, after discussing it with Dave, I realized this is exactly what I had been hoping for...a chance to once again be a special educator in a high quality preschool, and at the same time, being able to help out with Claire's college costs.  Scholarships, sadly, barely cover the entire bill.  And although we are so grateful to God and the university for offering an academic scholarship, there is still a large remainder to pay for.  It seemed like God was opening a door!

How funny to look back on my career and see where I began....once I made the move from central NY to this capital region and began as a Master Teacher, I fell in love with early childhood education.  Fast forward to another job of being a wife and mommy, a part time preschool teacher, a part time parenting instructor and a full time aide in public school to coming back full circle  to being a teacher in a preschool again, just before my retirement.

Dave and I talked this over and I have peace.  I was sharing some of this with my pastor's wife, who also works outside the home and she was sharing with me her goals.  I told her mine was to work at least 3 more years. It's all in God's timing. I needed a job with better money to help with college.  I desired to go back to young children in a setting where they really understand special education. This Assistant Teacher position just "happened" to open up in the very classroom I am currently in!!

When we give God our plans......He is gonna do what He wants.  We need to be open and willing.

Is it ideal??  Nope.  I still want my summers off.  But I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  And it's only for about 3 more summers.

Decision made.

Yes, Lord.

ps...if you are still reading this, God bless you!  I didn't intend for this post to be so long.  But now I have it in writing for my daughters to read one day and    understand how God's ways are the best ways...always.


Barbara H. said...

Wonderful to hear how God worked things out for the job!

Paula said...

I enjoyed reading about how God is leading you around this bend in the road. I'm excited for you!