To Teach, or Not to Teach


The short version is this: I don’t know if my teaching career is over or on hiatus.

The longer version is…longer. Messier. Tumultuous and uncertain.


I search the jobs website. I click on the “apply” button. I email the principals my resume. And wait.

And wait.

And wait.



Out of nowhere, an offer to interview at a school that seems perfect. I get to the building early and I seem to hit it off with the principal and I should know within 48 hours either way.

48 hours pass.

I wait.

72 hours after the interview, I get the standard email. It wishes me the best of luck in my continued job search.


I had stupidly thought I had a chance at that job.

I stop checking for openings. No one is replying to emails anyway.

I give up.


I expand my job search to…pretty much anything. I see how many office jobs want a college degree to answer the phone–all for $8/hour. For a day or two I research one of the ride sharing companies and contemplate that as a career. At least as a stopgap.

One of the jobs that pays a not-horrible wage is truck driving. For half a second, I consider it.

(And then remember who I am and what my capabilities are and roll my eyes at myself.)

There are still no other responses from my flurry of emails.

Have I mentioned I hate waiting?


In a span of three days, five friends get teaching jobs. Some had lost their jobs. Others unexpectedly got a wished-for transfer.

Three days. Five jobs.

Zero for me.

On the outside I’m congratulatory. On the inside, I’m starting to wonder if this is my sign.

Driving a truck isn’t sounding that bad.


Finally, another interview. This time for a job that friends swear is perfect for me. The interview is challenging but seems to go well.  I’ll find out directly from the interviewer if I get the job or not, which I appreciate. Not only do I hate waiting, but I hate when your only way of knowing is if the job disappears online. Call me crazy, but I like to be told definitively one way or the other.

Even still, they’re interviewing for a few weeks.



I’m kinda sorta cautiously optimistic. I attend NEA RA as a delegate. I manage to push it all from my mind.  Mostly, anyway.

And then I’m back home.

And the job posting disappears a few days later.

I wait.

And wait.

But I kmow.

I finally email the interviewer.

I did say I wanted to know definitively one way or the other.


So here’s where things stand: I’m still unemployed. I have no more paychecks coming in. My health insurance expires in days.

But my friends are employed and setting up their classrooms. There will be at least one TFAer in my old building next (this) year. And there are others in that building teaching in my discipline without the proper certification…the certification I have.

Becoming a truck driver is starting to sound like a not-horrible possibility.


3 thoughts on “To Teach, or Not to Teach

  1. Dissilusioned Dad July 21, 2015 / 10:41 pm

    Bat thank you for sharing your story. My recent opinions of the public school system have been critical mainly because of the insincerity of the politics and the lack of concern for the children. I realize now that I deprived myself of seeing the humanity in public schools. I had no idea that teachers were going through this. I’m deeply saddened that a teacher with genuine concern for students may have to switch careers. Even if you never teach again I’m happy to know that you were inside a class room for as long as you could making a difference (as cliche as that sounds).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dolphinswithmohawks July 25, 2015 / 10:21 am

    This is depressing. From what I read in some of your older posts, you are exactly the kind of teacher our schools need. The system is messed up.
    I don’t know much about the process. Do school principals have sole control over which teachers are hired for their school? Are you looking at both public and private, and at both union and non union?


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