My job has been weighing heavily on my mind lately for several reasons - mostly because I am in danger of losing my job in a couple months. There are being lay-offs and being one of the newest teachers at the school is probably not going to help my case.
At first, I was devastated to even think of this possibility. Everyone knows I am completely in love with my job. (For those who don't know what I do, I teach kindergarten at an elementary school in Westwood.) I have 21 students and although one or two of them are a challenge, I feel like I've been blessed with the best five and six year-olds in the world. They surprise me every day with how compassionate and intelligent they are. And sometimes the fact that they are so intelligent makes me surprised when I am reminded that many are unable to do simple tasks like tie their own shoes or pull back their own hair.
After my initial panic over the possibility of losing this amazing job, I started to convince myself that maybe it's for the best - I will (at some point) need to find a full-time job that pays more, or at least another job to supplement this one (though I'm not fond of the idea of working two jobs). I thought maybe this would be a push in the right direction.
At this point, I think I'll be okay no matter what the outcome is, though I'd definitely prefer to keep my job. Until you work as a teacher of young children (especially kindergarteners!), you never realize how much of a difference you really make, or how much you are loved. Kids don't care about the drama in your personal life, or whether your hair looks good that day, or what degree you earned in college. All they want is your approval and for you to listen to what they have to say. All they want is to give you hugs and for them to be the extra lucky kid that gets to sit next to you in the circle. All they want is to be taught and respected and to teach and respect you in return.
Whether or not I'm laid off from this job, or I stay at this school for another 20 years, this particular group of 21 students will always be special to me. I'll always remember them as the ones who taught me that I can be loved, respected, and admired for all the right reasons.
**(I wish I could post a picture of my kids, but unfortunately I'm afraid that wouldn't be appropriate.)**