I’m at a kind of low place energetically right now. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with my grandmother’s passing and her upcoming memorial (there’s a whole MESS of stress I’m carrying about that, but that may be the topic for another (possibly private) post some other time), but I’ve spent the better part of today on the edge of full-blown panic about my professional future.
Here’s the thing; I know what I’m meant to do, at least in the abstract. I’m a teacher. I’ve always been a teacher, ever since I was a kid. I love it, I’m good at it, and it’s exactly what I want to do.
What has me freaking out right about now, though, is the idea that a) I may not find a job in a classroom next year and b) I may not want a job in a classroom next year.
I’m coming to the hard realization that, for all its faults, CHS was a pretty damned permissive environment. Even there, though, I ran into a lot of problems, and I have gotten more and more frustrated the more I think about the fact that we say we want to raise careful, energetic thinkers, but we really don’t do the things that are required to produce them because we’re too afraid of “crossing lines” or “pushing boundaries.” As soon as someone gets a bug up his or her ass about something – as soon as someone is the least bit uncomfortable or challenged – administrators panic, all hell breaks loose, the teachers get blamed, and we’re right back to tiptoeing around only the safest playgrounds.
I’m calling bullshit on that. The problem is, though, that this attitude is not likely to make me a particularly attractive candidate for employment at a school district.
I’ve been kicking around the idea of trying to land a gig as an outreach coordinator or a workshop facilitator for an outfit that aligns with my ethics, but I don’t have the first inkling about what I’d be qualified to do or how I would go about finding a place to do it. I thought about perhaps trying to find a position with an activist group or a liberal politician – maybe even of becoming a lobbyist – but, again, no frickin’ idea how to go about getting something like that moving. There are a couple of teen-centered programs in my area, and the thought has occurred to me to look into what they’re doing to see if they have a need that I can fill, but my concern is that I don’t have the counseling or social work credentials that would be needed to work in places like that.
I hate this feeling of being directionless. I feel off my mooring, adrift, and not a little scared.