Right. I said I would tell you what is happening on the work front, so here we go. Those of you who know me or read my blog, know that I need to work. In September, I was offered a post at the school I am working at now, as a learning support assistant, but I had to turn it down, because it did not pay enough to live on. Anyway, in November, a friend who works at the school took me aside at a party and said that I should phone the school, as there were lots of different roles coming up, and if I was there, they would find a way to maximise my skills etc. So I did. I had made the decision to go through any door that opened, and this seemed good. I called and left a message at the school, and had no reply for a day. Oh well, I thought, this was the wrong door.
They called the following day and suggested I go in for a chat. I went, and the result was that I started work the next day. As a learning support assistant. On low pay. That lasted about a week, and then I was moved to DT (Design Technology) and ended up supporting a whole department, as they had lost teachers, got new ones, and had no head of department. That lasted till December.
This year, I started the year knowing that I was going to be supporting the department, and also teaching small classes of girls textiles. Well, last week, I was called out of the class I was teaching, and told that the only textile teacher had resigned as of the end of January, and how did I feel about taking on all the Year 10 classes. I was shell-shocked, and said I would have to think about it, as it was a huge committment, and would take an enormous amount of work. Ok, they said, while you are thinking about it, think about taking on the years 7, 8, and 9 too. My jaw was hanging open at this stage. What, I squeaked, you want me to teach ALL the textiles? Think about it they said. As I was leaving, I turned round and asked the acting head of dept if she really thought I could do this. Yes, she said. I really do.
I came home and sat in the rocker thinking about the crazy road my life was zooming down. I remembered my impatience the week before, when I actually said that I know that God has a plan for my life, I just wish I knew what it was. I said, "Not that I am impatient or anything". Hah. Enter God. She wants fast she gets fast. Standing up there. Dusting his hands together.... now let's just see what she does with this. I can see it all. Remember what I said about never wanting to teach? And remember that idea that I would go through any doors that open? BIIIIIIIG doors.
I went to talk to friends who are professional educators. I asked what they thought. I also asked if they honestly thought I was capable of doing this. Then I spoke to my dear friends, who have been such a support over the past few months, and asked if they thought I was ready emotionally to cope with this. Then I sat back in the rocker and thought more. I considered the kids I teach, whose first question is always, "How long are you staying?" They need stability. I wrote out a list of what I would need, in terms of training and support. I thought about faith and trust and leaps into the void. I thought of challenges, and growth, and not being in this crazy place if I was not meant to be here. I thought about what God was telling me about myself. The fear, the uncertainties and the confusion. The not knowing if doing my best would be enough. I am going to make mistakes. Probably many. Could I cope? Would I go where I was asked to go?
Finally, I thought of the paragliding analogy. It all looked different then, so I went to school the next day, kept out of the way of senior staff, and took apart the textile teacher's timetable, and worked out exactly what would be required of me. That afternoon, at the end of school I gave them my list of necessities, requests and concerns.
I heard nothing for days. They kept saying they were having meetings and more meetings, and it was so frustrating not actually knowing. I was given a new timetable and sent for some of the training I asked for, and to observe excellent teaching. All the staff seemed to know I would be teaching. Just not me. Today, I decided I had to know, so I asked. Oh, we have your new teaching timetable, they said. What? I have had no discussions, been at none of the meetings, and no-one has talked to me about anything. I pointed this out, and said that there was a great deal that still needed to be discussed, not least my salary. Yes yes, but you start teaching on Thursday next week. Hmmm. Open doors are good. Opportunities are good. I am, however, not an idiot. I did not ask for this, or volunteer. I don't know how it will work out. But I am not going to do any of it without first discussing the implications with the powers that be. Their expectations might be unrealistic. I will find out about that on Monday. My deadline, not theirs. I can't just drift into this. But I do think this is what I am supposed to do.
So there you have it. It looks as though I am going to be a teacher. This seems to be where all those doors are leading me. There is no way this was in the plans. My plans. God's? Probably. I just know I can't do any of it alone. Next Thursday I could be on that tandem paragliding flight. Heaven only knows what He has planned for me next.