To everything, there is a season

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.”- Ecclesiastes 3:1-10 (KJV)

I’m not a particularly religious person, but there are moments when certain passages from the Bible seem particularly appropriate. (I hope this is not a case of the Devil quoting Scripture for his own ends!)

Please allow me to explain:

I left my most recent job, voluntarily, in June of this year after posting my resignation in March. The position was not, for a variety of reasons I’ll not go into here, a good “fit” for me, and the stress of going to a job that wasn’t right for me every day was having an impact on my life outside of work. Leaving the job was the best thing for me to do for myself.

This is not to say that leaving didn’t create some (considerable!) turmoil of its own, but overall it has improved my quality of life and brought my family closer together. The improvements in my personal relationships far outweigh the other issues this decision has precipitated.

Now, despite the improvements in my life and in my own general outlook towards life, being unemployed presents some very real difficulties of its own; namely, how do I contribute to the support of my family without a source of income? I’ve spent the last 6 months attempting to solve this problem, searching for a new job in education.

Since June, I’ve applied for in the area of 60 positions, from classroom teacher to dean of students to assistant principal to principal to coordinator to director, and even a couple non-school jobs. I’ve interviewed for about 8 of these positions, and have received, to date, exactly zero offers of employment. I haven’t even been offered an interview for a teaching job; I suspect it’s because I am too expensive to hire, with 90 post-bachelors units and 14 years of experience.

Given this, it seems that the universe is trying to tell me something: the season of my time in education may have passed.

I’ve been working in this field for a long time, and i have invested a great deal of time, energy, emotion, and money into my career (those 2 masters degrees weren’t free, ya know!); however, if I can’t get a position in the field right now, I am obligated by my responsibilities to my family to find one in another field.

I don’t know what field that is, or what it is I’m going to wind up doing, but I have to do SOMETHING.

I’m not abandoning education altogether- it’s too much a part of who I am to do that. I’ll continue to read about teaching and learning, interact with educators on Twitter, and (I hope) continue to blog about education and life in general. But, and this is very hard for me to say, I don’t think I’ll be an educator, at least professionally, for a while. I have to focus my energies in a direction that will help me to provide for the needs of my family.

Perhaps the seasons will turn again soon. For now, though, “[There is] A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away…”

The time has come for me to cast away a profession I love and a field for which I am passionate, and to get something different.


4 comments so far

  1. sean williams on

    Wow…Not what I was expecting!
    You are in an exciting place, scary, but exciting. I certainly hope you will continue to be active in education circles (especially our monthly educational discussions). When I left my previous career for education it was a stressful time, but ultimately well worth it. You have to make a move, I kinda doubt it will be that far removed from teaching–It’s a part of you and you are good at it.
    At any rate, go with confidence, whatever you end up doing they will be lucky to have you.

  2. Lindsay on

    Wow… this entry totally speaks to me as I have recently resigned my teaching position and will be relocating with my husband this January. Thank you for your insights… it give me more confidence as I move forward that we are making the right decision for our family.

  3. TrueGabe on

    Thanks for sharing about your process. Possible next post could be a list of contract jobs you’d be happy to do that your readers may hire you for? There’s lot’s of people who want to help and who need help themselves. Who knows maybe there will be a match…

  4. Drifting « Middle School AP on

    […] talked about my job status in this space before; I went from a job I really liked but had to leave because it was eliminated by budget cuts […]

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