I am all in my feelings right now, so this post is super emo. Honestly, I just want to teach high school history. Is that so wrong? But when I google, “How to be a marketable history teacher,” all I get is that the path I am on puts me on a long list of applicants with minimal positions available.
People are advocating, “We need good teachers!” But where the jobs at?
When I look for openings in the many districts, I am interested in there is maybe one position open. It is all about the Math and Sciences, Special Education and ESL endorsements. Instead of the History AEPA (Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment) exam, I should be taking the Social Science Exam. Instead of getting my masters in Secondary Education, I should have pursued an English degree. Seriously, who wants to hire a teacher with zero years experience and a Masters degree?
Is anybody out there?
I am so discouraged.
Have I done all this for nothing?
Should I quit?
p.s. A friend just sent this to me and I’m in tears.
Once upon a time in 2009, I went to my first Zumba class. I loved it. It got me out of the house, I met some great people and built friendships that are still in tack. Matter of fact, my instructor give me a penny bank with some cash to help pay for my Zumba license to become an instructor. In 2012 I finally went to the training and began teaching at my local YMCA.
I love Zumba so much that I only teach ONE class, so I never get burned out. Even when I chose to put the kids in school and begin working again, I wanted to keep Zumba sacred and not make it my part-time job.
I blew the dust off my dream of being a teacher and enrolled into grad school.
All my teacher friends who come to my class have encouraged me in my pursuit. I go to them for wisdom, support and to vent about school. It inspires me to see them in class. They are my motivators.
When I’m up front shaking it, I look at them and think, they are who I want to be.
It’s good to confess ones ignorance in a subject matter. Especially when you’ve made the effort to know better, so you can do better.
Growing up in SoCal, I suppose I always thought ESL was for Spanish speaking students. I never thought that my native Filipino, Korean, Chinese, and Arabic speaking classmates were ELLs. That’s weird huh? At 33 years old, I came to the realization that all non native English speaking students needed some kind of academic program to assist them in learning English and becoming academically proficient.
I never considered ELLS struggle through the difficult process of English language immersion especialy without adequate programming.
That begs the question, do African American students who grow up in low literacy homes or where Ebonics (ie. African American Vernacular English) is the native language, need ESL programming?
I’ve been asked, “If you could live anywhere, where would it be?”
Hands down, every time, it’s Philly. I fell in love with this city in 2002, when one of my college girlfriends invited me to stay with her for Thanksgiving break. A Cali girl, all sunshine and smiles, left her heart in the City of Brotherly Love during that trip. And let me tell you, it wasn’t a gentrified trip with tours and lattes. I was in the hood okay? North Philly, corner stores, hoagies and a lot of interesting characters. My friend took me to her old high school where, for the first time ever, I saw metal detectors in a school. Like really? Where am I? But it was great, looking back I am so glad I have these memories.
But in 2004, my love for Philly got really real. I’d become a Christian the year before, and “discovered” CHH (Christian Hip Hop). Guess where my fave artist at the time was from? Philly of course! Ambassador and Cross Movement introduced me to lyrical theology and I fell deeper. I remember the day exactly, Universal City Walk, at one of those CD stores (lol) and I picked up, “The Thesis”. CHANGED MY LIFE.
At some point I decided that I wanted to go to bible college for my Masters, and with the support of a good friend, we went on tours and talked to her pastor who graduated from the university I was considering. Obviously that didn’t happen BUT, the greatest contribution Philly gave me is my husband, Rob. But that’s a story for another time.
In 2006 I graduated from California Baptist University with a bachelor in History. I got the degree, but it was not where I imagined I’d be when I graduated from high school. I attended Hampton University in Virginia my freshman and sophomore year of college. Initially, my major was Business, because that is what my mom wanted. After going to a business class once and looking at the required courses…I was like, NO. AND they wanted us to play chess? So I decided to become a teacher and entered their 5 year Education program where I would get my BA, MA and teaching credential. BET! My mom was not having it, but hey it’s my life. We couldn’t afford it but I’m thinking, this is a deal and I can do my HBCU thing. 3rd year, financial aid did not go through, and I was STUCK in Virginia not knowing what to do. So with the little cash I had to make the initial payment, I caught a plane to Georgia to stay with my Nana until I figured things out.
Fast forward 10 years after college and I’m a married stay at home mom living in the Midwest, homeschooling my 7-year-old daughter while my son’s at the neighborhood school in Kindergarten.
After one Midwest winter homeschooling, I’m like dude, totally not made for this.
I had a crisis and decided both kids are going to PUBLIC SCHOOL. Private school is ridiculously expensive, and I’m not giving them my money (I mean OUR money) to teach them the 3 R’s. So what am I going to do at home with kids in school? I cannot be posted in the crib looking around at my immaculately clean house. I don’t want a desk job doing admin. I don’t want to teach fitness part time. So I decided to do what I never thought I would want to do. Go back to school.
So I’m now almost halfway through this program; Masters in Secondary Education and Teaching Credential. I want to teach high school history. I know you’re like, history is boring. But I love it, and I know I can make it fun. I want to teach jaded teens history.
Am I crazy? Maybe. But I know I’m made for this and much much more.