Today is the first day of school here in Central Texas and I am not busy putting together last minute adjustments to lesson plans, or wondering or worrying about what my first day will hold. I did not pick out a perfect outfit to wear and I am not standing in my doorway greeting students. Today is it and I am not there.
I feel very fortunate for my experience down here in Texas. So much could have gone wrong and so far it hasn’t. I have a wonderful apartment, great friends, and several part time jobs that when pieced together, will allow me to pay the bills and enjoy a bit of this great city.
Still, I can’t shake the part of me that is grieving for that classroom I didn’t get. Even if I should procure some kind of job half way through the year, it will still be someone else’s classroom. They will have gotten that first day. I have wanted to be a teacher for so long and I have worked so hard. I put in my hundreds of hours of field work, I wrote papers and lesson plans, student taught, substitute taught. I started at the bottom and put in my time because that’s what the American dream is all about. Isn’t that what I was supposed to do? Could I have done something different? Should I have moved somewhere else? And why is everyone else getting jobs? so there is this very petty part of me that can’t help but scream, “IT’S NOT FAIR! I WANT IT NOW!”
And then, before I can wallow too much in my sorrow, I think that maybe I am only 27 years old and I have my whole life ahead of me. Maybe I have done everything I needed to do and that is, in fact, good enough. Others may have their classrooms and children to greet and names to learn and today I will spend being jealous of them. Tomorrow I will move on. I will tutor and sub and read and write and explore and adventure and feel proud that I took a great risk with my life and I don’t appear to be falling flat on my face. This summer has been filled with so many great firsts, firsts that I wouldn’t take back for all the firsts in the world. Maybe that is enough. Maybe I need to be content with these great firsts and save the rest for another time.