Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Left Out

How do I say everything I want to say without sounding like the slow kid who is always last to get picked for the team, or the one who doesn't get picked...Hmmm? Today I am that kid. Maybe I am just a bit too sensitive.
Those who have read this, and those who know me in my real life know that my job has SUCKED this year. In 18 years of teaching, this is the absolute worst. Parents, unresponsive. Students, ill prepared.
I have literally been told by one of my parents that he would NOT DO ANY homework, No Way!
Great, same guy has yelled at pretty much every staff member at my school, and told me I was too aggressive. Why? Because when his children were late for the 17th time in a grading period, I told him they had to work on getting the kids to school on time. How dare I?
Anyway, my school will be starting later next year, and I will be on the road at prime rush hour making my normal 30 minute commute, a 1 hour commute. This means all after school activities that my girls will do, will be dealt with by my mother, who does not really want to be on the roads after a long day...
So needless to say, I am hugely bummed. And I am also at the place I was ten years ago. Single and really burned out, I walked into my principals office and resigned for the next year. I had no job lined up for September. I knew that my mental health was more important than any job! I have two children now, I can't do that anymore...
Teaching is so different than other jobs. You can't call in, and let your work wait. You have to prepare a plan so another person can do your work. You can't be late for an important appointment, because it would be sacrilege to make a parent wait... We are always on. There is no sit at the Internet and let your mind wander. It is go, go, go. Sadly we are expected to do much more with WAY less. I honestly have children who cannot toilet on their own. I have children who have no idea how to recognize their own name when written down. But by June, those children should be able to read and write, add and subtract...So given all of that PLUS we are not getting any sort of raise, NOT ONE DOLLAR, I am very upset. My insurance is going up, my union dues are on the rise, so my salary should be less next year.
So I have been looking into the Russian private schools. I had a nice round of emails from the school in St. Petersburg, but they went with teachers with international experience...(Kind of joke considering the population I teach, I could not be more of an ESL teacher if I tried)
Then I saw that Moscow had current openings. I emailed the Elementary School Director who in several lines pretty much told me because I have 2 dependents he wouldn't even consider me..But "Thanks and Good Luck."
So I am guessing that every teacher there with a child is married to another teacher. But if they have a 2nd child do they get fired? Whatever. They really don't get it. I am not looking for a job at their school just to go, I am trying to bring my girls on an adventure. I am trying to give them a life that is somewhat different from the norm. I realize they think we are complex. But really, who ain't? I am trying to reinvigorate my career with a change in venue. I am on fire about the whole thing. I don't do well with rejection even when given a chance, but to be clipped at the knees without so much as an interview is painful. Oh, I should add that the interview team will be about 3 miles from my house in June, and I got a "thanks but no thanks."
Single no dependants = more qualified, better equipped, I think not.
I also had an expat approach me about a possible opening for an elementary English teacher in a Russian school. I sent my resume, and was told to look for an email from that director. Weeks go by, and nothing. Email the expat who feels terrible, and lets me know that should be emailing later on, and nothing...That was several months ago, something tells me I won't be hearing from that school at all...If I have learned anything in this life, it is to fight for what you believe in. Unfortunately, I am not sure what I believe in right now. I honestly thought I would be an asset to a Russian school. Maybe I over value my experience.
I try to stay connected to those who are traveling or in the adoption process, but don't seem to be truly connected and trusted through this vast blogger land and that saddens me deeply. I understand that it is scary to share...I guess that is why Missi and I are so close. We needed each other so much back then, now we just dig each other's lives and families...I wish it were that way with more.I think I may take a Russia break. I thought this was what we were destined to do, but maybe not. Maybe visiting through SOAR will fill that empty cup...

Lastly, I hope anyone who reads this blog understands this whole Russia thing isn't just a job or a location for me. It is so much more. My love for the place that my girls were born is deep and wide. I am lost for words to even explain how left out I feel by not getting a chance to explain that to people who do only think of it as the city where they work.


Melissa said...

Hugs, kisses and much love. I'm with you girl through thick and thin and right now it's SUPER THICK!
Love you.

Annie said...

I have not tried as hard as you...however I have experienced the same blank look & closed door sort of experience. I was told that they would not pay enough to support a family; that the children would not be able to cope with the public schools and private schools are too expensive, or that they have their teachers in shared housing, so obviously that won't work.

Very frustrating.

You, with a younger and lighter brood, might actually consider applying without mentioning the children. Have you considered it? If they offer you the job and so forth it might be more difficult then to renege if and when there is some "hitch" - as in not having an apartment in mind large enough for you, your girls and your parents.

Jojo, Julz, Jules said...

I thought if I did that, it would seem like I was hiding something. I honestly felt like the schools want someone who is "aware" of how difficult the weather, the life, the traffik, etc were. Sharing my love of all of these things seemed to be my selling point, You know, Been there done that... Anyway, I am not giving up my Russian dream. No way, just may try another avenue. State Department, Foreign Service..Wonder if there is kindergarten track with the governmnet???
Thanks for checking on me. It means a lot!!

Annie said...

Well....I suppose I'm hoping you'll find the perfect place for both of us! :)

kate said...

Selling your condo while you're away sounds like a GREAT plan!

Don't take the rejection personally. (This is the actor in me talking.) I haven't been to an international school job fair, but I've heard they are the most cut-throat, scary experience of my friends' lives. You, quite literally, walk up and introduce yourself, they *may* skim your resume, and they'll tell you from your handshake if they're willing to interview you. They have a profile of who fits into their system, I guess. Our school is the exception. They have much more personal contact than other schools.

I think taking a break is a good idea. I think it just may not be your year. When your girls are older and more independent it may be an easier time. And, they'll enjoy and remember the adventure that you want to give them.

I remember in VBS when I was very little being told that God always answers prayers. Sometimes He says yes, sometimes no, and sometimes wait. Maybe this is just His way of saying wait.

You could look at DOD schools. I don't think there are any in Russia, though. What about former Soviet bloc countries? They have a similar culture but are *much* easier to live in. You could still travel to Russia.

Annie said...

I am trying to get information about DOD schools, to no avail. The only job listing I can find lists all jobs EXCEPT teaching, as far as I can see. Very frustrating. I'my trying to get Craig to do research on it from Korea...he goes to church on a base.

You and I must have been fed on the same formula or something.