Thoughts About My Teaching Career, So Far

I’ve been thinking about what it means for me to pursue a teaching career.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m not one of the luckiest ones, but I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been very fortunate to have other teachers and school administrators enjoy working with me and having me in their schools. A lot of people – in and out of schools – have been very supportive of my teaching career, and it would be ignorant of me to assume that I’m the one who is making all of this happen.

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This year is off to a very slow start. Some supply teachers haven’t worked a single day yet. We’ve been feeling the effects of collective agreement negotiations and technical difficulties, along with the normal delays inherent in such a large organisation.

I have been taking a course to complement the one I took this summer. Before taking the course I did this past summer, I asked all interested parties if it would be enough to help me reach my goal, and I was told that it would be. It turned out not to be.

There are many aspects of the teaching profession that I don’t understand, and one of them is the seemingly indefinable and unreliable routes through professional development. The only way that I know how I can make any headway is to look for opportunities that are interesting to me, hoping that they’ll pay off in some way. It’s hard to say that learning isn’t valuable in and of itself, but it’s easier to say that it’s not worth it when you have to drop $800.

Once I successfully complete this course, I’m told that I will be able to teach across the grades, K-12. Adding an additional six grades to my qualifications should help with finding interesting teaching opportunities.

Before going any further, let me be clear that my career as a teacher comes with a few caveats. I don’t want to move; I really enjoy living in Toronto. I want to live comfortably; I want to be able to enjoy as many of the pleasures of life as I can that I feel I deserve. I’m willing to put in the work.

Thing is, I could move and get a pretty decent teaching job. If I were to move to Calgary, I could live with my folks quite comfortably, until I have enough saved up to buy a newly listed foreclosure. I still get job offers from overseas, but turn them down because I’m pursuing this opportunity.

You know, I guess, I’m just frustrated. Today, I got a tutoring job with a tutoring company. Luckily, they had an opportunity waiting for me as I walked out of the interview. It’s not a lot of money, but it’ll be nice now that the remaining weeks on my Employment Insurance claim can be counted on one hand. Yesterday, some progress was made on the collective bargaining front, and I’m thinking that it’ll lead to more work for me. Every week, I apply for new job postings for open positions. A couple of weeks ago, I hit my “10-month & 20-day” mark, which meant that I could apply for an interview to be listed as eligible for short-term contracts, even though I can, technically, already apply for the jobs (which is what I’m doing every week).

See, things are moving in the right direction. Still, it feels like something just isn’t right. I’m kind of losing my patience, and I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t know how some of the others in a similar position to mine are faring.

The only real solace that I’m getting out of this frustration is the realization that I’m willing to spend a lot of money, take on an additional job, and apply for jobs that I’m already hired to do, to keep the one that I already have.

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