The Act of Choosing vs. Being Chosen

Today I signed a yellow-papered contract stating that I will essentially commit myself to the education of the students of Durham Public Schools (specifically at Parkwood Elementary) for the 2012-2013 school year. I have a packet of benefits to go through (who knew that you could get insured for virtually everything?) and copies of my social security card to make so that I can get paid come August.

I signed a contract. A binding document. I’m getting (under) paid by the state for my services as a teacher in a public elementary school in Durham. This is incredible.

This morning I had to go to a session led by DPS so that I could sign my contract, learn about my benefits, and get some information on beginning teacher support (yep, there’s a support group for this — should be a great year). We learned about licensure, how to find substitutes, and all sorts of other necessary teacher things. As the session came to a close, I have to admit that I felt a little bit of stress.

This wasn’t  necessarily bad — let me assure everyone that I have been strangely calm and have only (minorly) freaked out twice including this instance (first freak out was when I realized August starts next week — still kind of getting over that one).

So much was going through my head: I still have to finish getting my room ready and now I have to worry about filling out all this paperwork by Wednesday, and this paperwork is a big deal and I don’t know if I can fill it out by myself and I just really want dad to look at this with me.

Yep, it was just like that, run-on sentence and everything.

Some of my temporary insecurities were quenched after talking to the HR representative about my scholarship-loan from the past two years (which is no longer offered since the North Carolina General Assembly apparently doesn’t find education important enough to properly fund). Glad to know that all I need to do is have her sign a paper at the end of the year saying I was employed at an in-state public elementary school and bam (!) I have loan forgiveness.

On my way out, one of the presenters from DPS was walking out with me and inquired about my placement. I told him how excited I am about being in 3rd grade at Parkwood and about all of my classroom cleaning binges from the week (if you know me well, you’ve heard first-hand what this conversation is like because it’s kind of all I talk about these days — sorry I’m not sorry). We stopped outside and he smiled, asking me to promise him that I’d still have my same enthusiasm in ten years.

Somewhat jokingly, I told him that I hoped to have my current enthusiasm by the time October comes around.

He told me that some people choose teaching as their profession, but there are others who have teaching choose them. According to him, I’m in the latter category.

I felt really honored that we only talked for maybe five minutes, but he felt as though teaching chose me.

That’s cool, right? The whole way home I kept thinking about the concept of someone choosing teaching and then teaching choosing someone.

In a previous post I alluded to how sometimes I wish I could have a bunch of different jobs but then realized I could do it all with teaching. I’m glad I ended up choosing teaching as my profession, but the more I think about it, maybe this guy was right — maybe teaching chose me instead.

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One thought on “The Act of Choosing vs. Being Chosen

  1. I completely agree with the statement, “Individuals don’t choose teaching, teaching chooses the individual.” In fact, I just wrote that down on a couple of teaching applications earlier today. Congratulations is in order for you! I can only hope to be employed with a school district soon. Best of luck to you and your students. Remember not to listen to the negativity but, rather, focus on your students and the positive outcomes that result, and you will maintain your enthusiasm. 🙂

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