Friday, May 22, 2009

Missing Preschool

I typed this during my lunch break on Friday, but didn't get a chance to post it...

I subbed for my first time as a preschool TEACHER yesterday. I've spent a lot of time substituting at preschool in recent months, but have never actually been given the opportunity to sub as a classroom teacher. Usually, I'm the one who has to run around and make sure all of the teachers have had breaks, help out with taking kids to the bathroom, and done errands for the teachers. I enjoy getting to meet all of the kids and teachers that way, but it's also a little bit of a let down after having been a classroom preschool teacher for so long!
I absolutely loved yesterday. It surprised me how much I enjoyed it.
I opened the morning with Circle time, having the kids sit "criss-cross apple sauce" on the carpet with me and started out by singing "Open, Shut Them," which was the song Dalia and I opened every morning with at Turtle Rock Preschool. As I was singing the song, I realized that it was May 21st, and I hadn't sung that song since my last day at the preschool, May 2nd, last year. I got all choked up realizing that it had been so long, and was amazed that I still remembered every word and finger play. Flashbacks of my little ones in Room 3 flooded back to me, and I could see their little faces scrunching up as they sang "creepy, crawly, creepy, crawly, right up to your chin, chin, chin," and the pudgy little fingers that crept up their bodies to their mouths and then dashed away to hide behind their backs as they sang "open up your little mouth but do not let them in, in, in!"
I loved revisiting my favorite songs from my Room 3 days. Preschool songs are so much fun! The expressions you have to make, the way they fumble their hands trying to imitate your finger plays, little mouths learning new words.

Yesterday made me remember how completely happy I would be to teach preschool again. And how easy it would be to get a position again! The preschool I was at yesterday has a position open right now and is looking for a teacher. It's so tempting to want to just give up on this discouraging search for an elementary teaching position, and jump back into preschool. But I need to know that everything that I've done for the last five years is worth something. I need to know that I didn't just sacrifice a year of my life (a year I could have been helping Jesse support us financially!) to chase after something that won't happen.

I could be happy being a preschool teacher. But doing that right now means that I'd be giving away the opportunity to clear my CA teaching credential. I don't know how much you know about CA teaching credentials and the whole process you have to go through, but to "clear" mine (make it valid) I have to teach full time for 2 years within the next 5. If I don't, everything I've worked for counts for nothing to the state. That's a scary prospect in these times! And discouraging, since teachers without tenure are the first to go.

It's a struggle! The main thing is, Jesse and I are looking forward to beginning our family (or extending, I guess--since we ARE a family!) in 3 or 4 years. I need to be able to work until then so that we can afford for me to be able to stay home with our little ones like I dearly want to. But working full time at a preschool for 3 years pays better (especially with what the preschool director offered me yesterday because of my high education!) than subbing intermittently and waiting for a job to open up.

The way things are right now is that Jesse and I have agreed that if I'm not able to find a full time position for Fall '10, that I will then seek a job as a preschool teacher. If I worked at a private school later in life, it wouldn't matter anyway if I didn't have a clear credential. A credential at all is better than none! Still, you can see what we are praying so hard for!

That's something I'm really thankful for: Jesse includes that in nearly every prayer when we are together. It's wonderful to have someone who not only shares your burdens, but truly cares about them, too. Speaking of which, what a friend we have in Jesus!