Saturday, August 21, 2010


"Hello, is this Bethany Brubaker?"
"Yes, I'm Bethany."
"Oh...hi.  I'm *** ******* from the board of education at ***** ********."
I know.  I've kept my phone at arm's reach since 6am waiting to hear from one of you.
"I'm calling to thank you for interviewing with us," He drew out his words as I waited breathlessly, "But I need to let you know that your application has been denied."
My application has been denied?  I never even applied to work there!  You people asked me!
When you told me back in November that you would need 16 more children to register for the next school year, I started praying for 22 to come through your doors.  When you told me in January that if you were able to hire a teacher, you would come straight to me, I rejoiced.  I've waited all summer for you to hem and haw and decide to take a leap of faith for those last 4 children who haven't signed up.  You waited until there were only ten days of summer left to decide to hire a teacher.  And when you told me that the board of education required that interviews be conducted after all, I was surprised.  That's not what I've been told for the last 8 months.  I was told that I had a sure seat on your staff if those children came.

I didn't know what to say as he went on about how it was a difficult decision to make, how so many talented teachers had come through the interviewing process in the last few days, how he hoped I could find something else.  If I had any questions.
The only question I could eke out was, "What could I do to improve my own interview process in the future?" Am I doing something wrong? I've been dropped this year by two schools that I know and I love.  I invested myself in them, and they went for someone else anyway.  I feel like a woman who's been cheated on one too many times.
"Well," He stammered out apologetically, "Nothing, really.  Your interview was excellent.  We were impressed by what you know and what you do with the children.  In the end...more experience would help, I guess."

More experience??? 
It sounds crazy, but as a substitute, I worked there the  e n t i r e   y  e a r.  There was only a two week span back in November where they didn't need me.  Other than that, I hopped happily from first grade to fourth/fifth grade to kindergarten.  I even worked at their preschool.

More experience?
I know every child at that school.  I can tell who is behind me by their voices.  I know who needs help with contractions, who really can't hold it until recess, and who can only understand three-digit subtraction by using cuisenaire rods. 

More experience?
I've done more fire drills and earthquake drills than I'd care to shake a stick at.  I helped direct their Christmas Program.  I helped assemle their year book.  I taught them how to use PowerPoint.  I marched in their crazy Camelia Day Parade in rain up to my ankles. 

More experience?
I know and love the children.  They knock each other over giving me hugs in the morning.  Girls come to me during recess or after school for me to teach them how to do spiral or Christian fish lanyards.  The other teachers' kids came to hang out with me after school because even though I was just a sub, I offered a warm and welcoming place for them to be. 

You may have hired someone with "more experience," but I already know where everything at your school is.  I know how to work the machines, which paints we can use in the supply room, the easiest way to cut the butcher paper.  I know who has the long-reach stapler, who doesn't mind lending me the plastic coins for a lesson on money.  I know the passwords to every computer.  I know who not to talk to until they've had their morning coffee. 

I loved being a part of that school.  I wanted so badly to be there again this year.  The worst part is, I don't feel like I just wasn't hired.  I feel like I lost a job I already had.

What's next?  I have no idea.  I've taken a real trampling as far as teaching goes, this year.  I just can't do it anymore.  Now I'm left with this terrible, terrible thought:  I thought my talent was teaching.  I thought that's what God wanted me to do with my life.  That's why I crammed five years of teaching classes into four.  I wanted to teach.  I wanted to get out there right away, start inspiring children to want to learn, and live the way God created me to live.  Now I've been passed over by two schools that I was fully invested in.  Is something wrong with me?  I must not be the teacher I thought I was.
But then I look through the pictures I've taken of different classes I've been a part of.  I read the sweet handwritten cards/pictures/papers the kids have made for me.  I look through my old lesson plans.  I know I'm a good teacher.  I've helped children meet with success.  I've helped them want to learn, which is the most important part.

I don't understand.  But I'm too tired of being hurt to even try.  I don't know what's next.  I can't do tihs anymore.  I hate to give up...but God hasn't just closed doors for me this year; some of them have slammed with my hand caught inside.  I know that someday I'll go back to teaching, but I just can't do it any more right now.  I can't sub at either of those schools knowing that I'm not good enough for them.  Even though both of them have told me that they'll "keep my application on file."
Because being rejected the first time wasn't enough???

I don't know what I'll be doing this year, but please keep me and Jesse in your prayers as we sort through things together and try to figure out what God wants me to do.  All the doors have been closed and locked; now we're just circling around for a window.

For I know the plans I have for you," Declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future. You will call upon Me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. you will seek Me and find Me.  When you seek Me with all your heart, I will be found by you," Declares the Lord, "And will bring you back from captivity and will restore your fortunes."  Jeremiah 29

Please, God, show us soon. 


  1. I'm so sorry to hear this. Sometimes schools are a little funny in who they hire, and you think they would hire person a because they are so qualified, and have so much potential. Or you think they would hire person a because they are a perfect fit with the staff, and have so much to bring to the table. We hired two new teachers this year, and I have to say one was a great find, and the other, I think we lost out on a great person who now teaches at Tyler's school. I'm sure it's not you. I've seen the person you are, and you are too kind hearted and caring to not be a good teacher. Teaching is not about how much math they know, but as you said, the caring classroom environment you created, even while you were subbing! A job will be provided for you, and I wish you the best of luck while you are waiting.

  2. I'm so sorry that this happened :( You are right - you have every one of things that they would want if they ever stopped to think about it. But, in hiring, those details don't get considered and it comes down to 40 minutes of staged interview questions. Which is stupid. I mean, some people are amazing at interviews and some people are great on paper, but that's not necessarily a sign of how they do the job. I can completely understand why you feel the way you do.

  3. Aww. Hang in there. Don't give up. If teaching is your true passion, then it'll shine through and a school will be Oh-so-lucky to have you. So many teachers have lost that passion and a lot of years on the resume don't mean they are that great. Keep on keeping on.

  4. I'm so sorry Beth. :( You know, God sometimes allows us to struggle because only He knows how strong it will make us in the future. I am certain this is only to strengthen you and bring you to a place God has planned out for you. Whether it's teaching or not... I don't know. But either way, you are an amazing person and God will bless you for keeping your faith and hope in Him!

    ps what is your schedule like? I've been really meaning to ask you if you'd like to grab coffee sometime. :-)


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