When we first decided to move here back in the spring of 2009, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find a teaching job, so I was ready to take some time off, study for the GRE, and figure out a new direction for my career in education. Then, an on-paper dream job as a literacy coach fell in my lap, and I was very happy and lucky to hold that position for two years before I quit to stay home with Lorelei. Now I find myself at that crossroads I had expected all those years ago, trying to decide what to do once the girls are both in school. I'm finding the process of deciding what to do next even more complicated this time around.
Before I became a mom, I thought I'd do some soul-searching and pursue a degree, and eventual career, in whatever field I felt most passionate about, and that was rapidly seeming to be the world of instructional coaching. (I love teaching, but I love helping other teachers refine their craft even more - part of the reason I was so thrilled to get the job when I moved here.) I thought about enrolling in a master's program for curriculum and instruction, but I also wanted to take courses in adult education - to better prepare myself to work with teachers instead of the teenagers I'm used to teaching.
But being an instructional coach would most likely require me to do a fair amount of traveling and commuting to various school districts - and would mean a lot of hours before and after school in addition to over the summer, since those are the times when teachers are free to work with a coach. As passionate as I am about teaching and education, my heart now lies with my two beautiful girls, and I know that a job that takes me away from them isn't right for me, right now. And finding a job in this town, with my skill set, that fits their schedule and isn't regular classroom instruction? Pretty slim pickings.
I know that finishing master's coursework is my next step - I'm not going to be able to do much without it, even though I was lucky to get my last job based on previous experience and a lot of obvious passion for the work I'd be doing. But getting a degree just to have it, as opposed to studying what I'm excited about, feels like drudgery.
So I'm starting to study for the GRE, just like I thought I would be five years ago this month. And, even though I'm 33, I'm feeling like I have a lot in common with my 22-year-old former students who are all wondering, as they walk off the podium with their college diplomas this month, what in the world to do next.