Wow! What a whirlwind we've been through this past week! It all revolves around my search for a teaching job. First, a little bit of background to our story. We all are aware that our economy is not in the best of conditions. As a result, school districts are dealing with budget issues. There are several school districts in the Kansas City area, close to where we live, so we were hopeful that I would be able to find a teaching position this upcoming school year. However, most of these school districts are on hiring freezes and expanding class sizes among the teachers they already have on staff. Less than a month ago, a school district in Kansas City laid off 148 teachers. Now, all of those teachers are looking for employment and finding it nowhere. I had already determined that it was going to be alright because I would substitute this year (getting to know the principals as a part of that process). It worked in Rogers, so I assumed it would work here as well. At the end of July, I interviewed with the Assistant Superintendent at one of the school districts nearby, for a substituting position (they interview all applicants in order to screen the subs they end up hiring). As soon as I walked into the interview, the Assistant Superintendent thought my face looked familiar. He found out that I attended NSU in Oklahoma. He told me that when he was a principal, he would always travel down to Oklahoma to recruit teachers from NSU to work at his school. Anyway, long story short... I was approved to be a substitute for the district. He didn't know what I should expect, though, as far as how much I would be working. You see, all of these teachers who are looking for work are now substituting. There are more substitutes in our area than ever before, and the school districts are unsure how much we'll be able to work on a regular basis due to the overload.
Now, onto the events of this past week. A good friend of ours from church is a high school teacher in the district where I interviewed to substitute. The teacher she works with in the science department is due to have a baby in September. She found out last week that her long-term substitute had pulled out, & she wanted Jeni to contact me about possibly filling that position. Now, I have little background in Biology (other than high school and college) or high school students, for that matter. We were all unsure of whether the administration would hire me for this position because I'm not certified to teach secondary biology. Jeni's friend requested me anyway. The principal also requested that I have the job. However, by law, the administration had to approve someone certified in the subject area they would be teaching, if it was for a long-term position. I completely understood and was very relieved at the thought of not having to teach high school students (as wonderful as I'm sure they are...haha). It was an up-and-down process of I'm probably going to have the job/ no I'm not/ I might/ nope.. not going to happen. Still, I was relieved but frustrated at not knowing how much I would be working this school year. I told Jeni not to worry about a thing because I realize that God has never let me down. He has ALWAYS provided me with an opportunity of some-sort, right when it was needed. As soon as I sent her that message, I received an e-mail from the Assistant Superintendent asking me to give him a call about another position they had available. I called him immediately. He told me about a 3rd grade teacher in their district who was due to have a baby this upcoming September. She initially was going to take off just 6 weeks for maternity leave, and they still didn't have anyone to fill that position while she was out. The sad part of my story, and where I'm calling on you to keep praying, is that this teacher had her baby prematurely. The baby is in ICU as of now, and the teacher plans on working until the baby is released. She doesn't know exactly how long she'll be off....6-12 weeks or maybe the rest of the year. Very unsure right now. I hope, for her sake, that the baby will be healthy & she will just take off a regular maternity leave. She just doesn't know exactly what to expect once the baby comes home. Please keep this family in your prayers because I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to go through something like this with your child.
Where God's timing came in is that I definitely have a long-term position for this school year. I don't know how long (again pray that everything turns out just fine & this teacher will just be off a regular maternity leave), but I do know that God brought my name into the right hands to teach in this 3rd grade classroom, if just for a short while. If it hadn't been for Jeni, the long-term high school position suddenly coming up, and the Assistant Superintendent liking NSU grads (and thinking he recognized me from somewhere), my name wouldn't have even been on the map. There are so many applicants and everyone's resume looks the same. Being in the same classroom everyday will allow me to get to know the principal and the teachers really well... which gives me hope of finding a permanent job in the next school year (that's what happened in Rogers).
I never doubted God's ability to place me where I was needed, I just doubted where I needed to go. I questioned everything about my career choice and why God had brought us here right after I had found a job in Arkansas. Now I know. We're right where we need to be right now. I need to remember that my timing is not always God's timing, and HE knows what's best for me... not the other way around.