It was a job from heaven. Seriously. It really was. I remember feeling fancy with a bit of padding in my pockets after my job for the summer... but moving to SLC, and finding myself without a job... never mind a fancy young man I was dating and wanting to marry some day. I had to find a job. I started immediately. Applying, getting turned away, lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually you just stop hoping. Walking into interviews your face is a little grim because even though it seems great, apparently they don't think YOU seem great.
And I got a call one day for an application I turned in. I told the woman on the phone the hours that I could work. She said they didn't have anything that fit that in the moment, but that she'd hold onto my number and call me if something came up. I'd heard that before. I'd given up. That padding in my pockets, the money was gone. I was done.
And a few days later, she called me back. Something had come up, she invited me in for an interview. I put on my best interview outfit, brushed my hair, and drove around for a long time trying to find the place. I did find it. I remember walking in. It seemed strange in there. The building was unfamiliar. The people were unfamiliar. I walked to the office and sat down. It was the same interview as always. I remember she was very interested in me, in not just my ideals and goals and skill set, but in who I was.
She took me on a tour of the building. Explained that the set up was a little strange because an air conditioner was being put in. She was introducing me to one little five year old and she said "This is Ms. Lara, she's going to be working here now."
My stomach dropped. Did I hear her right? After the tour was done she sat down and asked me if the job sounded like something I was interested in. "Y-yes." I stammered out. I was shocked. I didn't have any hope that I'd get this job. But I did.
I sat in the break room with paper work all around me. I pulled out my phone, hands shaking, and texted Joseph telling him I got a job. I was going to be a preschool teacher. I wanted to cry. I was so happy.
Two years later, and I feel like crying again. I've got two months left with these children. Each child has touched my life in a deep and powerful way. I want to talk to each of them and tell them what they did to teach ME. But I know they wouldn't understand. I hope that some day they'll be browsing the internet and find this and know that I'm talking about them.
How do you leave the dream job? I guess to go do your other dream job. To be an elementary school teacher. But how do you leave the children who's diapers you changed, who's tears you wiped, who's laughter you shared? I'm going to be a blubbering mess for sure. But I want to record every moment.
I had a meeting a few weeks ago, meeting the classmates I'd be working with for this next year in student teaching. A few students who were days from graduating, who had finished their student teaching, came to talk to us and share advice with us.
"Write it down now" one of them said. "Write down why you want to teach NOW, because when you start, it's going to be hard. You're going to get in the car some days and be unable to start the engine because it's so hard to get to that school and do your job. You're going to forget why you want to even teach."
So that's what I'm doing. I'm writing down why I wanted to teach, because on the days when I questioned it, even now, my preschool reminded me, my dream job reminded me.
So here is the start.