Life After Immaculate Conception
When I was first fired from my job at Immaculate Conception, I felt like I'd come to the end of my rope. I'd used up my nine lives. I was too young for the golf course and too old for a classroom. My world had exploded. All of the education; student teaching; lesson plans; parent conferences; worrying; and planning...gone. I'd been fired. I'd never be hired again. I was dead.
I'd felt this way before. I left the field of full-time journalism to go into teaching. I thought teaching was going to be more rewarding; more fun; more fulfilling.
What I didn't know at the time, but I do know now, is that life wasn't over. After going through programs at the Day Hospital and talking with Dr. Gutkin, I started to reflect on my careers; to reflect on teaching, especially. What I didn't realize was that teaching had a lot of triggers involved in it. It wasn't the dream job I had anticipated. It wasn't the right fit for me.
Teaching can be very depressing. And for someone who gets depressed easily, it can be even more depressing. What I learned from Immaculate Conception is that I wasn't screwed up. Teaching at that school was screwed up. Since my termination, I've talked to several parents who say the same thing about the school.
For me, teaching has too many triggers. The parents are against you; the principal won't support you in cases of discipline; and many of the students are against you and against learning in general. What I didn't realize, was how much this depressed me. I would plan and toil away at night...just to teach a lesson to a group of bored eighth graders the next day.
Successes went unnoticed. So-called failures were magnified 100 percent by the principal and vice principal and parents. And their definitions of failure were ridiculous.
I've concluded: teaching is depressing. Nobody cares. There's no money. We're overworked, underappreciated and bullied by parents and students who have no respect for the profession. And for me, an occasional good student or nod of approval isn't enough to outweigh all of the negatives.
Now, a year after I was fired from my job at Immaculate Conception, I'm studying accounting and I feel like I've finally started living and growing again. I don't feel like I'm at the end of the line. I feel like I'm at the beginning, and I love that feeling. I made a major change in my life and it was scary and continues to be scary...but I'm very glad I made it. Maybe being fired was the wake-up call I needed.
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