let me catch you up to speed on something i've been trying to work on for quite awhile now and haven't wanted to say anything...partly in case it didn't work out (which is still a possibility), but mostly for the surprise part of it...
and now, this is where not telling anyone comes to an end...here goes...
after graduating college (with the broad, vague, awesome degree of communication studies) i had countless high hopes and lofty dreams of finding the. perfect. job. obviously, everyone does. well, clearly that didn't happen, as three years, two cities and a new name later i'm answering phones in our church office (heaven forbid you start thinking that's all i do, but, well, you know...for the sake of time we'll keep it general) shows for nothing of that degree.
one wednesday evening, as we were making our long haul to youth group (and in my case, back to the same building i had left just two hours prior), i had an epiphany. epiphany is such a great word that our high school writing teacher had us write a paper on just that. epiphany. well i had one. and it was good. really good. since we'd be moving in a few months (this was before christmas), i was starting to dread the whole 'square one' job hunt. you know, the 'ho-hum, what'll it be now?' with comm, it could be anything (a perk and a negative)... PR? assistant? secretary? legal? advertising? marketing? nannying? really, anything. back to my epiphany, something that corrolates directly with feedback originally ignored that i'd been getting for years.
i had an idea. for a job that would work perfectly with a flexible schedule, a town-hopping spouse's career and a plain and simple good job.
i want to be a teacher.
repeat. i want to be a teacher.
yes, i just made it public. this is huge. no going back now. you heard it here, first.
and not just any teacher, an english teacher. and if the world were so perfect, a high school writing teacher.
that is my dream job.
this is where things get interesting (if you're still with me)
i had this epiphany on the long drive, chewed on it for quite a while and after husband whole-heartedly agreed with me, things really started churning in my head. well, i'd have to get trained. fortunately, there are countless programs that will send a person already holding a bachelor's on the fast-track to state testing. and since texas is a state that doesn't have an undergrad education program, the programs were endless. so, like buying a car, i narrowed down my choices... since we'd be moving in a few months, staying in texas for only another two years (max.) this would have to be something i do now or wait two years. (me? wait? for anything? hello, meet the girl who met, dated and got married to the guy in nine months. thank you.) so starts my rollercoaster.
online programs were many. they were ideal: apply to the program, take video classes (the equivalent of a college course, apparently) that equal some 60+ hours, pass the test at the end of each class, then move along to state testing, which includes testing out of the area you'd like to be qualified to teach (in my case, english and speech [there was no writing option, but don't you worry...i'll get there]) then pass the big TeXes (or something) and voila! apply for a job, 'student teach' (called an internship when you use a program like this, since you get paid) and in a year you have your full license.
programs through a college were the other option, but were very discouraging because not only would i have to apply to the actual college, but then their education department and go in to the school to take classes/meet with an advisor and then be on the school's schedule (as in...start at the fall semester)...basically the most time consuming and least convenient. and in furthering education, it's all about convenience.
here's where it gets tricky. being a military spouse, there is funding for me to further my education. enough where it could pay for the whole darn thing. but clearly, the programs they fund are very restricted. and as it turns out, every single online program i started to get excited about was not funded through this program. my money-conscious, genius, husband crunched some numbers and figured out that it would not be worthwhile for us to spend the money in a program like this, at least not while in texas. that and, we're poor. i already have a degree that will get me a job.
so another road block.
have i mentioned that this is literally taking months to figure out????
road block after road block.
and more road blocks. i asked friends who had recently gotten certified here in texas, FIVE of them, to be exact. they all used different programs. each one of them the military did not pay for, of course. each one of them i sat on the phone, through three different callers, on hold for at least 20 minutes to figure out that they were not covered. until.
a new program that i had never heard of before. i researched, applied, and got accepted into the program. and of course, it was not covered through the military funding (in this time we've learned that since october, that the military's program's funding has been cut in half, of course) so i started coming up with different options. like, looking for a different job. i had seriously given up, since i had literally exasperated every option 'lil 'ol me could find. i was starting to get optimistic about maybe working on base, or finding a retail job that i could get great discounts, but really, anything else.
then, almost three weeks after submitting my information to the teacher certification program, (and in the meantime realizing it wasn't going to work out) i got a phone call on my way home from work (one that i almost didn't answer, but i recognized it to be a houston area code and in case someone from church was calling i answered) turned out to be a nice lady from the education company...i told her nicely that i was "putting things on hold" until i got everything figured out with moving and the military funding, etc. she said that she's heard of one other person trying to go through the mil. funding program and what a hassle it's been for them, etc....very pleasant but i left the call thinking that i've gotten myself crossed off their list.
enter monday afternoon. i got a call from the same lady asking me to walk her through the website i've been using to get the funding from the military. i had realized that the teaching program had to apply with the mil. funding program in order for it's students to received aid. so i told that to mrs. betty, and she just asked if i could help her understand what i was looking at when i applied for the aid and what they were telling me. apparently, this teaching program had tried several times before with military spouses trying to use the same program but not getting the funding through the military, which had caused them to give up. but for some reason, with me, they decided to finally do things right and get one person through and find out as much as possible in order to really start being a benefit to other military spouses. so i'm their guinea pig, apparently.
by tuesday afternoon i was on the phone with the director of marketing, or something, for the company, who was making sure i understood what i was doing for them, which was going to help me get through the funding hoops. now, on the military funding website they had one step i had to do (upload an "education plan") that, once it was uploaded, couldn't be changed and was a title of each class i'd be taking (that they'd be funding). this is something that i, the student, would normally compile. seemed confusing to me, so i asked mrs betty about it and she said (and i quote) "we'll email it to you in five minutes". and in five minutes, i had a complete education plan on the company's letterhead in an adobe format. fast-forward to today, when i got a message from the military funding office saying i not only needing that education plan, but also, a description of the type of certification i'll be training for. ohmygosh. (seriously, this is how meticulous they are) so when betty emailed, inquiring about the status of my application (which takes at least 7 days to get accepted) i told her what i needed and said, i'll let you know when i get that cert. training uploaded and get through this acceptance stage. back to the drawing board, in my mind.
in this time, i'm doing a little more "real-time" research on making sure i have my i's dotted and my t's crossed for this education company that is going to get me certified, online, and in the amount of time that i put into it. i realize i have to send an official transcript from bethel, upload my resume (done), online interview (done), handbook policy (done), etc...find four references (really??) before i'm officially "accepted". whew.
fast forward to me getting home, just an hour ago, after a looong day, to an email from mrs betty. attached was a letter of reference from the director of the company detailing the type of certification i would be obtaining and "it is with great pleasure that we write to inform you that we have received your application............etc........you are an outstanding teacher candidate and we look forward to working with you on your alternative certification." (which is exactly the last bit of information i need to be funded by the military program)
i mean, really?? after years of pushing aside teachers' comments, professors' insights and other seemingly mindless comments, my mind is made up.
the moral of this story is that i'm going to be a teacher. and there's nothing i can do to stop it.