I was just scrolling through the “on this day” part of Facebook and I learned that today is the 10 Year Anniversary of my first teaching job.
I remember this period of time well. I was 23, a baby, although I thought I was an adult. I’d been working at Godiva on and off since summer 2005, but mostly on since summer 2006. It was around this time in 07 that the assistant manager position opened up. Man, did I want that position. Meanwhile, I’d for some reason applied to a few assistant manager positions at other stores at the Commons. I was also applying for teaching positions because I had just graduated with my teaching degree the year before.
I got an interview at Kipling, which sells bags, luggage, backpacks and the like. I vividly remember the manager asking me point blank, “If you were hired here, but then you were offered a teaching position, would you take it?” I honestly don’t remember how I answered, but in my head I was like, duh yes. I remember my manager at Godiva asking me the same thing during our interview, and telling me that my desire for a teaching job makes it difficult to hire me as a full-time assistant manager because I could leave at any time.
I didn’t get the job at Godiva, but somehow Kipling decided to offer me the position. I think I was going to make around $10 an hour, give or take, and I thought I had made it in life. I resigned from Godiva, which I was pretty sad about because I liked the job and the people I worked with, but I had student loans to pay.
After 2 days at Kipling, I was absolutely bored to death. I went from making chocolate drinks, dipping chocolate strawberries, washing dishes, pulling chocolates out of the case and describing how they taste (and you know I love to talk about food)…. to straightening up purses. At first I thought I’d be excited to not have to make the drinks anymore, but instead I was sad.
After 2 days, on my first day off, I got a call from a local school district asking if I could come in that day to interview for a maternity leave. Of course I can come in today, I said. I interviewed with about 7 people, which was the most intimidating interview up to that point in my life. After it was over they asked if I had time to interview with the superintendent. Of course I have time, I said. I went over there, we talked, and then I went to my friend’s house.
Somewhere in all of this, I decided I didn’t want to work at Kipling at all. I don’t remember when, exactly, I was offered the leave replacement position. I do remember going to Godiva and asking the manager if I didn’t get the position at the school, could I come back. She said yes, so I must have called Kipling and quit. The manager was not happy, and to this day I still won’t walk past that store.
The kids told me I was the 3rd choice, but the first 2 backed out so I was offered my first real teaching position teaching 7th grade language arts. It lasted from February to May. I learned that I was not adequately taught a thing about classroom management during college. I also learned I was really good at forming connections with the students. This is when I first considered the idea of being a school counselor, “as a backup plan.” I wouldn’t officially realize that was my calling for another 3 years. My 3 months as a sub helped me get my first full-time teaching position the following school year.
I lasted 2 years as a teacher. It had been my goal in life to be as amazing a teacher as the ones I had growing up. It was during my first year that I realized I wasn’t meant to be in the classroom. It was during my second year that I accepted it. 5 years into my current position, at my current school, and those kids that I struggled to teach are nothing compared to the challenges my current students bring. I was so young and naive, and still a kid myself. It’s amazing to look back on the past 10 years – everything that lead up to my first position and everything that has happened since – and see the domino effect my resigning Godiva to work at Kipling for 2 days only to quit to go back to Godiva but then getting the job I wanted anyway has had on my life.
I went back to work at Godiva in May, when the teacher returned, and stayed there until August 2007. It was my favorite retail job ever.