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Thursday, April 24, 2008

I made a (terrifying) life decision!

So... I did it. I took a leap, made a decision, and faxed in my signed "letter of intent" to work at an urban school district in a large city in the Southwest. I won't know until the end of May what grade or at what school I will be teaching.

Shortly after I submitted my intent, I received a phone call informing me that I was being offered another job! This, a position at a school district in a rural border community in the Southwest. This was a position that I had been flirting with the idea of, but didn't think that I would actually be offered. Apparently though, I did a good job of convincing the (phone) committee who interviewed me that I was seriously considering moving to this very rural border community. And I was seriously considering it. I would have loved to for so many reasons; I enjoy the rural lifestyle, I student taught in a small, kind of run-down, sleepy town and really liked that feeling, I would be working with the student demographic who interests me, and the district would be close to Mexico which is always neat. And also the people who interviewed me seemed really nice (my would be principal, a coworker, an assistant, and a parent) - when I voiced concern about being able to find a place to live down there if I were offered the job, they all reassured me that the town has a great community, and I would always be able to find a couch or floor to sleep on if I couldn't find an apartment right away. However, the one huge downside would have been the fact that this town is so rural - 2+ hours away from the closest medium-sized city, and I would have very few "peers" in the town.

So...I guess it's a good thing that I eliminated this rural border possibility by accepting the offer in the Large City before I was forced to make a decision between the two.

(And, embarrassingly, it is a little boost to my self-esteem that there are two districts who wanted me (and well, maybe more had I turned down this first offer and waited to hear back from other places).)

In trying to convince myself that I made the right choice (because I did and it will be good) I will make a list of the positive aspects of moving to the Southwest and working in this district.

1. The students come from the demographic I would like to work with.
2. The district has a new teacher mentoring program, which, even if poorly implemented, should be better than no new teacher mentoring program. (Right?)
3. The district is located within fairly close proximity to a University with a pretty strong Education program. (For my grad school aspirations.)
4. The southwest has nice weather.
5. I get to start an adventure!

Of course, there are downsides as well.
1. The Southwest is really far from the Midwest. (Google maps charts it as longer than one full day/24 hours by car.)
2. What if I hate the heat and sunshine? After all, I'm used to wearing long underwear through mid-April. What if I miss the absurd clothing layering I go through to keep warm in winter?
3. I'm very pale and have a family history of skin cancer. I will have to liberally apply sunscreen every day. (It sounds ridiculous, but it's true.)
4. I don't know how to make friends. How does one make friends in the real world? I have absolutely no ties with anyone in Large City, or even in Southwestern State at all. (This I would have to go through most anywhere.)
5. What if I really do like it and never want to move back to the Midwest?

Regardless of the "pluses" and "minuses," I made a decision and I am excited. I'm taking a risk and we'll see what happens! I will experience my dream of living among cacti, (well, when I leave the city). I do know, from past life events, that I adjust quite well to new places, and this will be another opportunity for me to experience a great adjustment. This will be at the least a year of my life, at the most...who knows?

Whatever it is, it will be good.


Blogger The Science Goddess said...


See? You are all grown up. :)

As someone who grew up along the Mexico border in the southwest, I assure you that you are in for an adventure. You'll be just fine---the teachers there will nurture and friend you to death.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Not Quite Grown Up... said...

Thanks! (And you were 100% right about the portfolio. I was offered two jobs without the use of a portfolio at all!)

I was thinking about that, and nope. I'm still not quite grown up. (Which is good, because having to change my blog name would be a huge hassle.)

But, that's not the job I took. The job I took is the one in the Large City - not the little border city. The little border city called just a few hours too late (because I had to respond to Large City by 5:00pm today, and little border city called at about 7:00pm today).

10:36 PM  
Blogger East Coast Teacher said...

*Is jealous but happy for you*

Congrats! Can't wait to read about your new adventures!

9:20 AM  
Blogger la rebelde said...

Felicidades! How exciting!

I know what you mean about moving to a new place and looking for friends. It's hard to make the transition. But be patient--every time I've moved (which is a lot now) it's taken about a year to find my niche. Actually, I think I'm still looking for it--and I've lived in LA now for a year and a half!

Oh, you may hate the heat, but the sunshine is wonderful! I definitely miss winter accessories, though...sigh.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous s said...

NQGU is amazing!

3:15 PM  
Blogger La Brown Girl said...

Yay! Congratulations!!! If your mentor teacher doesn't do a good job, you still have us!

If sw state is Texas, let me know!!! I've learned more about Texas education beauracracy and laws than I thought I ever wanted to know.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Magistra said...

Congratulations! And I'll bet you don't stay friendless for long...

7:46 PM  
Blogger Not Quite Grown Up... said...

Thanks everyone! I'm still freaking out about having made this decision more often than not, but I think that by the time July rolls around (and meetings/orientation begin), I'll have come to terms with it all.

And, Southwest state is neither TX nor CA (which seems to be where most southwestern bloggers live, unfortunately).

12:00 AM  
Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

You are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime! Trust me, you will love the desert Southwest. It grows on you. Last summer I was job hunting and the ONLY solid offer I had was from a school in Dirty Little Desert Town. I gulped, signed on--and fell in love with the area. Yes, it's hot, but you get used to it. Yesterday it was nearly 100 degrees here--and it didn't feel all that bad! (Last August I thought I would DIE in the heat!) You'll make friends, you'll have a positive influence on your students, and most of all, you'll learn the ways and means of a different part of the country. I grew up in Kansas, so I know the Midwest. Yes, you can always go back--but I don't think you'll want to. Congratulations on this new part of your journey!

2:54 PM  
Blogger J said...

oh wow, congratulations! that's wonderful news--both that you accepted an exciting job and had two offered to you. very exciting! looking forward to hearing more about the upcoming adventures! :)

6:36 PM  

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