Friday, March 12, 2010

To teach or not to teach...

I miss teaching.

I miss middle schoolers.
(Gasp. I know. Some think that this is like saying I miss having root canals.)

My departure from the classroom was intended to be a short hiatus so that I could spend the first year of Noah's life at home. My principal at NKMS graciously hired a substitute and I was scheduled to return to my cozy science room in the fall of 2008. Then ... well ... life happened. Josh was offered the job at Alabama, we moved to Tuscaloosa, and Noah's diagnosis meant that pursuing a teaching position in our new state wasn't in the cards.

This May it will be three years since I stood in front of a group of 7th graders trying to concoct creative ways of explaining to them the mysteries of the scientific world. There is a pile in the corner of our garage that contains all the treasures of my teaching career: curriculum, posters, hall passes of variety shapes and sizes, books, science gadgets, etc. I sometimes gaze wistfully at the pile when I head to the garage on some housekeeping task, but the boxes have remained unopened since our arrival in T-town.

I did go so far as to apply for teaching certification in Alabama. The arduous process ended in a cryptic letter from the state implying that I needed to take a general science content exam... I explored this possibility and discovered that I may have been able to navigate the exam when I was newly graduated from Washington U with my biology degree, I am currently ill-equipped with the knowledge required to pass it. Further investigation revealed that I actually could be certified to teach life sciences in Alabama with the credentials I already possess (I did teach 7th grade for 10 years after all) but the state thought it would be in MY best interest to be certified to teach multiple science content areas.

This certification roller coaster ended with me discovering I was pregnant last April. Ironically enough, days after confirming Eli's little life growing inside me, a 7th grade science position opened at a respected local middle school. Needless to say, I didn't apply and thoughts of teaching moved to the back burner once again.

And now it looks like our days in Alabama are numbered. Unless something dramatic unfolds, the 2010 season will be Josh's last with the Crimson Tide. The hiring cycle in coaching will rev up in November and December... until then the picture of our future remains murky.

If and when the opportunity presents itself for me to return to the classroom, will I be ready? Will I have lost my touch? Will the technology pass me by?

All I know is that I get to look at this sweet little face every day instead of the faces of a bunch of adolescents who may or may not care about the steps of mitosis... and that is not a bad gig.


Penni said...

I'm in T-town, teach high school physics, and cannot imagine, for the life of me, why any idiot in Montgomery (I know, redundant statement) would try & make it difficult for you to get certified when we are so desperately short of science teachers in this state. But, then again, I very rarely understand ANYthing coming out of Montgomery.