Sunday, September 17, 2006

Oh, By The Way...


So, on Friday I went into Tiny Community College (hereafter known as TCC) to do some administrative stuff. Joe had sent me home after our interview on Monday with a packet of papers from the human resources department - a TON of papers, actually, that took me nearly an hour to fill out - and I wanted to bring them all back. I also had to provide my driver's license and Social Security card to prove that I'm not an illegal alien (who's dying to teach English - I thought that was kind of funny). I was going to just bring my passport, until I realized that the key to our bank box isn't in my car anymore - it's in Husband's - so I went with the "one document each from columns A and B" option. Anyway, after delivering the forms, all properly signed and dated, an official copy of my transcripts and the legal citizenship documentation, I headed over to Joe's office to pick up the texts for the classes I'll be teaching.

I found Joe in his cubicle, furiously trying to get a bunch of loose ends tied up before he leaves for an unexpected trip to the midwest on Monday. He was tapping away at his computer, trying to get notices and forms out to all the people who would need them, finalizing the schedule for the term that starts next Monday (which is part of why I'm telling you all this in the first place - just bear with me) and making sure that he returned all his phone calls before his flight takes off on Monday afternoon. We sat and chatted for a bit, he told me about the orientation that will happen next Friday then turned to me and said:


"How would you feel about taking on another class?"


It turns out that he has a bunch of sections of "foundational" English that he's got to find instructors for. Remember I told you that TCC doesn't have any admissions standards? That if students hold a diploma or a GED, and can afford to pay for classes, they're in? Well, as a result, a lot of students come to the school with less-than-stellar skills in English and math, so the college sets up classes for them to hone some of those skills before going on into the classes for which those skills will be required. The classes run for six weeks instead of eleven (or twelve, in this case - they take foundational English for six weeks and foundational math for the other six) and classes start a week from Monday.

I told Joe that I'd be more than happy to take on another class, and that the short notice doesn't bother me in the least. The course dovetails very nicely with the others I'm teaching as far as scheduling goes - the Foundations class runs just ahead of the Public Speaking class - and doesn't interfere with my ability to get the girls ready and on the bus in the morning. To say that Joe was relieved would be a bit of an understatement; as he walked me back to my car, he joyfully announced to at least two people we passed by that "one more hole is filled!!"

I'm really excited by all of this activity in the professional part of my life, though I'm trying to keep an even keel about it and approach with a fair dose of caution. Just this weekend, one of my Capital-G-Girlfriends wrote me an email in which she said that this "sounds like the perfect gig to keep you active while you wait for YOUR job." That got me thinking...

What if this is MY job?

4 Comments:

Blogger Kizz said...

Why wouldn't this be YOUR job? Why would you want to walk into this looking out in front of it instead of experiencing it for all it is and can be? I don't get that.

September 18, 2006 10:18 AM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

I think I get where the "YOUR job" comment came from: my training is in HS teaching and, to this point, I've looked for HS jobs. The fact that this is NOT a HS job doesn't really stop me short, though; I see it as more of a broadening.

It's funny, too; my husband, all through my graduate school and internship, really encouraged me to aim for college-level teaching - he even mentioned applying SPECIFICALLY to TCC - because he thinks my personality is better suited to teaching adults. (That, and he worries greatly about the politics and general bullshit that goes around in high schools - we know a lot of HS teachers who do endless griping about the political climate and he knows full well that I've NO patience for it and will likely get myself in trouble in short order if put in the wrong situation). He stopped short of encouraging me to go for my PhD, though, even though I have to admit to considering aiming for it sometime in the not-too-distant future. I think grad school is a lot like labor - it takes a while to get over the pain of it, but once you do, you're willing to do it again. Selective anmnesia is a wonderful thing.

Anyway, the deal is that I broadened the cast of my net by applying to community colleges and, lo and behold!, I caught something. I'm looking at it as a fantastic opportunity and maybe, just maybe, the Universe telling me that THIS is where I really belong.

September 18, 2006 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having seen you teach, I must agree it IS where you belong.

September 18, 2006 6:42 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

I highly suspect that it is where I belong, though I do have to say that I had a LOT of success in my internship at the high school level and would probably jump at a chance to teach high school again.

I taught mostly freshman, though I did have a section of juniors and seniors in an AP Language and Composition class, and it was there that I felt the most comfortable. In my freshman classes - and a little with the juniors and seniors, but not quite so much - I found that suffer from a strange combination of an excess of affection for the kids themselves and a grating lack of tolerance for their many and varied shenanigans. I'm betting that the more down-to-business-ness of college students (particularly college students in career programs), combined with a bit more maturity (and a finer appreciation for sarcastic humor) will do me quite nicely.

September 18, 2006 7:54 PM  

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