Against All Odds
Nobody’s first year of teaching is easy. Mine just so happened to be in the Bronx, with minimal prior experience, teaching in an area in which I had no expertise – elementary literacy.
I was saddled with fourteen different classes per week – about 350 students – which tested me in many ways. At first, I thought I was doing okay, all things considered.
Then, a coworker of mine, another first-year teacher, got fired for really no good reason. Looking back at the teachings of The Secret, it’s so obvious what effect my thinking about her situation had. I thought to myself, “this could happen to me.” Sure enough, my supervisors started paying more attention to me, and not in a good way. They began writing me up for seemingly every little thing I did wrong. My fear led to more fear until my job – heck, my life – was really intolerable.
In truth, our school is not a happy place to work. There are some truly wonderful people on staff – and thank God for them – but a lot of unfair things occur and very few people are happy with the way things are run.
Then, all this fear of being fired built up to a terrible situation. My mentor informed me that if I did not find another teaching position at a different school, my principal would “U” rate me for the year – “U” as in “unsatisfactory.” This is a big deal. He thought it was unfair, but there was nothing he could do about it.
I called upon numerous people for help, yet it seemed nobody could say anything but “I wish I could do something to help you. You’ll just have to find another job.”
I applied to literally over 200 teaching jobs, and only heard from four – two of which rejected me.
It was during this time that I was reading The Secret for the first time. I decided that I would not get disheartened, I would not throw in the towel.
“I will get a job,” I said to myself.
I had literally two weeks to get a job.
Most principals do not hire in June. Think about it: if you were a principal, you’d probably be stacking up resumes in June due to being insanely busy with end of the year things.
A few interviews later, I went in for a demonstration lesson and interview at a new small middle school in Harlem. I loved that I could talk to the administrators like real people without feeling “that knife in your back”, as a coworker of mine called it. I loved the 7th grade students. I really just had a great time – and the principal loved it and hired me on the spot!
I woke up that day feeling so positive, with that little tingle of excitement in my stomach. How could things go wrong on a day like that? They didn’t.
Worth noting: I also made it to the interview in record time!
I can’t solely credit my practice of The Secret with my success. I also have a coworker and a complete stranger to thank, both of whom offered me so much support, and in one case, prayers.
Even though my former administrators worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle teaching middle school English – because I was “too nice”, among other reasons – I knew in my heart that I could. Now I’ll get the chance to do it.
I’ll thoroughly enjoy this summer, but I have high hopes for September, too!