Sunday, February 13, 2011

wish me luck

I'm afraid that if I post this I will jeopardize this opportunity.  I was born on a Friday the Thirteenth and really am not superstitious, (though I wouldn't walk under a ladder anyway), but I am worried about jinxing myself.  Logical, no, but that doesn't stop me often.

I have been asked for a second interview for a job I think I'd really like.  It seems like a perfect fit and I think they like me as much as I like them.  I'm not normally such a pessimist, but I keep thinking that if I get too psyched about this, something will go wrong. 

I've dabbled in going back to work for about a year.  I haven't done much, but I've put my name out there a couple of times and spent time writing proposals and resumes etc.

I used to teach Preschool Special Education in the public school system.  I had a self contained class of preschool kids (3-5 years, usually chose four year olds if got a choice) with disabilities of all variety.  I had kids with vision impairments, walkers for physical issues, barely verbal kids with cognitive or language problems... a little of it all.  As the years (ten of them) went on, I got a reputation for working with those with autism.  I spent one awful year with four children no one else would/could take.  They were all probably autistic (if not diagnosed as such), mostly non-verbal and mostly violent when frustrated.  Which was often.  I'll always be able to date my last tetanus shot to that year.  I got bit on the butt, (I sort of deserved it, if anyone ever deserves that) and it actually broke the skin through my pants.

Ahh, fun stuff.  But, it seems to be in my blood.  I am a magnet for special needs kids.  If I don't find them, they find me. And I do find them. On playgrounds, in the library, at the grocery....  Other teachers acknowledge the same thing, but can't identify why it happens.  Maybe we make eye contact with them differently.  Not sure.

Anyway, I had always had a fantasy of taking a part-time job at my kids' school, teaching in the same field.  Except for the fact that they don't have a preschool class there. And that the county doesn't hire anyone part time anymore (not wanting their benefits isn't enough to convince them that part-timers could save them money).  And that lots of teachers try to get into this school and can't.

Well, that and that I let my teaching certificate lapse.  I quit teaching when Pook was born.  I'd just renewed my teaching certificate for five years, hated everyone and everything at my school, but remained smart enough to not burn any bridges as I waved goodbye.  But five years later I had two small kids and I knew that the field of autism was changing dramatically, so I chose to let my certificate lapse.  I could have hired a babysitter to watch the kids while I learned how to make a coat-hanger mobile at a school supply store, and then had to do it all again now anyway, five more years later but I couldn't get into any good classes in the actual field without being an official college student again.  So, I figured I could work at a private school that either didn't care about my certificate or would pay me to go back to school to earn it.

Some snooping around this year led me to believe there wasn't anything much out there.  With the help of a friend, I put together a proposal for a different fantasy job.  I would be the full special ed. department at a church preschool.  I'd help kids and teachers in different rooms and coordinate with parents and specialists.

The idea is sound, but the economy is not.  I quickly learned that even the best meaning school can't be persuaded to hire someone for a job they didn't think they needed, taking in kids they didn't think they wanted, to pay with money they don't have.  So, I sat on the idea and figured that if I talked about it to lots of people, someday something would come of it.

This position was on Craig's List, which I found last fall while looking for an appropriate price for a jogging stroller.  It said very little about the job, so I did some searching and found that it was a place I knew much about-- all good.  I applied.  Then heard nothing.

I was flattered when they called last week and said that they'd been holding on to my resume, hoping another availability would come up.  I interviewed on Tuesday and now am heading back on Monday.  It is almost my fantasy job.  Except the parts I don't like?  Like the background legal parts and the administration portion... I wouldn't have to do.  The job is M/W/F, about thirteen hours a week.  Perfect fit.

I should know their decision soon; I think they want someone to start right away.

Wish me luck.  Not that I believe in it.  Well, only sort of.


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