I graduated from grad school about three weeks ago. It was a rough road in the spring semester. There was a lot of stress about the enormous piles of work that needed to be done, and the deadlines we were under, especially towards the end, when everything was due at once, but since I expected all of that, it wasn't that big of a deal, except for scheduling. Really, the hardest part was inter-personal. My spring mentor teacher and I are very different people, and it was a rough go on a lot of levels. The thing about experiences, though, is that you can learn almost as much, if not more, from hard ones as from those that are more enjoyable. I got along really well with the other teachers in my department, though. They were lovely people who knew what was going on, and who volunteered to write me recommendations that they descibed as 'glowing'. They actually all took me out to lunch the other day to celebrate my graduation. They couldn't have been kinder to me through everything that happened in the last few months, and I definitely wouldn't have made it if I hadn't known that they were all down the hall, rooting for me. They truly are my friends, and I am so grateful.
Now I'm at the waiting point to find out if I'll get a job. I've applied to the local board, and also to a few private schools in the area. I almost would rather do a private school, even though the money is less, because the class sizes are smaller and you're not as much at the whim of the state and local governments insofar as whether you will be furloughed or laid off or whatnot when budget time comes around. I know I have at least three really good recommendations in my file, probably a decent one from my advisor, and who knows what from my final mentor. At the very least, I'll continue to sub, and that could lead to something else eventually. If not, it will still pay the student loan bills. The sunny side of subbing-only is that there would be no evening work to do, like lesson planning or grading, unlike having my own class. It will be really hard to watch classmates of mine get a job if I don't, because it will probably feel like a personal rejection, and I will have to figure out how to deal with that if it happens. I love my classmates, and will be lifelong friends with many of them, so I'm genuinely hoping that they get jobs. I don't want to be left behind when I worked so hard and wanted it so badly, although after the last semester I have to admit that I'm not sure I want it as badly as I did when I started the program. I have to focus on not taking it personally, staying positive, and trusting that what is meant to be, will be.
I'm taking it one day at a time while I get some perspective on the entire program, and planning my next move.
Not sure if I'm going to return to this blog or not yet, but I do miss hearing from everyone, and I've been lurking on a lot of your blogs for awhile now to catch up. I have no idea whether anyone is still looking here or not, and that's OK, too. :)
6 months ago