My new job sure has changed me.
First, a little history. I was home raising my children for quite a while; my last full-time teaching position was in 1984. I did some part-time work in between but mostly was at home. I have a 25-year-old son, 23-year-old daughter, and 13-year-old son. I was married for 25 years when my husband decided a young woman from work looked better to him. I was devastated, to say the least. I had to sell the house, help the kids through the trauma, and finally get a job. So at 51, here I am, returning to the workforce.
The job has changed me because I realize “I can do it!” For starters, I have much experience with children and my own daughter with disabilities. And even though my formal education took place years ago, I remember more than I thought I would.
I still love to learn and am catching up on the many changes that have since occurred in the field of special education. I love the CEC SmartBrief that is delivered daily to my e-mail inbox. I have even printed out some articles to keep in my files for future ideas. I ask questions, lots of questions. As an “older” educator I don’t mind questioning the system. As a parent myself I can relate to the parents of my students.
On a personal level, I feel more professional. I look more professional. Check out my school picture—a little different than my original profile picture, huh? I have some decent work clothes now. I act more professionally. I don’t feel intimidated by the other professionals I meet in my job. My resume now has current experience on it.
I feel more independent. I have my own money coming in, instead of just trying to live on the alimony and child support. I see hope for the future, that I will be able to support myself when the divorce payments end.
I guess that is it . . . I have hope. Hope that I can support myself fully someday. Hope that I can make some difference in the lives of my students. Maybe because I have hope for the future, I can give these young adults hope for their own futures.