This is possibly the longest post I will ever write, but allow me to share my story…
For those of you who know me, you know that I am incredibly indecisive. I have the most difficult time deciding some of the pettiest things like what to buy for groceries or where to go out to eat. But there is one thing that I was sure and that was what I wanted to do for my career – I wanted to pursue teaching.
Back in high school, I was one of the few who wanted to become a teacher, so my friends asked if teaching, of all professions, was what I really wanted to do. After all, teaching doesn’t have the highest of salaries and isn’t one of the most reputable professions.
Going into college, I realized I wasn’t unique after all because I had quite some friends who also wanted to become a teacher. At this point, it was tempting to compare myself, thinking Am I more patient than her? Do I love children more than her?
Despite these discouragements, I was thankful for the support from my family. My dad, having been an educator himself for several years, with my mom and older brother saw my heart for children since a young age and fully encouraged me to pursue teaching.
Thanks to God, He has blessed me with a smooth journey in my pursuit of teaching.
In the middle of my freshman year, my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer. Over the next three years, he went through a number of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but never got better – in fact, the cancer had metastasized to his pelvis, spinal, and neck.
With the stress of school, it was hard on me emotionally at the thought of my dad possibly not being there at my graduation. But thanks to God, my dad made it down to see me graduate without even having to use a wheelchair all weekend.
Despite personal struggles of coping with my dad’s health situation, God helped me to pass all teaching exams on my first try, get accepted into the Master of Arts in Teaching and Multiple Subject Credential program at UC Irvine, and finish college in three years.
A week after finishing college, I went straight into starting graduate school. This past year has proved to be the most difficult to get through.
After a long three-year battle with cancer, my dad reunited with the Lord last October. I took a week off from school to be with family, but my professors were surprised to see me return at all. However, I think that continuing school is what my dad would have wanted and maybe what I needed to cope – something to keep me busy. It was a blessing in disguise – though I wouldn’t want anyone to have to experience the illness and death of a family member, my dad’s health situation grew my faith the most.
Then in January, I got into a car accident. Thankfully I didn’t get hurt, but it was a difficult time for me because my dad’s absence was all the more magnified since my dad typically took care of the car problems for my family.
Despite the many trials in my life over these last four years that would have stopped me along the way of pursuing teaching, God gave me the strength and grace to persevere, and I just finished my graduate program at the end of July.
With the job market having gotten tougher over the last four years, I knew that getting a job right after graduate school would be too ideal, but not impossible with God. Two months ago, I started applying for jobs. Thankfully in this time, I received quite a number of calls from schools wanting to interview me. I was stoked when Los Altos School District, the #2 school district in all California, interviewed me twice, but God closed the door both times.
It didn’t get easier trusting in God with the start of the school year fast approaching. The Monday right after I moved home on the first Saturday of August, I had two interviews, but God closed both doors. After thinking I had nothing lined up, suddenly I had three more schools wanting to interview me the following week, but God closed 2 out of the 3 doors. I realized the schools that I wanted weren’t what God had planned for me. I trusted that God knows me better than myself and has something greater in store for me in His timing.
Two weeks after moving home, I interviewed for a 4th/5th grade release teacher position at Washington Elementary in the San Jose Unified School District. This would have been a full-time position, teaching reading to 13 classes at two different schools. It was the first time I had seen the candidates interviewing right before and after me. I figured there must have been a lot of candidates being interviewed for this position so I didn’t think much of it.
Sure enough, the next morning, the secretary emailed me the principal’s letter of rejection. I replied with a thank you, only to be surprised at the quick turn of events! The principal responded and apologized for the secretary sending me that email and told me she in fact has a position for me, much better than the one I had applied for.
The school year already started three weeks ago, but because of enrollment, the current classes are oversized and that’s why they have to start a new class. How uniquely God created this opening for me! It’s full-time with my own classroom of 16-20 students, which is a very manageable number given the budget these days, teaching 3rd grade, which is what I did for the majority of my student teaching, and the school is only 15 minutes from home, the closest of all the schools I interviewed with. PRAISE THE LORD!!!
After three long weeks of waiting for the formal offer from the school district, I am surprised to have just found out that I will be starting my first day of work on Tuesday. I am nervous, but excited that the start of my teaching career is finally here! The day I start work will be exactly the one month mark since I moved home – God truly provided the best so soon.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!! I pray that through my story, you may be encouraged and put your faith in the God who is good and faithful all the time!!!