A Game of Chance

“I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” -Stephen Hawking

“Wait a minute what is happening?” I was frantic and panicking. The transfer list had unveiled her torch like the statue of liberty proclaiming “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Teachers were putting their name on the transfer list like it was a scene in the movie Independence Day and I felt like I was Will Smith walking outside to grab my daily newspaper. I knew the list was now available to those seeking to be relocated for one reason or another, but I’m one that minds my own business. I started to hear the whispers and sensed the shifted atmosphere that had set a tone of urgency. Look up! Don’t ignore this! Find out what’s going on crazy.

I was almost eight months pregnant trying to manage sixteen students that had a reputation of giving teachers the business when and as needed. I never saw those personalities in my classroom though. Behavior happened more frequent in the absence of my presence. Maybe they pitied the fact that I was their height with an oblong positioned mini me in my gut. Whatever the case, I thank those kiddos for not stressing me anymore than I needed to be. I was already struggling to find a coping mechanism with the fact that I was a control freak that hated to hand my class over to anyone that was not me. I still am actually. Now I had to not only figure out if I was leaving behind enough busy work for the last three weeks of school in preparation of my GREAT escape….maternity leave, but I was also being plagued with finding out why a good percentage of the faculty was packing their things and leaving!

“WE’RE GETTING NEW ADMINISTRATION. (Well duh, one was retiring.)I don’t feel like going through this again. If I’m going to get two new administrators, I want a new setting altogether! And there’s talks of possible state takeover. Who wants to deal with that?” Just a few of the reasons that were floating for people choosing to move on.

But really? That was what the fuss was about? That serious? (Thought the naive newbie.)

At least they could put their name on the transfer list…I guess. I was a new hire that had recently graduated in December. (I just so happened to have received a job offer from the same school I student taught at, lucky me!) Since I was considered an end of year hire and I was soon leaving on maternity leave without earned time. Can you say penalty? I would have to be rehired. I would not receive a contract to sign until summer.

I had the beginning of summer to figure out if I would accept the offer when it came. The problem with that is that I also had to reapply into the district. Imagine my face when principals started calling me out of the wahzoo for job interviews. Wait a minute! Did our new administrator not want me back!

I was happy that I was being sought out but I was aggravated because I so dearly wanted to return! Why did they keep calling? That’s it! I picked up my phone and called the school. “May I speak with an administrator please?” my voice crisp and to the point. “This is she.” I gulped. She sounded so sweet and pleasant. There’s no way she didn’t want me to continue my stead or did she? “Yes this is Mrs. Straughter. Unfortunately I left on maternity leave before having an opportunity to meet you. I was told that I could potentially return to my position for the upcoming school year but I have received countless calls from other schools that I’ll only be interested in if I no longer have my position here.”

“Whew!” she let out a sigh of relief or so it seemed. “You had me worried. I have heard nothing but great things about you and was eager to have you to return if you were still interested. I have been getting a few of those calls myself and figured you had possibly had a change of heart. I’ll get my recommendation in to HR as soon as we’re done!”

Wait she sounded too excited to have me. Very happy! Carefree. Too good to be true? I thought to myself. I began to overthink everything. What if she’s a micromanager. What if I suck at teaching. Wait a minute I’ve never taught a full year. What if? What if? What if? What if the brief interaction that was exchanged over the phone really too good to be true? Was it?

Not at all. I made it through my first year because I had oustanding administrators that pushed me into my greatness and that are still doing such. I’m proud to be a part of such a great team. The love and support that they have provided to me as a first year teacher is somewhat unheard of and someone somewhere is probably wishing this was their story.

I say that to say this. Teaching is and will always be a business of taking risks. You put your name on THE LIST and you get what you hope is a better opportunity to enhance and grow. You stay at your school…you wait patiently. You pray. And hope that the upcoming year is good to you. In this profession as with any other, people come and people go. Sometimes changes and requirements will dicatate the next move you make and sometimes they won’t.

I took a risk and stayed regardless of the packed boxes and great escapes. By far, it was the best thing I could have done.

Wait! What is that I hear….dinner is ready!

See you in the next post? Same time?

Published by personalizedoutfitters

My name is Shaundra Straughter. I am an educator, wife, mother, minister, author, and public speaker. I have been blessed by God with many talents but one purpose. I enjoy coaching and motivating others to success, whether it's in my profession of education or spiritually. I believe that we all have a purpose on this journey and some of us tap into our purpose sooner than others. Wherever you are in your walk, I'd like to encourage you to either get started or keep going! Whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP!

2 thoughts on “A Game of Chance

  1. This is only you’re second blog and it’s starting to give me life!! Even though, I’m not a teacher, I can still apply most of what you write into the wonderful world of financial aid 🤦🏾‍♀️. Keep em coming 😊

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