I Don’t Have the Job I Expected (And It’s Okay)

I’m sitting at someone else’s desk, using her resources and marking her students’ essays. I check her mailbox, use her copy code and check her voicemail. I am an LTO.

LTO stands for Long Term Occasional teacher. This is a fancy way of saying I’m filling in for someone. Disclaimer: I am one of many teachers in this board (and province) who are in a similar position; however, my experience could be (and likely is) different than many others out there like me.

When I was in teacher’s college, we were told the job prospects after graduation would be slim. It was a well-known fact in 2009 that there were simply too many teachers and not enough jobs for them all. Upon hearing this, I decided to make a plan. I decided that I’d stick it out for five years and then re-evaluate the situation. So here I am. Re-evaluating.

There was a point in my career, not long ago, when I had almost given up. In between jobs supply teaching, I would search the internet for other jobs inside and outside the world of education. But, I decided to stick it out a bit longer (I had to get through those five years first!) and continued on this path. Reflecting on this, I’m glad I decided to stay in this profession.

I love my  job. I get to be social, I get to meet interesting people and I get to challenge young minds. I often complain about my current situation and I realize I have to stop. I commented to a colleague last week that I was tired of interviewing every few months for a new job and then realized I’m fortunate to even have interviews considering many of my friends and colleagues are still waiting on the sidelines trying to get their foot in the door.

No, I don’t have my own desk and no I don’t have my own mailbox (well, sometimes I do), but for a brief time, I can call them “my students” and that’s the most important part, isn’t it? I am thankful to continue to get jobs and hope that one day I’ll become a permanent teacher. Until then, I’ll be the “new guy” every few months and I’ll be okay with it too.

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One thought on “I Don’t Have the Job I Expected (And It’s Okay)

  1. “I love my job.” So few people get to say (write) these words. There’s definitely no harm in re-evaluating where you are periodically, in fact, I believe this is something you should do every month or so to keep yourself on track, or at the very least, have an idea of how far of track you’ve gotten. It’s easier to make minor “course corrections” every few months than it is to make drastic changes years later, or worse, lack the courage to face the possibility of change. It’s all about what’s important to you. If having your own desk and mailbox is important to you, then of course those things might bother you. But if being social, meeting interesting people and engaging young minds is paramount, then it sounds like you’ve found what you’re after :). Too often we place what others think is important first – corner office in a high-rise with many leather bound books – and these things pull us off track of what you consider important. Keep it up! 🙂

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