I was in a position I loved, at a hospital that I loved with colleagues that were more like family than colleagues when my teaching position “fell” in my lap. I’m a spiritual person and at the time was praying that God guide my life and my steps. Little did I know this would be the path he would lead me down.
There are days I ask him, “Are you really sure this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing?” It never fails when I ask that question I receive a quick reassurance that yes, I am. So I have to say the thing I love the most about being a CTE teacher is I know I am filling the purpose of my life. That isn’t to say that when I am working at the hospital I’m not doing the same but I’m serving a different purpose. It is a feeling like no other when I had a student come to me at the end of the school year and tell me that what she learned in my class helped her save her mother’s life when she was having a heart attack. Or that I am able to be there for a student whose mother is dying from terminal cancer and my student has no other support system. Yes, I love seeing the excitement in their eyes when they are learning a new procedure or diagnosing a disease but being able to be a positive influence in their lives means so much more! I don’t think as a regular ED teacher I would be able to connect with my students the way that I do, nor do I think I would have the same respect they give me. They know that I what I am teaching them is “real world”, they see me in my scrubs on the days I have to work at the hospital afterschool. They hear my stories of patients I’ve cared for and that I believe is the reason I am able to gain their respect so quickly and easily.
This year has been more challenging for me than last year which was my first year teaching. My students are very different and I’m having to learn to adapt to them. There have been more days this year than last that I do ask, “God are you sure about this”? But with all the challenges I’ve faced with the students this year nothing compares to the pay. That is hands down without a doubt the one thing I DISLIKE most about my job. I am working more hours at the school and I took a greater than 50% pay cut from what I made working in the hospital. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy or no big deal because it has. Unlike most of my fellow teachers I’m not privileged with the week-long breaks and vacations that occur with this line of work. When I am not working at the school I am working at the hospital to try and make up a little of the pay cut. Sorry to be Debbie Downer but unfortunately that is my reality.
Over all I have no regrets on my decision to become a teacher. I don’t know how long this journey will last, it may be another year or it may be 30 more, only God knows the answer to that question. I will continue to share my love of nursing with my students and try be a positive role model for them and help them pursue as they pursue their life goals.