Aug. 24, 2015
Note to readers: I wrote this two years ago for this Website, which at the time was a place for me to practice my technology skills, part of the expertise I needed to get my teaching license in Virginia. It shows the enthusiasm for teaching that I had as I went through two years of post-graduate training. I leave it here as an artifact from another time and place. I continue to believe teaching is a “calling,” a job that requires special skills — empathy, patience, love, — that makes it closer in some ways to the ministry than it does to most other lines of work.
July 6, 2013
I was born and raised in Oregon and Idaho and would have been happy to live out my days there. My husband and I had deep roots there, and our three kids had friends they had known since preschool. When the economy crashed, our plans changed. My spiritual beliefs tell me that when a door closes, another opens. For me, teaching is the open door. I want to help prepare a new generation to change the world.
We landed in Virginia, 2,200 miles from our comfort zone, when the microchip plant where my husband worked for 25 years shed half its employees. Meanwhile, the Internet was battering the newspaper where I spent my entire career.
We moved to Virginia so my husband could take advantage of a new job opportunity. I could not find work comparable to what I had in Boise. Newspapers everywhere were suffering.
I started substitute teaching because I wanted to keep my kids’ hours. Newspapers are notorious for being 24-hour jobs. I sometimes took calls at 2 a.m. to answer copy desk questions about my stories. I often missed dinner and worked weekends to meet deadlines or chase stories. All of this turns out to be good preparation for teaching.
I did not expect to come to love teaching in the same way that I loved being a journalist, but that is what happened. I liked seeing students learn, and I liked seeing how teachers made that happen. I saw that teachers had meaningful jobs. I once felt that way about journalism. Both professions also require an intense curiosity about everything, a lot of talking back and forth, and a love of reading and writing. I feel privileged to have the chance to become a teacher.