Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Meet Teaching Working Girl

Over a year ago, WG1 and WG2 asked me to be a guest contributor and write about my not-as-typical Working Girl life after graduation, and I am honored to be asked to come back as a full-time contributor. For those of you who are too lazy to click and read (trust me - we all have our days), I'll give you the brief summary.


I graduated in 2007 with my degree in Communication. After interning in the city for a media company I realized it just wasn't for me. My days of playing school and teaching my dolls how to count Cheerios were still with me so I went to graduate school to become a teacher. After taking about 60 credits in one year and completing my student teaching I was a certified teacher. I thought I would complete my Masters in the next year but an unexpected job offer came up the last weekend of August.


The position turned out to be a teacher at a Head Start Preschool, which is a federally funded organization for underprivileged children. It was a challenging year (since I was one of the few teachers who was not bilingual), but the children were amazing. I took some more online courses and became officially certified in Early Childhood Education. It was heartbreaking to leave my ninos in June when I bought a condo with my sister and moved to Hoboken.


I spent most of my summer babysitting and job searching and when September rolled around and I was unemployed, I panicked. September passed, as did October and November. By this point I had been unemployed for 5 months. Speaking of, why isn't there a contributor called Unemployed Girl? Because I could so be her mentor! As much fun as it was at first sleeping late and watching Soap Net all day, it got old. Fast.


I applied for unemployment and got denied since I left my previous job voluntarily because of the move. My money was gone and I was scared I'd have to move back home. Luckily, my sister offered to be my sugar mama and helped me out so I didn't have to make that dreaded phone call to my parents.


December came and a friend of my fathers (who recently started a sales company) said he was looking for some help...in White Plains. For those of you who are geographically challenged like myself, this job required me to drive 2 hours both ways in traffic with angry New Yorkers. On top of that, the job entailed sitting at a desk in a small room with 5 other people making cold calls to appliance repairmen. My dream job? Notsomuch. Having no background in this I was shocked when I made my first sale..and then another..and another. It felt good, but not as satisfying as when I am with children and watching them grow and learn. Granted my preschool paycheck didn't put a dent in my bills, but the important thing was that I still loved it.


Luckily, I got a call on my third day of working as a corporate girl and got offered a job at a preschool for children with disabilities. And on my fourth day of work I gave my two weeks notice.


I was surprisingly sad to leave my White Plains coworkers. They were a lot of fun and we had become fast friends sitting in that office everyday from 9-6 but they understood why I had to leave. My boss knew my passion was teaching and he said he would never ask me to give it up. His support made me feel good about this new position, even though I am taking an extreme pay cut. (And I mean extreme as in making minimum wage). But it's not about the money because if it was I'd still be sitting in traffic on my way to White Plains at this exact moment (yes, the commute is torture). Plus, I have my sister aka my sugar mama to watch my back so I'm not too worried!


I'm really excited that I will be able to share my less typical Working Girl experiences with you. And just in case you wanted to know more about me, here are some fun facts. I am obsessed with this blog, The Office, Tom Hanks, and my dog Phoebe. I have a weird thing for Chris Daughtry and I love anything involving magic. I'm on the Junior Board of Directors for The Valerie Fund and I'd die if I didn't have DVR or Rock Band.

13 comments:

Chandra said...

Nice to meet you TWG! There should be an "Unemployed" WG, or a "getting back on her feet WG. I'm volunteering for the position if you're interested!

Heidi said...

yay! a fellow teacher (well i'm still a wannabe but i'm working on getting there!) I'm applying to certification programs/masters programs in CT currently, and the process...gets so draining emotionally a lot of the time.

So I'm excited you're a contributor! Can't wait to read more of your adventures :)

Alissa said...

Awesome! Isn't it funny how the worst jobs always have the best people working with you?

I too am obsessed with this blog, the office and Tom Hanks. Can't wait to hear about your working girl days!

Jennifer said...

I am sooooo looking forward to your posts. I work for a nonprofit doing events/marketing, but I am currently also going to school full time to get my teacher's certification in middle school social studies. I can't wait to read about your adventures!

SouthernBelleJM said...

I'm a licensed teacher as well. I never took a teaching job when I finished grad school (still need to do my thesis to complete my grad degree) but took a job in commercial real estate instead. I miss teaching so much. I just submitted my application and hope they call. It's been almost 2 years since I got my license, and it's been two years too long. Being able to work with special needs students is not only admirable, but it takes special people to do so. Keep up the good work! Kids need teachers who are passionate about their job and not just doing it for the check!

Einat said...

Thank you for sharing your story! It's always inspiration to hear how other people survived unemployment and that it's not always all about the $$.

Valerie said...

This is an incredibly inspiring story. I'm stuck at an 8-5 desk job that's completely unfufilling. I hope to find my calling. I always wanted to be a teacher, but haven't made any sort of leap. Great story!

highheelgal said...

Way to follow your passion! I've been a teacher for 7 years and love how new and exciting each day is! Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

Madame Lefty said...

As a fellow teacher, this will be interesting.

Joelle said...

I'm excited to have you! It's my second year teaching 4th grade in Oregon, but I can relate to the unemployment factor. I was unemployed for nearly four months after graduating, and mostly what I did was read, Facebook, and watch the four seasons of LOST that were available online (this was during the writer's strike when nothing new was on TV). After two weeks it got old (being unemployed, not watching LOST episodes).

MRS. OPTIMUS said...

Awesome! I also have a degree in Communications, currently working in International Business, but beginning classes in Februrary in pursuit of an M.S. in Special Education. I am very pleased that you are a contributor and I can't wait to read your posts!!

Elle said...

This is awesome! I'm currently in the corporate world, but going back to school for teaching and I've been searching for a blog that discusses the in and out of the career. I'm focusing on secondary education, but I feel like it can still be relatable! Looking forward to reading more! :)

Ohmygoshi said...

I've been away from the blogging world for awhile, so I'm still catching up, but welcome to WG! (PS, I could totally be your Unemployed Girl)