The Journey Begins

48 hours ago I received a phone call I’ve been anxiously expecting for about 5 months. My eyes filled with tears and my hands flew up to the sky in humbled, overwhelmed gratitude.

A little more than two years ago, I became a stay-at-home mom. For many reasons. Initially, it was because I got pretty sick and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. After spending a few months home while having tests run at every doctor’s office in the CSRA, we decided I would continue to stay home until childcare became cheaper (when the kids went to school). It made the most sense at the time. Childcare for two kids full-time can be extremely costly, and the types of jobs I found myself in didn’t necessarily warrant spending that kind of money. (That’s what happens when you major in Business… because so does everyone else who has no clue what they want to do. Maybe more on this in another post.) The opportunity cost was too great for me to spend those days working for something I wasn’t necessarily passionate about, at the expense of my kids spending the majority of their time with someone else.

It was a very hard transition for me. I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I have always wanted to work. I just hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do enough to do it for so little money (thinking about net after childcare). I spent those years at home volunteering as much as I could because I loved being out of the house. I loved solving someone’s problems. And what I really found that I loved most of all, was impacting the lives of teenagers.

So in January, like every other married couple (I think other people do this?), Big Love and I were mapping out our year. Strategically planning how we would progress towards financial freedom… how we would accomplish things we had on our lists for years… etc. We knew with our Little Love going to “real school,” we would be able to finally REALLY benefit from me working. Now it was up to me to decide what I wanted to do.

I’m a rational thinker. Always relying on facts. Logic. So naturally for me, deciding what career to pursue had to be an answer that came from a set of facts. I just had to lay it out. This is what I knew.

  1. I had a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and I LOVE the study of business.
  2. I really wanted to spend my time with high school kids.

Using that information, I made a very short list of careers that combined the two. As I stared at one option, “teaching,” I remembered how many people encouraged me to teach when I was in high school. And how adamantly I KNEW I did NOT want to teach. Yet seeing it spelled out in front of me, it seemed to excite me. I pulled up the county’s school district website to search for any openings and lo and behold!, my high school alma mater was looking to fill a position for Business Education. It was like the clouds had parted and a ray of light was shining down onto the screen of my phone. From that second, until 48 hours ago, I have filled out dozens of papers, been fingerprinted, my background checked, spent hundreds of dollars on certification, studied and passed the Praxis II for Business, started substitute teaching, pinned (& read!) hundreds of teaching articles on Pinterest, interviewed high school kids for “market research,” listened to Ted talks on education, interviewed, and prayed A LOT.

And now…. I am finally a teacher.

For anyone seeking alternative route certification in South Carolina (maybe similar in other states?), it is not a quick process. There are more hoops and fees and hurdles than they’ll really tell you upfront. So get started as soon as the thought occurs to you! I applied for the PACE program January 21st, and received my Letter of Eligibility on May 23rd. 

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