It happened surreally fast. One minute I was lounging around on the couch, baseball on TV, texting a dear friend in Iowa. The next I was filling out an application for a part-time, short-term job because... well, why not?
It was back in October-- I heard through a grapevine of friends that a local Christian high school was in desperate need of a Spanish substitute while one of their teachers went out on maternity leave. My knee-jerk reaction was something along the lines of oh, how fun... wish I could. In another life season I'd totally go for that.
But then, as I took a beat and decided to get a bit more info, and all the pieces of the puzzle starting falling into place at an almost-alarming rate, I actually applied. Within days I interviewed, got the job, and after an eight-plus year-hiatus from teaching, I entered the classroom as Profe Bennett for a Spanish II and a Spanish IV class.
(The teacher had her baby the day I started!)
Everyone involved in the process and the transition could see God sovereignly working all the details out. It was strange and yet a pretty darn perfect fit.
I felt totally out of practice, unprepared (hello, whirlwind), and in some ways unqualified. I had never taught high school (but rather college), but I love high schoolers and I was really excited to use my education again. I had to go shopping because um, no jeans allowed, and I had to wear actual shoes each day (the horror!). Oh, and I had to switch from hoop to stud in my nose (boo). But I did it, and it's been really fun.
It probably makes sense now why I took a few months off from writing here. I decided that I would not even try to maintain a writing habit during this time because I needed most of my free time to prep, grade papers, and get familiar with the system. I missed writing, but I knew this was a short season so I was able to commit fully for the time.
I got in a groove with childcare (despite an odd rotating schedule where my two classes fall at a different time each of the four days of the week I work) thanks to my gracious mom, David's flexibility, and the help of several friends.
And now, I'm approaching my last week. I love the students and will definitely miss them, along with the chance to get out, get dressed like a real grownup, and do my own thing for a few hours a day.
But I'm also excited to settle back into normal family life. Our homeschool routine has been (obviously) kittywampus but the kids have been really good about working around my schedule and doing schoolwork with David and my mom.
The whole thing has been quite a learning experience. And I don't just mean in getting back some Spanish skills, although that has been awesome. I didn't know if it would come back and it really has, yay!
But it's also given me the chance to see what it's like to be a "working mom," even if it's just a few hours a day for a few months.
And I've been reminded how much I love what we are doing for our own kids' education, and it has confirmed that we are doing the right thing for our family for right now.
It's shown me that I can do this sort of thing if I want to. It turns out I can juggle an outside-the-home job a few hours a day; I can handle the responsibility. It's been busy (and at times stressful), and I don't think it's something that I want to do right now long-term, but if I ever did want to, or if I needed to for some reason, I could. That's fairly empowering.
I love teaching Spanish. I'm a total grammar nerd, and languages fascinate me. I love interacting with students (except when they get too rowdy ;) --I'm looking at you, junior boys).
But I still want to be a writer. I'm totally open to more teaching opportunities in the future, but I feel that spark of passion deep-down to dig into writing. (I'm hoping that this time of teaching has instilled in me a bit of discipline in getting things done that I can carry into my creative pursuits.) It's time to stop talking about writing, and start doing it.