Monday, August 23, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

I've been reading tons of "back to school" posts and tweets lately. It totally brings me back to this time two years ago. Peyton and I had been married for a couple of months, I had graduated from college the previous May, and I HAD A JOB! I was so exciting about my first year of teaching. I was a little nervous, too, because I wasn't teaching in the kind of school I had expected to be teaching in.

People tell you all the time that there is a *huge* demand for good teachers. There is a demand for good teachers. There is a huge demand for good teachers in impoverished areas where 80% of the kids are on free and reduced lunch. I'll be honest, I was scared and I did not feel confident enough to teach those children my FIRST year. I did apply at some of the "better" public schools, but I was too nervous to do anything above second grade and there were some schools I just wouldn't apply to period. When I couldn't really find a job at a public school, I decided, per the recommendation of a friend, to apply at a small Catholic school in Jackson. It was also in the "inner city", but it was small so my classes would be small. Also, the parents were paying to send their kids there, so I knew I could expect more parental support than what I had seen during my field experience in some area public schools.

I GOT THE JOB. I was so excited. I was going to be able work with kids who really needed my help, but I'd be in a situation that was reasonably within my comfort level. I was also excited about the prospect of being able to minister to these kids and their families- I could actually (and was encouraged to) talk about Christ. I was going to be working with one of my best friends and I knew she'd help me along the way. It felt so good to know someone at the school where I'd be teaching.

I was assigned first grade. I knew the all important task of teaching these children to read fell on me. I felt apprehensive, but I knew I had the training to do that task. I got to work setting up my classroom and started writing parent letters and brainstorming about the first day of school. I bought out half of School Aids in my excitement and made some other things like bulletin boards and behavior charts. I went to registration and to an ice cream party to welcome new students. On the Thursday before school was to start on Monday, Peyton and I spent the better part of the day finishing up with decorating my classroom. I was so, so proud of it.

Late that afternoon I got a phone call from the principle of the school. They didn't get the enrollment they needed....funds were short.....I was the last one hired.

I was devastated when I found out I didn't have the job after all. I had invested so much. Money. Time. Energy. My emotions.

But the Lord had a better plan for me.

I call her Ann Peyton.


Jennifer said...

WOW! What a wonderful story--- I can't believe all that hard work and anticipation all to be let go. How long after this did you get pregnant?

Rachel said...

that was beautiful, denley! I got chills when I read the last line. so sweet.

Amy said...

I have chills....and tears. This is one of MY FAVORITE posts!!! Love, love, love it! I love hearing stories of when God's perfect plan was revealed and so much better than we could have ever thought - what a faith booster!

Morgan said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Denley said...

Jennifer, I found out I was pregnant just a few weeks after I lost my job. I was already seven weeks along.