It’s funny, Labor Day use to be a time I either enjoyed the day off, visited some family members or spent time with my own. However, a year ago, Labor Day marked a very different moment for me. It was when I was about a week away from my over three year position at Christian Life from ending. I remember waking up in the morning and saying to myself: “What is going to happen?” I had a few interviews, but nothing had materialized as a result. I was pretty much finished cleaning off my old files and turning over all passwords and accounts over to CLS and making sure students had all their devices, information and teachers would be in good hands when I left, but I remember something else, Fear.
I was afraid. This was the second time in four years I was facing unemployment and while this was over budgetary reasons and I had a few weeks warning, it was just an unsettling time. Last time I faced unemployment, I had a baby on the way, I had just started my masters program. I was living with my wife’s parents and I was looking for a job anywhere I could find it. It was not the best time for me, but I at least knew I had a bit of a safe haven when I got home. Now, it was a different story, my son was school, my own wife was unemployed and working homecare for money, we had a house, I still hadn’t completed the last of my state certification classes and I had just completed my candidacy exam to start writing my dissertation proposal. As the day ticked by I kept thinking to myself: “My last week of work starts tomorrow and I don’t know what I’m going to do.” I had a very hard time trying to keep my mind at ease and I remember, I think I put together about twenty Stick Around Puzzles, made about thirty google and App Smash lessons and I tossed my Smashbook to the corner of my office and said I don’t know how I’m going to be able to write in it again. It was the bleakest Labor Day I had ever had.
A week later, everything was over, I turned in all my devices, took the last box of my stuff from my office to my rusty van and had several prayers with the staff I had loved to work with for close to three and a half years. In an instant, it was all over and I was feeling more scared than ever. A few weeks went by and I received a phone call from a school about a position had opened up. I went to that interview like it would be the last one I would ever have, brought my A game, stayed calm and now a year later, here I am. Campus Manager of Technology (Director). Teaching STEAM classes to my students, finishing up my dissertation proposal and just a couple months from finishing my state certification. Amazing how much good happened when it looked like some very dark times were about to begin. What was very ironic was my book, Small Hope, which just saw publication a week before Labor Day arrived at my house and I read it to a majority of my elementary students on my last day at CLS and true story, I read it to my son, Tyler just before the phone call I got from Jackson to come in for an interview.
The story was about finding Hope when it seems are world has fallen in on us and just today, I was talking about how students have to find Hope in my journal reflection for one of my last classes today. It made me realized, that despite what had happened a year ago, there was a small bit of hope in me that said: “Don’t worry, you will make it through this too.” A year later, those words are truer than ever. The last year has been a time of shock and amazement now here I stand close to completing a milestone and despite many hours of rewrites, hoping my car won’t die on me or making sure bills stay paid. There is still Hope guiding me and telling me, it will be all right. You just have to believe in yourself like you believe in your students. You help them to find Hope when you teach that they will be successful. Don’t lose Hope now, believe you can and you will always find a way and I choose to believe that and that I will always find a way. Always remember that, you can choose to be fearful or to believe in a better tomorrow. The choice ultimately is up to you and I discovered.