For the first time in over 20 years, I have not started out the school year with the usual teacher anxiety; what classes will I have; how can I reach this particular student, have I planned enough, etc. I also have not had the usual teacher nightmares, where I am supposed to be teaching a particular class but can't find the room; or I left all of my materials at home; or it's a subject I know nothing about.
The reason for this is simple: for the first time in over 20 years I'm not teaching this fall. I'm still working - being able to afford retirement is a long ways away, but I made a decision last fall that I wouldn't substitute teach (I did nearly 10 years of that when my children were small) and that I wouldn't go back into the public school system. Instead, I hoped to get a position in adult education, where I had worked before moving south to Regina. Unfortunately, although I had many, many interviews, I didn't get any of the positions I interviewed for, and so I am working, but not teaching.
I have always worked in business as well - usually part-time; but before I took my degree in education, I took a diploma in business. It has always stood me in good stead, and it's proving its value once again. Currently, I'm working two part-time jobs; one position three days a week at the Orr Centre (my brother's my boss there), primarily doing books but also doing "other duties as may be required". There's a lot of the second part of the job description. I am also working two days a week for a legal firm (my sister's) as a legal assistant. So, I'm working for family; I'm working in business; and I'm adapting.
It's also a bit dislocating. I've always been a teacher. That's part of my identity. I'm not sure how to introduce myself when I don't state that I'm teaching here or there. However, there's lots less stress working outside of the educational system; and I don't mind that. (There's also much less pay, but, the Lord always provides for me, and I am doing fine). I have decided that regardless whatever I'm working at, I'll be the best I can be. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, it is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Now that's from memory, so it may not match up with the text verbatum.)
I have also decided that part of my job needs to be to ensure that I make my coworkers' jobs easier. I find that enjoyable - doing my best to look out for my coworkers. I have to say I am enjoying rediscovering who I am. Long may the journey continue.