I did it. I told the law firm where I work that I was leaving to teach elementary school in a low-income community. The response: “CONGRATULATIONS!”
A few close friends on the job knew this day was coming, and they have been a great source of support. It’s scary to leave a solid position and a good salary when you are in your mid-40s, especially when your husband has been unemployed for two years.
I was actually accepted to the 2010 Corps. My husband was just as excited about me becoming a teacher as I was, but we decided together that the reduction in salary while his employment situation remained uncertain was too much for us to overcome. I humbly asked for a one-year deferral, and TFA said yes.
Fast forward one year. My husband graduated from college last month with a degree in Film Production at the age of 39! Who knew that the recession and subsequent job loss would turn out to be one of the biggest blessings of his life! He didn’t cry when he walked across the stage as his name was called, but I held back a few tears. I was witnessing firsthand the power of hard work, perseverance, encouragement and love.
My husband has an internship as a video editor, which we hope will evolve into a permanent position. Whether it does or not, I still will be teaching in my adoptive home of Miami, a city which I have grown to love during the 10 years that I have been here. There are great needs in this city of stark contrasts, but that also means there are great opportunities to affect change. Not just for my students and their future, but also affect the hearts of those of us who have benefited from receiving great educations.
From their responses today, I’ve got a feeling that I just might be working with some of my “older” co-workers again … but in the schools. They are Late Bloomers like me, longing to leave work one day at least thinking that they just might have made a difference in someone’s life that day.