You all endured part 1 so it's only fair to give you part 2. Remember that fabulous new hair cut? Well, it's really needing a trim right about now. In fact I have an appointment tomorrow. My last one ever with Tracy who is shifting her business to her friend. So sad for me. A hairdresser that you love is hard to find. But I digress because part 1 started with the hair. Part 2 has nothing to do with the hair.
So, let's see. You all know about the Teen Parent Programs being cut. I don't think that I mentioned that after the phone call telling me that my position was eliminated I sent off an email to my Director that I had a feeling was a bad idea yet I was unable to NOT fire it off either because sometimes you just have to speak your mind to put things to rest and move on. (okay, maybe you don't but I do). That particular email thanked him for being kind enough to make a personal call to break the bad news and that I understood that the decision was financially driven yet I also hoped that they would consider looking at a way of restructuring the program so that one person could service all of the schools with the school staff doing the day-to-day services and the teen parent social worker acting as a consultant to the staff and delivering direct services to the students with more intensive needs. It was one of those emails where you don't feel the anxiety until after you hit send.And then you kind of wished that you had felt the anxiety first to prevent you from sending it.
Fast-forward. I posted about DC-21. The school with a great vision and philosophy and somewhat undesirable schedule. Stefanie and I have emailed back and forth and I've been waiting for the position to be posted. I had a month to waver back and forth and this past week I knew with all certainty that it's where I'm supposed to be. I started to get excited about the possibilities attached to the position. As a formality though I had to go to this degrading speed-dating type event for social workers who are officially on part-time assignments to match up with principals who are looking for part-time social workers. I was on the list so I felt like I had to show up because my bosses were there even if I already felt secure in my potential to work at DC-21. Before the first principal was done laying our her grand expectations of the grunt work that she was expecting her new hire to engage in with only two days a week while she was "very involved with what they are doing so that I can be sure that they are priortizing correctly" I wanted to bolt out of the room. And then, this is the part of the story that gets good, my former Director who is now Director of Special Education and Mental Health services motioned for me to come speak to him in the hallway. And on the spot he offered me a position operating the newly created position that would be providing district-wide services to teen parnts. I've worried for the past three years since being in the teen parent program and working closely with him that I have been a little too outspoken at times. And maybe I have but the bottom line is that he picked ME! Except I was too dumbfounded at the moment to appreciate the offer. In fact, I couldn't see him in any other way than as an ex-boyfriend who had come back to me after I was already in a new relationship. "What? You want us to be together? But I'm in LOVE with DC-21. I just got over you!" The only question I asked was how many days the position was (full-time). And because I honestly didn't know how I felt at that moment I asked him to give me some time to think it over.
I went home and Rob listened to me ALL. NIGHT. LONG. ramble on about the pros and cons of each position. I had gotten myself really excited about DC-21 and was now comparing apples to oranges with both having equal amounts of pros and cons (I was trying very hard to not let the fact that it wasn't year round weigh too heavily). So I did what you do when you aren't sure about something. I slept on it. And I woke up and thought, opportunities like this don't come along every day. And I went to work and I shared the news with my co-workers who congratulated me and then had the audacity to snicker out loud when I said, "Hey! I haven't made my decision yet!" They knew. And suddenly I did too. I fired off a list of questions to the Director---Would I have use of a computer and phone? (not just because of working district-wide but I actually worked this entire year with a phone that had no ringer. These are real valid questions if you are working in education). Can I work traditional high school hours? Will I have opportunities for professional development? He responded within the hour. I accepted the position and submitted the necessary forms and today I received this in my inbox:
This email serves as confirmation that you have been recommended for hire for the following position:
Title: TEACHER ON SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT Mental Health and Assesment Regional Support Specialist
Location: Administration-Central Office
Human Resources will contact you to begin the hiring process. Thank you.
And I can't think about it too hard or I start to get woozy. I'm back to work full-time. A month ago I would have thought that I was a good two years away from going back full-time. (Expect a blog in August about how I feel like my heart is being ripped out being away from my kids for so long). I'm taking on the biggest professional challenge of my life. I could succeed or I could bomb and the future of teen parenting programs will depend on how well or poorly I do (no pressure or anything, right?) The position is ONLY funded for one year with no promises beyond that. I'm taking the plunge.
So, I've realized that it's not so much about the haircut nor is it about the bucket of clothes that I found. I think that this is what being 40 feels like. And I like it!