Ways of Knowing

Today I interviewed for a part-time position as a Youth Programs Coordinator for a nonprofit group in the district where I went to school.  It is anywhere from 10-20 hours and would probably focus more on the mentoring aspect of teaching that I enjoy…but also the administrative tasks that I tend to be good at but don’t necessarily enjoy that much.

I know the first year of teaching tends to be hard, and there were many confounding factors that made my year in Lima particularly brutal.  While I have applied and received interest from non-teaching jobs, I find it hard to imagine myself doing anything else but classroom teaching.  I’m trying to figure out whether that’s because I really do belong in the classroom, or because that’s what I’m trained and prepared to do, which doesn’t necessarily indicate that is the best fit for me.

Can I know if I never try anything else?  Can I know based only on one year?  If I approach it like a scientist, all I can do is decide whether to rule out classroom teaching, not “prove” that something else is the best, and I really don’t think I can do that based on one year on my own in a school situation very similar to that in which I student-taught.  On the other hand, my intuition told me to leave that position, not knowing what would be waiting for me at home.  It was kind of like my decision to go off anti-depressants: I didn’t know what was going to happen to me, but I knew I was miserable enough on them that I would take my chances anyway.

In fact, I think this whole year has been about learning to let go of what I have in hand, that is not necessarily the best for me, for the mere chance–not a guarantee!–of something better.  When viewed in the light of God’s many promises, taking that chance doesn’t seem *quite* as scary, and I’m working to get back to the place where uncertainty means unlimited potential.


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