From Unemployment To Calling
April 9, 2003
One year later...
Here's an update to the story I wrote last year called "My Chat With Rush About Unemployment":
One month after I called The Rush Limbaugh Show, the probability of a job with a political candidate seemed promising. I had been volunteering my time for several candidates and I felt I had a good shot at getting on the paid staff of one of these campaigns. But, as it turns out, nothing materialized from it.
By late June, my search for immediate employment ended when I landed a temporary job in the customer service department of a major corporate office in Spartanburg. I REALLY enjoyed the tasks at this job that allowed me to use my skills in writing and my communication abilities to provide the resources I needed to support my family.
For a while, I thought this job would be something I would not mind doing as a permanent full-time job. As a result, I did everything I could do to impress this company by being an example for my department. My supervisors kept telling me that they would love to hire me full-time if a position ever became available.
This temporary job was only supposed to be three months long. But it ended up being stretched into more than 7 months of continuous full-time employment because I was doing such a good job for them. Unfortunately, there were not any openings in my department during the entire time I was employed there. Consequently, for budgetary reasons, my contract with them ended in mid-January.
Over the next three weeks after my employment ended at that company, five different people told me that I should consider the teaching profession. I dismissed this notion at first because the old saying "those who can do, those who can't teach" kept ringing in my ear. But, I finally came to the conclusion that this statement was simply not true. Children need to have quality educators in the public schools who will challenge them to excel. And, furthermore, I have always enjoyed working with the children and youth at my church.
After consulting with my wife and praying about this decision, I felt the Lord was calling me into the education field. In early February, I began working in the Spartanburg County public schools (primarily District 5 and 6) as a substitute teacher. And I have been working nearly everyday since the day I started getting a wake-up call at 6am from various schools.
In fact, I have done such a good job for the schools that many of the principals have been calling me days in advance to book me to teach English mostly, social studies, music and even math and science. I have taught as young as 4-year-old kindergarten all the way to seniors in high school. Most of my work has been in the middle and high schools, though, since that is where I would like to teach when I become certified.
At the end of this month (April 26th), I will be taking my Praxis Test to become eligible to teach secondary English beginning in the Fall through the critical needs certification program in South Carolina. Because of the No Child Left Behind Act that was passed last year, this program will be ending after this year. That new law requires that all full-time teachers must be certified by 2005. I should be able to complete the requirements by that time.
What is most ironic about my job situation is that the company I worked for last year called me a couple of weeks ago and offered me a full-time permanent job with benefits since two of their employees were promoted within the company. I swallowed hard and declined the job telling them I had made the decision to enter the teaching profession. They understood this and told me that I could come back during the summers while school is out. That is a real blessing since I will not have to seek employment during the summer!
Despite the apparent bleakness of my employment situation last year, I knew that God had a plan for my life. My hopes and dreams for a certain kind of employment did not match what He wanted for me. I know in my heart without a doubt that I am on the right path now!
Although I am disappointed that a job in government and politics did not work out, I will still be involved in it AND work in a job that will use my talents and education to make a great impact on our society. CommonVoice, GOPUSA and other activities will enable me to stay involved in government and politics while teaching will let me get paid to do something I am passionate about and love.
I appreciate the support and encouragement of so many of you who have offered words of advice and prayers over the past year. Things are looking up now...WAY UP!