Monday, June 22, 2009

The Other Door

Now that it is official, I can tell you about the new path that I will be following in my work life.

As many of you know, the Parent Education Program at our college was a victim of the budget cuts. As coordinator of the program, as well as adjunct faculty, that meant that I would be out of work on June 30th. I began looking for something new back in mid-March. After exploring a few options, I decided that rather than following the money, I would follow my heart. I opted for a part time position with the college in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program. This past week, my assignments were finalized and I couldn't be more excited! I will be an adjunct professor of ECE, with my main assignment being the practicum courses. Practicum at our college takes place in a lab school, where student teachers spend an intense quarter working with children ages three to five. They are in the classroom under the supervision of faculty (me) three days a week, and spend two days a week planning, preparing lessons and reflecting on their experiences (also with me). In addition, I will teach a one-credit parent education course to the parents of the children in the lab school. This is the perfect job for me, melding all my skills and knowledge into my daily work experience.

In addition to teaching practicum for all three quarters, I'll be doing some part-time academic advising during the peak advising periods (which turns out to be a really fun experience) and I'll be picking up addtional courses for winter and spring. Most likely these will include an evening Intro class - which I have taught several times - and the music course. (Donald, I can hear you lauging all the way from CA!) Music will be new for me, and those of you who know me know that I am just about the least musical person on the planet. I'm told that will be a good thing because it will give confidence to the students - you know the old "if she can do it, then I certainly can do it too" theory. Bear in mind, this is music for ECE - songs and movement, finger plays, get-the-wiggles-out type activities.

To be honest, the minute this was offered, I knew it was what I wanted. It incorporates everything I love about my job - working with children, working with adults, working with parents. It's got it all! I hesitated though, only because I really thought I should pick up something full time in order to make our finances stronger. After a lot of thought, discussions with Eric and a single interview at another place, I realized that I had to do this. It means driving past the campus that is less than a mile from our house, to the other campus that is 30 minutes away, and it means a pay cut (from full time to part time, which, on the plus side, brings a shorter work day) but it also means getting up each morning feeling excited about going to work and loving what I do.

I also picked up a project working for a local private university, helping develop courses for a new program - a bachelors in ECE. I've already begun working on that. It'll probably take about nine months to hammer all the courses out, and I'll have an opportunity to teach there as well if I'm interested.

So, it's a pretty sweet deal. In February, it seemed as though my beloved career had come to a screeching halt. I knew there were other options out there, but working at the college was what I really wanted to do. And now, even as I'm overwhelmed with sadness at the passing of Parent Education and our ties to the co-ops, I'm also ready to move forward, and beyond excited as I step onto a new path.

17 comments:

Lisa B said...

Fantastic opportunity soon to be reality! Yay! It really makes all the difference to be excited about work. It makes all the difference to be able to make a difference in the lives of kids, especially if you can inspire confidence in the music realm. :)

Very very cool, Michelle!

Ironayla said...

I am excited for you! I hope everything goes well with this new path!

Jack said...

Wow, that's exciting, better than any race report, I am so happy for you!

Wes said...

This sounds wonderful! There are always trade offs, and when you are following your heart, the negatives just don't matter that much. I am excited for you!!

craig said...

It does sound like a position custom made for you. Hope it's fulfilling for you in every way. You need to post an audio sample of your music skills.

Makita said...

Sounds wonderful! Congratulations! An audio sample of your music skills would be fun! :D

King Arthur said...

I'm very happy for you Michelle. Does this mean more time to run?

Joe said...

Very, very, very cool Michelle!! I was sure that something that needed YOU would find you! And it did!!

And all of this sounds like it could morph into even more opportunities. I would not be surprised to hear, a year from now, a tone of "wow, how can I fit all of this in??"

I'm very happy for you. And the kids and parents are in for a huge treat!

runnerinsight said...

Goodluck to you! And to everything you do! Keep the fire burning!: )

Donald said...

So you get to teach kids about Metallica and Green Day and U2 and Bob Marley? Sounds like my dream job!

OK, I know that's not what it's about, but I'm sure you'll be a great music teacher. If you love what you do and put an honest effort into it, it will go very well. Good luck with all the other classes as well - and kudos to you for following your heart.

Darrell said...

Michelle, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity. And with your positive can-do attitude it is sure to work out well. Congrats and good luck.

Sarah said...

Congrats! It all sounds wonderful.

Anne said...

Glad what was an obstacle in March has turned into a tremendous opportunity just a few months later.

bagelsong said...

Michelle, I am so glad that you chose to follow your heart on this one. Let me know if you ever need help with the music class! :)

Annette said...

I'm so happy for you! What a great opportunity. Right up your alley. :)

Bret said...

Nice job on the race. Seems like they had the race better planned they I thought they would. First ones are usually a mess. Congrats on the job hope it works out for you. Also glad you didn't have to go bail out Eric after the race. Ha!

Sunshine said...

Pre-schoolers are so incredibly marvelous. Their brains are miraculous and their learning is fascinating.
Lucky and blessed: you, the children, the teachers-in-training.

Still much pain even to walk; tomorrow I see a woman doctor ortho knee specialist.

How great to run Seattle. Thanks for the pictures.