This post brought to you by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. All opinions are 100% mine.
I went to school for education. I really have known no work that wasn’t working with kids.
I held down babysitting gigs in middle school. Through college I worked at daycare/preschools and summer camps in the summer. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in English and Elementary Education. The summer following graduation I got married and accepted my very first job. I interviewed right before our wedding and returned from our honeymoon to a voicemail that I had a job offer.
Well I had jobs before, but this was a career job. One that paid with a salary and benefits. The position was teaching 6th grade at an inner city charter school in Milwaukee. I was ecstatic to have a job lined up for when the school year started.
The husband and I bought a brand new car. I enjoyed the rest of summer and life as a newlywed.
I hated my job. I dreaded my job. I went into what probably could have been diagnosed as clinical depression. I ate and shopped to feel joy. I put on weight, gave up being active and found myself absolutely miserable.
I was in so far over my head and just didn’t have the support I needed at my job. I had my sixth graders all day, was required to eat lunch with them and on some days have them eat in my classroom. The library was closed and I had no place to attain books or appropriate materials for my students who were so far below sixth grade. I had a major attendance problem, with a rotating group of 10 or so kids showing up. This made forward movement nearly impossible, since the majority of my class had not been there the day before and those who were there the day before weren’t there today. I had fights in my classroom that were very physical and had me fearing for my safety. Things I bought with my own money for my students would get broken, security would have to be called. I had to escort my class to the bathrooms during assigned bathroom breaks when security was present and had unlocked the bathrooms. My classroom had no windows. I would go to work in the dark and leave in the dark, not seeing sunlight all day.
I was drowning. I was being paid well, but I was drowning. I wasn’t teaching, I was managing. I was young, inexperienced and what these children needed and craved was more then I could give.
I wanted so badly to make a difference. I wanted so badly to teach. One day over the weekend while grading papers I spilled a soda and then I cried. I sobbed. I snorted and heaved and hysterically cried while uttering over and over, “I cannot go back there. I cannot do this anymore”. That is when my husband said, “don’t”.
And just like that–I could breath again.
I didn’t know how we would afford it all. We had been using all the money I was making and had stored nothing away. I didn’t know how this would affect my ability to get a job in the future. Somewhere deep down inside, I knew that none of that would matter if I was so unhappy.
I quit at semester. I felt so ashamed. We never quit anything in our family. EVER!
I came very close to quitting the profession of teaching altogether. Miraculously I found a long-term sub job teaching 5th, 6th, 7th grade math and algebra at a small parochial school. I really enjoyed the people I worked with and I really liked teaching math. I found so much joy in watching students have light bulb moments. I felt proud when students struggled with a concept and I figured out a way to approach the concept so that they could understand. My faith in myself and teaching was renewed.
Before my first year of teaching had wrapped up, I had nailed down a permanent job as a fourth grade teacher at a school with the local school district. I loved my job, my co-workers, my school and my students.
Eventually I left teaching to do equally important work–raise MY children. In doing so, I discovered another career path–Blogging. I didn’t know when I started this blog that anyone would ever read it or that this blog would ever make money. Along the way it has grown, and I have touched people and people have touched me. This little old blog became a way for me to contribute to my family’s income. It has allowed me to raise my children, create, share, connect and make money for my family.
Between walking out on that first job and going back and forth between jobs when having children and now starting blogging our family income has been in continuous flux. We created a life we couldn’t afford with one income and have been playing catch up ever since. We sold that new car. We made changes along the way. Planning in the beginning would have done a lot to alleviate financial stress.
BMO Harris Bank Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes is a five-week long interactive game experience that offers financial tips and the chance to win cash prizes by entering a weekly sweepstakes! The game takes you through a town-like environment, highlighting key milestones in the journey of life.
Each week opens a new environment that focuses on a life stage moment, where you can discover relevant financial information and collect tokens for a chance to win anywhere from $500-$2,000. Check it out on Facebook.
Last week’s milestone, new baby, I talked about here. This week’s milestone is your first job. There is a really helpful link in the scavenger hunt for budget planning.
I would love to know about your first job.
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