I am trying very hard not to be discouraged by trying to get my new-found career off the ground. A couple of years ago, when I was just starting to take TESOL courses at UCLA, I was encouraged by the “ESL teachers are always in demand!” line. Now, with my hard-won LAUSD certification, CA teaching credential, and much hoop-jumping with various adult schools, I feel no closer to landing a job than I did a year or two ago.
I’am also having to re-direct my priorities. My energies this past year have gone into satisfying the California and Los Angeles requirements for Adult teachers. I don’t regret the extra Adult Ed. classes I took, but the time and money could have gone into completion of the TESOL certificate, which might have gotten me a job abroad sooner than early 2006. In short, my job efforts are being re-directed from landing a local job to planning for a career abroad. My goal is now to complete my remaining 3 classes by December, by which time I will have applied to language schools in Japan, and hopefully have been accepted. In the meantime, there is the passport to renew ($250), money to be saved (a minimum of $3,000), and tuition to be paid (about $1,000).
Part of my disappointment is with LAUSD, part with job-searching in general. I have applied for several temporary, part-time, summer, and even volunteer positions. None has honored me with a reply. I guess I am feeling that my hard work, goal-setting, hard-won lessons about life and career as a process, have now hit a dead end. There is another source of disgruntlement: the constant debasing of ESL or EFL as a career on message boards and web sites, the news of blatant age discrimination in the field, and my own self-criticism for not having done this sooner.
I am feeling a great sense of loss. I think that it is part of the grieving and letting-go process for my current life. I now know that I will leave Los Angeles, most likely within the next 12 months, and my psyche is adjusting accordingly. I also know that this is a “plateau” in my quest for a new life. I am intensely excited about traveling and about teaching and about helping people. I know that my career path will also open up new avenues to explore for my other talents. No door is permanently closed.
In one of my daily mediations this morning I read something to the effect that, once change starts to happen, or we set a new course, changes become inevitable. This includes finally (after 8 years) getting out of a job I despise, but which has also taught me valuable lessons about relating to other humans.
Thanks for letting me rant.