Friday, May 16, 2014

May 16, 2013

A year ago today, I wrote a blog post about my weekly Goal Lists. It was a Thursday, so it's likely I went for a run. I probably worked on lesson plans for the next day, my one day a week teaching at Brookfield School in Sacramento. I was gearing up for my Spring Musical, and facing a crazy weekend of Sac Choral rehearsals and a concert.

And I had a job interview.

By this point, I wasn't really expecting much. Two years of unemployment, of trying and trying again, had left me almost indifferent to the interview process when it came to public schools. I was teaching K-8 music at little private school, which was fun, but not keeping the bills paid. So I put on a brand-new blouse I'd bought at Target, put my hair in a bun, and tottered into Mom and Dad's room in my high heels to show off my interview attire to Mom.

Mom took one look at me and said, "Yes. Perfect."  I felt pretty relaxed. After all, I was at a point where job interviews felt like going through the motions. I had zero expectations.

Still, I looked good, so a selfie was in order.

Screen grabbed from that week's Week in Instagram post.
I drove the 20 minutes to Large Suburban High School, figuring maybe I had a shot, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up after two years of no returns.

My interview was scheduled right after school got out, so the parking lot was a madhouse, and the office was still bustling with activity. I introduced myself to the receptionist, who called the principal to let him know I was there. I had a seat and waited. Before long, the principal came out, firmly shook my hand, and welcomed me to the school. As he led me back to the interview room, I made a remark about how I'd forgotten how crazy high school parking lots can be at this time of day. To my delight, he laughed heartily and agreed.

The interview felt good. I was able to be myself and I felt like "me" was perfectly acceptable to them. I remember sitting there thinking, "I could work here...I think I want to work here." By the time I left, shaking the panel's hands one last time, thanking them for their time, I knew. I could do this.

I wasn't completely without my qualms. My previous experience teaching high school choir was a disaster, and before that, teaching at a high school in England, was daunting (but that school had a host of problems). But I had a good feeling about this, and I am definitely not the same Meg who left for England in 2004, or who started at DV full of youthful bravado in 2006. I have grown so much as a person in the years since those experiences.

When the job was offered, I took it. This would be a huge chance for me, and I haven't looked back. I love working at my Large Suburban High School--my colleagues are great, I enjoy the community (even though it's not perfect), and best of all, I have some really terrific students. I love being able to speak to them like adults, and I love being able to throw music and theory at them that challenges them and makes them think. I love those moments in class when something funny happens and we all just laugh, and while I don't love the drama (believe me, teenagers can bring the drama), I do rather thrive on helping them find a way through it.

A few days ago, I was chatting with the soon-to-retire Mr. Principal at lunchtime as he stood on the quad supervising kids. We like to talk running--I guess I inspire him--and I made a joke about being crazy, doing all this running. Without skipping a beat, he retorted, "That's why we hired you!" I told him, "Hey, a year ago this Friday, I interviewed for this job...amazing what can happen in a year, eh?" He agreed.

It's been a hell of a year--not without its ups and downs, but I feel like I've really started to come into my own as a musician and a teacher. I love what I do.

A year ago today, I had no idea what was coming--I just figured I'd go to another interview. I couldn't have known what it would become...but I'm thankful every day that I got the opportunity.

Proud Choir Director

No comments: