Let The Games Begin

I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like to. I've just been sooo busy - mainly with work, school, and writing.

Work: Okay, so I figured, since I'm almost finished with school, I could go on and go back to full time teaching for '08/'09 school year. My preference is 5th - 8th grade (more like 7th or 8th grade). Call me crazy, but I happen to love this age group. So, anyway, I attended a job fair in hopes of prevailing over hundreds of other qualified candidates and snagging a job. In my mind, despite the fact that I only have 1 year of full time teaching experience, I still have experience working with and teaching children. I've been substitute teaching for the past 5 years and, before that, spent 2 years as an Educational Coordinator (directing an after-school/summer program). Add those experiences and the fact that I'm about to get my doctorate in education and I thought I'd have a chance. Things went well. I did get to interview with a few people, which, not everybody got to do. So, I'm happy about that. I even went through 2 interviews for one school (the team leader interviewed, then sent me to the principal, which is a good thing). The only problem? It seems that the fact that I only have 1 year of full time teaching is what's causing people to hesitate to hire me. I'd have more teaching years, but I decided to go back to school and get my Masters and, now, my doctorate. I'm thinking, how will I ever get more experience with full time teaching if no one will hire me? *Sigh* Alas, I don't know if I'll be full timing it next year. At first, this fact hurt, because I miss the classroom. But, then, I thought about it. My sis and I had started our own business, AYM (Advancing Young Minds) Enrichment Program, where we tutor as well as other things. Within the last 2 years, we've both been working it as an a second job (she's been doing it in Mexico). If I'm not full time teaching next year (*sigh*), then I'm going to keep subbing (so I can have $) and completely focus on taking AYM to the next level...making it my primary job. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. I can make my own hours and be my own boss. During the weekdays (school year), my hours won't really start until after 3:00 because kids don't start getting out until 2:30. This will also give me more time for my writing career and research. At first, not teaching felt like I would've went to school for my two extra degrees for nothing, but I know that, with AYM, both my Masters (in Counseling) and EdD (in teacher leadership) will come in handy. So, alas, I am no longer upset at the possibility of not teaching full time. Of course, I'll continue to be financially strapped for a while longer (you think teachers don't make enough $...try substitute teaching), but, it'll all pay off when AYM becomes a full fledged business.

School: So, I won't be graduating this October. Not that I couldn't. I still believe that, if I'd put my mind to it, I could've been finished by then. I made the decision on concentrating on graduating in February 2009 instead. My brain is already fried and tired of school. Trying to graduate in October would only stress myself out. I want to take it easy and work at a little slower pace, so...I'm graduating in Feb. It's only 4 months longer. I'll get over it. I'm glad I made the decision because now, I don't feel rushed. I still feel the stress, but it's not as bad. I'm so excited that I have less than a year before I'll be Dr. Raenice Weakly. If I don't full time teach, I still have options of what I can do with my degree. Research is the main thing...and my topics of choice are #1) reading motivation and #2) hip hop and education.

Writing: So, I've completed the manuscript, written the query letter, and braved the synopsis. I am now on the part where I send my letters to agents. I've sent letters to approximately 17 agents (so far). I've gotten back 7 rejections (nice ones, though). I'm not discouraged about the rejections (at least not yet). I'm actually excited because it kind of cements the fact that I'm doing this...I'm going for my dream. Plus, at least the agents spent time to send a letter - whether it was a form letter or a little more personal - since they're so busy. So, as I wait for the agent to contact me and tell me she (or he) loved my letter/manuscript as much as I do (if not more), I'm concentrating on my dissertation and, eventually, my second novel, Who's Got Da Moves. Believe me, when I've snagged an agent, everyone will know!