Testing, Testing….

I was sitting in the cafeteria of the middle school in town, a number two pencil in my purse and a bottle of water in front of me.  I looked at the woman next to me, similar in age and possibly station and life, and smiled.

“So are you already a teacher?” she asked me, trying for a question that made clear she recognized the difference between me and the impossibly young college students that surrounded us.

“Yes,” I responded, laughing a little.  “I moved here from Michigan, so I’m trying to get my Oklahoma certificate in time for the start of school.”  I knew I was cutting it close; it was already July and school started here in mid August.  “You?”

“I taught preschool for a long time, but then finally decided to go back to school to get my degree.  I finished student teaching in the spring, but this is the first chance I had to get down here to take the test.”  I nodded, understanding.

“I wonder how long after you take the test it takes to get your certificate?”  I mused, already adding up the days in my head.

“Oh, if you have an active certificate in another state, and have done all of the testing here and everything, you can still apply for jobs.  Just tell them your Oklahoma certificate is pending,” she answered matter of factly.

I knew this, of course.  My original plan, when I had booked the test a month ago, was to do exactly that.  But now, with my new pregnancy hopefully growing every day in my belly, I wasn’t sure.  According to my new doctor, my baby was due in mid March.  I wondered how I would be able to manage teaching, knowing right from the starting gate that I was going to be out in March.  Six weeks from there took me to the end of April, and the schools here ended for the summer around May 20.  I just wasn’t sure what to do.

On the one hand, I wanted to teach.  I missed it terribly; not just the work but the feeling that I had an identity outside of the work of being a wife and a mother.  Even with the exciting new website work I was doing, there were still days when I was watching the clock far too often.   I enjoyed the extra time with Zach, taking him easily to his myriad of blossoming activities, but it still felt sort of like I was a kid playing hooky from what I was supposed to really be doing.

On the other hand, R and I had always said that when we started having more children that we planned on me staying at home for at least a year or two.  If that were the case here, how crazy would it be for me to go and get a job teaching only to leave it less than a year in?  I just wasn’t sure what the best course of action would be.

Still, I reasoned, there was no reason not to take the test and get the certification to teach here in Oklahoma.  It left all of my options open; if I wanted to teach, I’d be fine.  If something happened to the pregnancy, God forbid, I’d still be ready to work.  And if for some reason I decided to take it easy and stay home instead, then it wouldn’t be any big deal to not use the certificate.  It would be good for years; I could go back later.

“Thanks,” I responded to the woman next to me.  There was no time for more conversation; the proctor began to talk and give out our instructions for the test.  I gave her a sympathetic nod as we both busied ourselves with our pencils, each working towards our own new fate.


One Response

  1. Good luck with your results!

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