Out of Beat

As long as the song you dance to plays on, you will never stop moving to its groove and rhythm. And with that, it has been four long years since I started dancing to the beat here. It started out a careful, slightly eccentric, happy beat, and then it morphed into something like a light, contemporary jazz. In the past two years it has transformed into a mellow bass tune, sometimes faint, sometimes frustrated, sometimes sweet, but never upbeat. A few days ago, I chose a different song to dance to. This song will only start playing a whole year from now, but it is on the waiting list, and for now, that is enough.

I went for two interviews in the past week to explore my options. I spoke to many people, mostly to try easing the burden of making sense of this on my own. I prayed about it too – less than I should, but more than I have in a while. All I can say is that the past week has lent itself to thanksgiving and marvel and reflections and praise and all things good. I marvel at the grace of God in making things right.

For someone who has only gone for one interview (ever!) and never had to submit a job resume, I think I handled the interviews fairly well. Unless we have been teaching blind the past few years, we would know our personal beliefs and principles regarding teaching, and our hopes and aspirations, even if they are not firmed up. Right before my first interview I said a little prayer to God before stepping out of my car. I prayed for God’s sovereignty and providence, I prayed for Him to guide me through this process, I prayed for His will be done. It was the same prayer I said four years ago before we received our posting.

The next 24 hours just happened in a whirl after that. I received two offers after both interviews, and had to make an almost instant decision. But on hindsight, the whole process was extremely humbling and self-reflective, and I want to give all praise and glory to God.

The success of the interviews was a much needed affirmation for me as a teacher. They recognise the efforts we have contributed in our present workplaces, and more importantly, are willing to take a leap of faith with us. I received an offer to consider barely an hour after I went for the interview. That is overwhelmingly humbling.

Success of the interviews aside, the interviews compelled us to crystallise what we believe in and what we want for our students and ourselves. It is similar to a surge of positive reinforcement and energy that comes from you just admitting your teaching ethos. After months of hesitation, I finally came to the realisation that the next step I hope to take will challenge me to become a more effective and efficient educator.

I have gained a new kind of gratefulness towards my present workplace. I realised it is a learning ground with plenty of opportunities to grow. I built up a repertoire of classroom management skills, I was given plenty of encouragement to attend courses and workshops relevant for my skills and interests, I learnt to thicken my skin and ignore the insults that the students can throw your way, for lack of a better expression. Above all, I learnt to fall in love with a part of society I was hardly ever exposed to as a child and teenager and young adult. God did lead me here for a reason – and while I still do not know what that reason is, I have grown certain that there is one.

Indeed, it is only when we are at our biggest loss, that we turn to God and depend on Him. My God has preserved me till today, and has never let me go.

Thank you, Lord.