UUUGGHHH ! I love the South but as you can see I have to reopen options -text message from an unemployed black educator in the South
When I parodied the ‘white guy with a sign’ ad with my own sign stating: educated black woman seeking job in education, I was half-way joking. I was being coy. However, since that blog post a couple of months ago, gone from hopeful and excited to depressed and angry to, my current state of peace and patience (crossing my fingers that it will last).
Since that blog post, I’ve just used just about every page in my sky blue ‘contacts’ notebook. I secretly hoped to have found a job before the notebook ran out of pages. Don’t think it’s gonna happen. But, I have been busy. I’ve met provosts, presidents of organizations, school board members, superintendents of school systems, business leaders and shortly will be working on the mayor…yep… I have met a bazillion people, through people, through people. In other words, I’ve met people through 1st-4th level connections-people I personally know and people who know people who know people who know people. In other words, I’ve met with and submitted my CV to A LOT of people.
Everyone agrees that my CV is fabulous; yeah, yeah… lots of meaningful experiences in teacher training, curriculum development, research, writing, teaching and yet…here I sit 4 months later-nothing. (yes, it often takes 6 months to find a job and that’s without the added issue of haven relocated. yes, I’ve seen the news reports that unemployment numbers are down-that’s good right?).
With some tough love and a friendly consultancy session, I’m now I’m even keel and just enjoying the time ‘off’ and being patient that ‘something’ will turn up. I do have to say “thank goodness” that people have stopped asking me, “did you find a job yet?” I have decided to walk in the mornings, write for most of the day and spend time with my daughter after school–not a bad deal and surely I’ll complain about not being able to do these thing when I do land a job.
However, as I reflect on news reports about people of color moving to ‘the South’ to find work, I can’t help but wonder–in what industry???? I personally know 2 people of color (I know, small sample size). They are both highly qualified educators who cannot find work in the South. Like me, my two friends have considered and/or do work at Pier I, a pizza place, etc. Why is this so? Why is this happening? hmmmmm
One of these friends is a fierce sister-educator, who, like me, has her terminal degree (PhD) in ESL. ESL no less. Who can’t find a job in ESL these days???? Isn’t ESL the new Black, the new hot topic, especially in the South. But alas, since she is unable to find a job in her home state (for 2+ years), she has had to make the very difficult decision to work in the Northeast while her family (husband, mother and children) continue to live in the South. She commutes every other weekend. sigh….parenting by telephone and computer.
Similarly, I just received a request for a recommendation letter from a top-tier university in the Northeast for my other teacher-friend, who just happens to be an accomplished teacher and author. He too, cannot find work in his home state in the South.
While there may be a proliferation of people of color moving down here, could there also be a proliferation of educators of color moving (back) to the north-abandoning their love of the south, their desire to live close to family in order to work in their field. I’m hoping that I don’t have to make that decision.
Dear God, Thank you for the blessings you have bestowed upon us. Please grant us peace when we worry, patience when we rush, gratefulness when we complain and joy when we praise your name. Amen. Good night.
–text message prayer from an educator friend who cannot find employment in the South.
–just a note for readers–I rarely go back and edit my work. I sit down to write and 15 minutes later, I have a piece. Hopefully, my ‘shooting from the hip’ makes sense.
Also, I’m not going out ‘looking for a bear’ as they say. I’m content with where I am right now and I don’t want this blog post to be seen as a compliant in any way. Just wonderings. I’m good — Went on a great walk in the park in the middle of the day yesterday with the one person on Earth that keeps me grounded and sane. What could be better ?!!