Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Starting a new career is always a challenge. As the saying goes all beginnings are difficult. Getting used to a new job or profession can be quite a battle. If it’s a new job, it’s fitting into the system with the workers who have been there long before you. Some can be nice while others can feel intimidated that you might be better at the job than they are and be worried about their position. Some colleagues might be friendly while others cross.

Beginning a new profession is challenging, after studying hard for many years, and investing large sums of money. It can be a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, or a teacher of all sorts. In all these fields, and many more we are expected not only to find a good job, but to practice all we have learned over the years at school in preparation for the job we will get, so that we will be able to practice what we have learned. Working at any job we have great responsibilities. All the more so when the job we are working in has to do with the knowledge we achieved and how we use it wisely.

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About a month ago I finally received my teaching license. I was so excited it took me a few days to calm down just thinking of what great effort went into getting this degree. I started looking for a job and then the next challenge began. My excitement went from 100 to 0 pretty fast. Each school already had teachers and wasn’t in such a hurry to hire a new teacher, especially not one who was 50 years old with no experience. I was told that today the schools are looking for a different spirit in the classrooms, young and energetic teachers who can grow with the system and not just come and teach for a few years and go out for pension. I was shocked. After all my motivation, long years of studying, all the money I had invested in my schooling, I couldn’t believe that I was having such a difficult time finding a job. I kept looking and found one school that seemed just right for me. It was a small, private school. The administration seemed lovely and I was all set to go. I had a meeting with the boss and he was very happy to have me be part of their staff. My excitement and enthusiasm returned and I was ready to work. I was put into the teachers contact group and couldn’t be happier. The welcome aboard messages started to come in, and my heart was filled with joy.

A few hours after I was signed into the school and to the teacher’s group, I noticed that one of the teachers in the group removed my name from the list. I was surprised and tried to find out why. I quickly found out that the teachers were not eager to have me on board. One of the teachers did a background check on my name and saw my age and my lack of experience in the field and was furious that I was let in and was given a chance to be a teacher at this stage of the game. The word went around pretty quickly and soon my new boss who I hadn’t gotten a chance to work with yet, called me and said that he had second thoughts about having me work for him, since I had no previous experience and since I was considerably older than the rest of the teachers. He said that he was concerned that if I would be part of his faculty, less parents would want to send their children to his school knowing that I was older and with no experience in the field. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After all the years of hard work and effort why wasn’t I entitled to a chance? I begged and pleaded my case but he was adamant about his decision and I very soon found myself looking for a job again.

I was so broken I felt I had no more energy for any new battles or challenges. I felt like giving up, even though I’m usually a fighter. I felt like everything was happening for the good and from Hashem, but I still felt so weak inside that I could barely think. A day later my phone rang. It was a teacher on the line. She introduced herself as Shira, a teacher for 32 years. She mentioned that she saw and heard all the commotion revolving around my being hired at this stage of the game and wanted me to know that she was on my side and felt that everyone deserves a chance in life no matter how old they are. If you got this far and passed all the exams and got your teaching license from the government, it’s no one’s business to question your ability to teach despite your age or lack of experience. She told me not to worry and said that she will help me with whatever I need. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I felt a huge hug from heaven and I really felt Hashem’s loving hand guiding me to the right place.

It took a few days but my new friend Shira organized a meeting with the boss of a different school, who was willing to take me onto his staff. Not only was he willing to have me on board, he was kind and encouraging and said that everyone deserves a chance in life.

I had a new boss; I was thrilled. For the next few days after I was hired for the job, my boss kept on receiving phone calls from the teachers in town telling him to fire me since it wasn’t fitting to have an inexperienced teacher like me in the school, and that it will only cause damage. One teacher even said that if I was on the faculty she was quitting her position as a teacher in his school. My boss didn’t hesitate and told this teacher that she was free to go, and that he believes in giving people chances.

My heart is filled with love and gratitude to the Almighty for never leaving my side, even when at times I feel so alone. We feel alone at times since we forget to look around and see G-d’s loving hand holding ours and leading us to the perfect spot.

Thank you Hashem for always being there for me and for never letting me down and for always doing what is best for me.

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