Going back to school

This fall, we hope to be sending our fourth and fifth to college. During Sylvia’s “gap year” she recovered from a broken leg while we looked into art schools. She was accepted by both–and earned the highest presidential scholarship they can give–but the rest of the funding eludes us.

John is applying for a dual enrollment opportunity at Vermont Technical College, Ben’s alma mater. If he is accepted, the tuition is covered but not the room and board. How will we pay for it?

I have been thinking about entering the work force part time. I still teach two at home and I have teaching responsibilities in our Classical Conversations community. I think it would be lovely to earn $20,000 a year; surely $10,000 of that would be available after taxes, increase in health care cost, and gas money, right?

I’m looking for opportunities. My experience as a teacher, both six years of public school music and six years with teens in Classical Conversations, equips me for teaching. The classical education I have had through the latter taught me how to attack new endeavors; I feel fearless. But my years as the financial manager of our family of eight and Grandpa too also had make me familiar with a wide range of banking transactions. I have noticed there are openings for tellers.

But I got to thinking about teaching music. I doubt I can go back and get my license renewed. But I could substitute. Granted, I wouldn’t earn $20,000! But it is a beginning. That was last week.

On Friday I got a call about a music teacher who needs a sub for a couple of days for two weeks. It happens to fall on two days I can be available, if I plan well. Now, it is for high school choir, which I never taught, but having worked with teens for six years in a dialogue setting I feel comfortable teaching them. The music will be a stretch, I admit, but we work with what we have. (In conducting class years ago my baton would often beat to its own rhythm; it needs a lot more practice.)

I am so grateful for the opportunity. Recently I have been working with the high school Sunday School to teach them to sing parts for “There is a Fountain Filled With Blood”. We’re going to be able to do it, though they–and one of the adults–aren’t so sure. It made me wish I had been teaching music literacy in the public schools. I sense this is even less of a priority than it was 28 years ago when I taught in Maryland. I love helping them make music!

A wise old college professor said, “You don’t teach music; you teach children.” The years have confirmed I am not a music teacher; I am a teacher. Through homeschooling I taught a wide range of lessons to my children; with Classical Conversations I guided dialogue and learning in math, science, history, logic, philosophy, Shakespeare, and writing; I have taught Bible verse songs to adults and children. I have led online training. I have trained classical tutors. (This is the first time I have catalogued it.) Looks like a lot. I wonder if my experience will be attractive to a future employer? The skeptic in me doubts; but I trust God will lead me.

Tomorrow I go back to school. I will learn from my students as much as they will learn from me.

Still having adventures!

About lettersfromheartscontent

Mother of six, homeschool teacher, tutor with Classical Conversations, wife to a forester and educator. I tend a perennial garden with a riot of blossoms, ride my bicycle in and out of the watershed, play ocarina and a boom-chick accompaniment when my kids feel like playing contradance music. I love being home, but I love an open road and adventure, too. Classical Conversations' Writers Circle carries my article on some aspect of classical education once a month.
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