Way back when, seven years ago lol!, I started my teaching career. My first year I was so scared and intimidated by everything and everyone, especially the veteran teachers. Here I was, 22 years old, fresh out of college, wanting to teach high school juniors American literature–what the heck did I know about what I was doing??
The school that hired me had an absolutely amazing English department so I knew I was in good hands. (It still does despite many teachers retiring or moving on)
One of those teachers was a man named John–he worked there my first two years and his wife, also an English teacher, was actually my student/teacher mentor. John has a no nonsense aura about him; he doesn’t mince words and is super, super smart. Like you’re afraid to say something stupid in front him smart. I remember the first time I met him, I called him Mr. Prather, like if I was a student! He quickly said it was okay for me to call him by his first name, after all, we were co-workers. (eek!)
John was known for being a top teacher. All the students liked him and not because his classes were easy–in fact, his classes challenged the students and they loved it. At the time, he taught the same subject I did and yes, I felt like I was way out of my league compared to him.
In addition to being known as a fabulous teacher, John is an accomplished runner. He currently coaches our high school’s cross country team. He has the same success with his athletes that he does with his students in that they love his coaching style, respect him, and take on the challenges he gives them.
So when I got an e-mail from him last month offering me an assistant coaching position, I FREAKED OUT. I mean, I screamed out loud after reading.
This is a man whose intelligence I’d admired and respected, who I’ve always (even now) been kind of afraid to even talk to, asking ME to work beside him!
I didn’t know what to say.
A million things went through my head–yet, the main question was, could I do it?
I already knew the answer to that.
The high school I work at is a 40 minute drive from where I live. I have to leave at 6:30 in the morning to make it there on time and I drive against traffic both ways. With practices, I wouldn’t be getting home til past my kids’ bedtimes. Traveling would further keep me away from home. I couldn’t do it to my kids or my husband.
And oh yeah, I’m currently training for a marathon.
It just wouldn’t work. So, I e-mailed back a sad no.
I let him know that I was extremely honored to even be considered and that it would have been a dream to work with him. I know that I could have learned so much–with my own running and especially working with student athletes, something I’ve always wanted to do.
It was such a great opportunity, one that I hope I’ll get another chance at in the future when the time is right. I just know that that time is not now.
I made sure the e-mail went into the Saved folder so that I could go back and look at it every once and a while–I know that it’ll always be a good pick-me-upper when I need one 🙂
Have you ever had to say no to something you really wanted to say yes to?
Do you always have a lot of things going on because you don’t want to say no? (For some reason, this is me. But I’m learning.)