I just got off the phone with (let’s call her…) Carly from the Japanese Consulate in my area. I thought I’d be able to tell her why I wanted to pull out of the JET program without crying, but having unrealistic hopes is something I think I’ve had a lot of lately.
I emailed her last night, telling her I had reoccurring health issues and I couldn’t go to Japan. (Not a complete lie… not even a lie, I guess.) It all goes back to my previous posts— how during student teaching I got incredibly sick and almost didn’t graduate. Student Teaching would have sent me to the hospital… if I had any time to go to the hospital.
Either way, I was on the phone with her and tried my best through the tears to tell her why JET wouldn’t work out.
I received a package from Japan three days ago with my contract and information of my prefecture, living area, living costs and what not. I even had the perfect amount of information. Others would be glad to even have their predecessor talk to them– let alone type out information on literally anything you would want to know and find and friend you on Facebook in the same day. I opened it and my family and roommate were excited. I loved the brochures on the area of Shizuoka. It looked beautiful–more beautiful than anything I had ever seen really and it was a brochure.
My predecessor told me how my school was close to our home, how the kids were great, and how the staff and administration was so supportive and kind. It sounded just like where I did my student teaching. Also, I was going to be an actual teacher…a co-lead which still means you lead.
I froze. I thought back to student teaching and I thought of how horrible it had been. I just felt powerless and afraid all the time– whether I was teaching or not. I thought of how I feel whenever I hear something about teaching on the TV or drive by a school or see a picture of a classroom. I don’t even want to look because it just reminds me that something I dreamt about and had so much passion for for four years didn’t work out. I identified as a teacher and when I hated being a teacher– who was I now?
That’s why I made that post about how angry I was that when we ask kids what they want to be we are really asking them what they want to do. I don’t know. You really feel like a failure when what you want to do doesn’t work out— but you shouldn’t.
Regardless, I am now here to stay. And I feel happy. As soon as I called Carly I felt so much weight go off of my shoulders. I would have LOVED to go to Japan, but I would have hated my job– and when I go to Japan someday, I want to be happy I am there, not counting the days until I get to leave.
I hope that Shizuoka finds someone amazing and full of passion– because they deserve it.
And I will be here trying to figure out what to do– trying again after failing– and that’s really what education is all about.