Just when you think your career is over…

…something unexpected can happen.

Several years ago, I was injured by a student while teaching. It was an accident, but it left me unable to go back to work. I lost my job, had shoulder surgery, spent three years dealing with Worker’s Comp Insurance, and wondered if I would ever teach again. I teach Orientation and Mobility to visually impaired children and adults. With a certification and a Master’s degree, I am qualified to teach people with vision loss how to travel safely and remain as independent as possible. But with a permanent injury, it looked like my career was over.

Slowly, the pain of my injury improved. It would never go away, but I had learned to manage it and had regained much of the muscle strength I’d lost while recovering. I taught visually impaired adults as a contractor through a non-profit, and although I missed teaching kids, the work felt good. But as the deadline for my certification renewal approached I wondered if I should find a new career. Would getting an MSW be a good idea? Or add another certification to my current one? If I was going to only work with adults, would becoming a Rehab therapist pay better? I even thought I’d go back to school and get my MFA. If I had to double my student loan debt, why not do it pursuing something I loved? There were no jobs locally, so I would have to move and start all over somewhere else, probably out of State.

Then one day, I saw an on line add for an Orientation and Mobility teacher at a school district close to my home. I applied and they called me back that day. It’s a rural community and my combination of skills was perfect for their needs. It was only part time, so that was perfect for me. It felt like a gift. I didn’t have to move, or change careers, or go deeper into debt. Here I thought those three years of grad school to get an O and M Master’s and Credential was a waste of money and time when actually the right job was next door.

Life is funny that way. You can spend hours hunting for answers, but most of the time if you just wait and listen, the answers come to you. You may be convinced your best days are behind you and the future has nothing to offer, but life can surprise you if you let it.

Unfortunately, I do need to renew my certification. It’s due in two weeks. I still have 15 CEU’s to earn. Ugh! If you’ve wondered why I haven’t been writing, it’s because for the last two months I’ve been glued to my computer taking on line courses to earn Continuing Education Units. I decided to renew a little late.

This is another lesson; wait for the answers, but be prepared when they come.

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