May 22, 1970
These days Nate and I were so worn out that after school we often found ourselves sprawled on the living room floor or the couch — hoping to catch 40 winks before dinner.
One late afternoon I was so tired I slept straight through till morning.
The cause of all this fatigue was our frequent late nights with friends. Often we’d share dinners that began at 10:00 PM and continued into the wee hours. But the exhaustion was probably a result of tension, too, as we worried about the big shifts coming when summer arrived — followed by more unknowns in the fall.
One day when I got home from work, Nate met me at the door with a long white envelope that had just arrived. “From the Board of Ed,” he said. “I think your wait is over.” I was wide awake in an instant and tore it open.
“I hope it’s good news,” he said.
The envelope contained several pages and presented a good-news-bad-news scenario. The good news was very good: I’d been hired to teach kindergarten at the school on the other side of Danville. We were both relieved and thrilled!
The bad news was that there were conditions attached.
First, I’d have to attend summer school in a continuing effort toward teacher certification. This would be afternoon classes and seminars, 5 days a week for 8 weeks.
The student teaching would be done in a Danville 2nd grade, another curriculum learning curve for me, each morning of summer school.
As all of this sunk in, Nate and I thought of a third and fourth negative. I wouldn’t be able to get a summer job. And rather than me earning money, we’d have to pay out for tuition.
The letter was clear, though. If I wanted a teaching job in Danville, any teaching job, those were the terms. Apparently I’d slipped under the radar in being hired to teach the 1st grade class I was just finishing up. No one had mentioned summer school, student teaching, or classes back then.
“So…” Nate said. “What do you think?”
I thought about my Chicago friends with provisional teaching status who’d told me they were all being let go now. Had I stayed there, I’d be out of a job. That seemed to elevate Danville’s offer, and once again I realized that teaching without certification was a privilege.
“I think I’ll take it,” I said. “Besides, teaching kindergarten kids again sounds really great.”
And so God had answered our prayers. The wait was over, I had been given what I’d asked for, and we were exceedingly grateful. We even felt some of that exhaustion slipping away.
“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)