Update on My New Jobs

We knew that January would bring changes to our family’s schedule and routines, especially with my 4 new jobs. Now that a week has passed, I’d like to give you an update on how things are going, as I’m juggling this new routine.

My Paid Positions

  1. In-school tutoring. I still enjoy this, both the connection with the kids, and being able to assist the teachers that are working hard to educate the next generation. Because of the new jobs (especially #4 below), I’ve been tutoring at this elementary school 30 minutes less each day, seeing fewer kids. I’m talking with the principal about whether she wants me to add more hours later in the day.
  2. After-school tutoring. Turns out, the role (2 afternoons per week) is more about teaching than tutoring. I have a group of middle school students that I help with reading skills and comprehension strategies. Though the role is more challenging than I expected, I’m looking forward to working with these students (and with the other leaders in the program) over the next few months.
  3. Coaching. It’s pretty low-key now, as I’ve just been hanging out in the weightroom during some workouts. But I want to use this time (plus going to some high school basketball games) to begin to build relationships with the players.
  4. Teaching. I think we’re off to a good start in my high school classes at Patrick Henry Academy. (But how do you know if you’re doing well as a teacher?) I gave a pop quiz on day 2 in chemistry, and a test on Friday in biology. I’m not messing around. The staff has been welcoming and supportive, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know my 32 students (which is over 10% of the entire school)

My Other Ministry Opportunities

Besides my jobs, I was also anticipating a number of other ministry opportunities in 2012. Here’s an overview of the ones that are on-going or coming up:

  1. Fairfax Baptist Church. Nothing has been official yet with how we’re serving in this church, but I’ve already talked with some women about having a group that makes cookies or other treats for the staff in one of the elementary schools. Everyone is excited about this once-per-month opportunity to support the community.
  2. Schools. I’ve been in communication with district staff about other possible opportunities to serve children and parents. I have at least 1 meeting later this week regarding this. (Update: Read about the job I did start by the end of the month.)
  3. “Feet on the Ground.” I’ve enjoyed communicating with some churches about opportunities to serve in Allendale this winter, spring, and summer, including Grace Church, Radius Church (with students and leaders spending time here this coming weekend), and Community Bible Church.

A Disappointment

I had been planning to volunteer 2-3 days per week with the Boys & Girls Club in Allendale. I wanted this for my own kids’ sakes, for the children in Allendale, and to support the staff.

However, less than 2 hours before I was going to go to the Club site on the first day back, I received an email from my former supervisor stating that it would be “inappropriate” for me to volunteer there. Through no small effort, I did talk with her to try to hear her reasons and motivations regarding this decision. I’ll spare you the details.

Now, I know that there may be some good reasons why I shouldn’t serve in a place that I resigned from, but I assure you that there were not any good reasons in this case. Needless to say, I was angry and sad at the same time, both about the decision, and about the decision-making process.

The hardest part is when I do see the kids around school or town, and they ask me where I’ve been, or they say that they thought I moved away. I avoid telling them, “I’m not allowed to go back,” so I muster up some other rationale, for their own sake. Why should they have to bear the burden of the knowing how ridiculous the situation is?

At least Joanna has been able to continue to volunteer there. But I wish we could do so together.

How About You?

Moving forward through the spring and summer, be aware that we are working on a few opportunities for you to serve in. These projects are not just for the sake of getting a good deed done, but to give you the chance to build relationships with people in Allendale.

Stay posted for more information, but let me know (either through a comment or by contacting me) if you are interested in visiting Allendale. This could be for individuals or families, for 1 day or up to a week.

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8 responses to “Update on My New Jobs”

  1. Karen says :

    So they are throwing two meet and greets for you! Oysters and Chicken! They know how to do things right at PHA. You will certainly be a blessing to them all. As far as Boys and Girls Club, how sad that the kids have seen Joanna and the kids without you and they thought that you moved away from your family and them. I hope you keep seeing them around town so that they will know what a real dad does for his family. Keep up the good work as you endeavor to make a difference for them and for the Kingdom.

    • joeyespinosa says :

      Ha. No, those dinners aren’t for me. But I’d like to think so.

      Just today I saw a person in the district office (who helped me get one of the tutoring jobs) and she said, “I thought you moved away.” Ugh. Well, at least they get a pleasant surprise (I hope!) when they learn that we are staying!

      Thanks for ally your encouragements!

  2. Joseph says :

    I’m catching up on blogs after our time in the bush so I just read this. I’m happy you have some work, but I’m sorry for those science students. I guess that’s what they get for going to private school.

  3. gwendolyn walker says :

    Please let me know how we can help.

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