I didn't GIVE UP!

When I was deciding what to take in college, teaching was the furthest thing on my mind. My mother was a teacher and I saw how busy she was even when she arrived home from school. I would watch my older sister, who worked in the bank, go out at night and meet up with her friends. I told myself that was what I wanted. I wanted to be able to go out at night and meet with friends and possibly even date. So, I took up Bachelor of Science Major in Business Administration. However, after I graduated from this course, I didn’t have that sense of fulfillment. I felt that something was missing from my life. I tried applying to companies but I was never successful. Within that same year, after I graduated from my first course, all of a sudden, I felt that “lightbulb’ moment. I suddenly had the desire to study education. I approached my mother who told me to enroll in another university but they only accepted me at the beginning of the school year. My school accepted students even during the second semester, so I told my mom that I would just go to the school where I got my first degree before that desire blew over. Suddenly, I felt driven to do my best. After one year, I earned my degree Bachelor in Secondary Education majoring in English and Literature. I was also fortunate enough to have passed the licensure exam on my first take. 

I started teaching at my alma mater. But even as I was teaching, I always had that desire to teach in the USA. So, in my second year of teaching, I started applying to schools in the US. One of my sister’s friends mentioned that one of the subjects that might give me a chance to be accepted in the US was Special Education. Thus, prompting me to study Special Education. After six months of studying at one of the universities in Cebu, I earned the degree on Diploma in Special Education. Around this time, many of my colleagues also started leaving to teach in different countries in Asia. One of these countries is Indonesia. Aside from applying to the US, I also started applying to different schools in Indonesia. Luckily, I was hired and I taught in Indonesia for 12 years.

While teaching in Indonesia, I never stopped applying to school in the US. I used different sites. There were moments where I had a positive response but because they do not sponsor foreigners, they could not hire me. Until one day, the daughter of my sister’s colleague got hired through Teach USA. So around 2021, I decided to join. I was a bit hesitant at first because of my background. However, I was assured that I could still have that chance of being hired. After going through the Wise-Up Program, I started applying to schools. From one school to another, there were times when I would get a response of “thank you for being interested but…” to no response at all. There was a point in my journey when I started to feel hopeless and thought that I was going to be stuck in Indonesia. Don’t get me wrong. It is nice to work here but my dream has always been there. At one point, there was one school that was very much interested but since I was still tied to a contract here in Indonesia, they couldn’t hire me as they needed the teacher right away. So last year, I decided to stop teaching for a while and try applying to schools. Maybe the chances of getting hired were higher as there was no contract to bind me. 

I was interviewed in December last year. Just like my previous applications, I didn’t receive any feedback. I thought that it was done. During this time, the school still offered J1 visa. Around January of this year, I decided to return to Indonesia. Fortunately, my old school accepted me. Around March, I was told that the school in the US was hiring again. Since I was accepted here in Indonesia I didn’t send any application anymore. I returned to Indonesia around July. This time, the school decided to change to H1B. Then all of a sudden, I was told that the school was asking for my contact details as they were scheduling interviews. I thought, wait, what? Oh well, why not? Maybe it can be a practice again since I was planning to start applying again around late this year. When all the other teachers in our group received their interview schedules, I was surprised that I didn’t receive mine. I was thinking that maybe they changed their minds. 

Suddenly, I was informed that I got a job offer from that school! I was not interviewed, why did I get the job offer? I was told that they considered the people who were previously interviewed. I was ecstatic! But knowing how close I got before, I didn’t let my hopes up too much. When everything started to suddenly fall into place, I knew right then, that it was the one for me. 

It made me realize that persistence and of course, prayers, can really help. I never gave up hope that one day, I would really be able to achieve that dream. If I am able to do it, so can you. 

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