Alright, I promised a part two. One of the things I pride myself on is following through on my promises, so this is me trying!
I left off where I made the decision the summer of 2016 to take the real estate class. I decided to take it at JY Monk in Hickory purely due to how the schedule fell. Asheville has a local company that provides the class, but I wasn’t ready to fully commit at that point and needed a pre licensing class that didn’t interfere with my current full time job of teaching. So I decided to make the drive to Hickory for a 75 hour course that lasted 6 weeks and met 9 hours a day two days a week…
I must admit, I was totally apprehensive…. I was a teacher, and teaching 90 minute block classes is so hard because the class just drags on… How on earth was someone going to keep us engaged from 9:00 to 5:00?? Let me just say, my instructor was a rock star! Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of information, but I seriously LOVE TO LEARN new things! I just love knowledge and learning and the process of it all! I was in heaven and like a sponge absorbing all sorts of new information that I didn’t previously know! Perhaps it is just the math nerd in me…
Here are my math nerd shoes in case you are wondering the extent of my nerdiness (is that even a word)… 🙂
So here I was taking this class and contemplating changing careers and I had told no one at this point really. I mean obviously my husband knew, my family knew, a select few of my friend knew, but I was terrified to tell anyone else. I still had no idea what I was going to do and was feeling super conflicted. We were in the process of buying a house and selling ours, and I didn’t even tell my agent, SORRY MARIE. I don’t know why I was so scared to share with the world at that point. I think I really still hadn’t made up my mind.
The thought of leaving education and leaving the Erwin district felt like a betrayal in a lot of ways to me. I just couldn’t come to terms with leaving at that point. My husband and his brother had bought a house and were in the process of renovating it and I thought at the very least I could sell the houses they remodel and still teach.
By the way, this house ended up being my first listing and my first closing and was AMAZING!!!!!!!!
At the end of July in 2016 I completed my class and passed the test for the class the first time… Then I began studying for the state test and scheduled it for several days later. We were nearing the finish line of selling our house and buying a new home. I passed the state test my first try the day before closing on the buying and selling end of both homes. We used an amazing local realtor and I learned a lot from her throughout our process.
I was three weeks out from the start of the school year at this point and had no idea what I was going to do. My best friend who had encouraged me to take this leap of faith works for an amazing local company, Coldwell Banker King. The owner, Terri King, is a fellow Erwin alum. It was the perfect fit for me. I on boarded at the beginning of August… I signed out just at the start of the new agent orientation and was able to get all of my orientation in just before the school year started. It seemed like divine intervention to me. Everything was aligning in a way that caused no conflicts. I was still going to continue teaching for now, because I was certain this real estate thing was going to take a while to take off….
I told a few people at this point, but was still really keeping it hush hush… Everyone knows me as a math teacher and a coach, my closest friends know me as that person they can call when something is wrong with their phone, they need something done in Microsoft Excel, or their computer isn’t working properly, but a real estate agent?? I was still feeling apprehensive.
The school year started back towards the end of August 2016. I fell absolutely in love with my classes. My class sizes were small. While it was my first time teaching seventh grade math, I had a great Professional Learning Community to work with, no really they were rock stars! The kids were super sweet, well all but just a couple, but those are the ones that you try and love on the most to make break throughs with. Let me just say, when those break throughs happen, those are the best days in teaching… Reaching the unreachable, that’s the goal… Well it was always my goal anyways.
It was right when the school year started that I started getting phone calls from friends, family, former volleyball families, and colleagues who somehow heard the news. I set out to do both. I thought I could just do both until the end of the school year. WHAT.A.JOKE…. Let me say this, when you are a new agent part time work with a few clients=full time hours. You are still learning how to work the technology so it takes you longer. I am a tech nerd and figure things out very quickly, but it was still taking me longer than I expected. Top that off with teaching a new math curriculum. You would think that going from teaching high school math to middle school math would be a cake walk…. no no no… just no!!!!!! Teaching any new curriculum is like starting a brand new job.
So here I was, with two brand new jobs…. It was a lot. That said, I was really enjoying the real estate end of things. I was also really falling in love with my students. I wish I could sit here and tell you about some of my favorites, but I might get in trouble, and besides that, there would be too many little stories, but I will say I had one kid who brought the biggest smiles to my face each and every day. I can’t tell you his name, but I can tell you he has some pretty epic guinea pigs! He’s a great kid and one of the very many that I miss! I am going to have to go back and see them all soon! (Okay just emailed one of the old teachers on my team for a visit…. Fingers crossed it can happen…)
Okay, I warned you that I often get sidetracked…. So things were going well on both fronts. I am enjoying teaching middle school math and enjoying real estate and trying my best to hold out until the end of the year and do both until then…. It was working for a little while, until it just wasn’t working any more… I had a client that I had been helping for a little while via phone and email and she and her husband were coming to town on Tuesday the following week and had to see houses that morning. It had to be that day, and they were very likely putting an offer in that day… I had school that day… It didn’t feel right to me to take the day off from school to take care of them, I just couldn’t do it. So I had to refer them to another agent. The other agent helped them and they quickly made an offer on a property.
It was this transaction that made me realize that I needed to choose. I could not continue to drown and do both. I was able to manage doing all of my work necessary for teaching and for real estate, but my family was being sacrificed because all my real estate work was happening after teaching all day. I was also not being able to be “on call” for my clients which is very necessary when trying to provide the highest level of customer service to your clients. I had to make a choice. I couldn’t continue to let my family come in 3rd, so something had to go…
On October 24th 2016, I did one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life… I turned in my resignation letter to an administrative team that I adore at a school that I believe in… It was so very hard. I felt like I was quitting on the faculty, but even more I felt like I was quitting on my students. I didn’t tell anyone for a few days. I told my PLC’s first and then word spread. My final day was set for November 28th. I wanted to ensure I provided ample time for a replacement to be chosen for my position and five weeks seemed like a good amount of time.
Those five weeks were very hard because I didn’t tell my students. I felt like I was lying to them by omission, but it was also important that they didn’t have the distraction of knowing that I was leaving until just before it was happening. I told my students that I wouldn’t be coming two days before Thanksgiving break through many many tears. It was extremely difficult. There were many unanswered questions and many unexpected tears from students. There were unending tears from me throughout the course of the day. My students were sad but supportive. Many wrote me special notes that I still hold onto and cherish. It was a very sad and hard time for me but also a time of excitement for new endeavors.
Writing my resignation letter was the start of my realization that I was truly going to change career paths and wasn’t just “toying with the idea” of leaving education. It was one of the biggest leaps of faith that I have ever made. Time and time again, my friends, my family, my volleyball family, everyone I know has told me that I am doing the right thing and that I am going to be great at this! What I know is that I am enjoying the ride! It’s been very liberating while also pretty scary. I feel I have gone from an expert in my field to a newbie, but don’t you worry, expert status is coming 🙂
In my next blog I will share my journey to decide on the name of my blog and website… AmandaKnowsAsheville
Thanks for reading my blog! I would love any feedback you have! In the meantime, if you are looking for a house, feel free to start your search here!!!!