Saturday, August 30, 2014

My New Big Girl Job!

Happy Labor Day Weekend Everybody!

How are you doing?  I'm doing super fabulously well because...drum roll please...


I'm going to be an elementary school resource room teacher!  After 27 Dresses interviews I am so excited to begin this new chapter in my life!  Because I am a special education teacher, there will be zero information regarding my students, my school, and/or other professional mentions on the blog.  I try to be honest here, but due to the sensitivity of my job, I legally and personally feel that I must respect the anonymity of my students.

Does that mean I won't brag about what a wonderful job I have?  Kale no!  I think teaching is the greatest profession and therefore I will still cheer on my fellow teachers and share my feelings about teaching in general here on the bloggy.

Let me tell you, the teacher-interview process is grueling.  It was 3 months (I am extremely blessed to have found a job as quickly as I did--to all my friends who are still looking for teaching positions, good luck!  Your class and kids are out there!) of rejection, money, praying, and hard work.  At one point, I went on 4 interviews in 3 days!!

I consider myself extremely blessed that I was even able to go on as many interviews as I did.  The educational climate has shifted significantly over the past few years in this country.  As a side effect, jobs have been cut by the thousands.  It's rough out there.  Sometimes I think it would be easier to win an Academy Award than become a teacher, especially in NJ!  I felt privileged to have been granted this many opportunities and believe me I never took one of them for granted.  Here are a list of interviews I went on:

1. 6th Grade Inclusion-1st round interview was during Educational Interview Days at TCNJ.  I was called in for a second interview, then a demo lesson on Close Reading, then I was offered the position.  I turned it down because my heart wasn't in it.  I knew that I couldn't take this job if my heart wasn't 100% in it.  I turned it down and risked a whole bunch for it.

2. HS Multiple Disabilities Class-1st round interview during Educational Interview Days at TCNJ.  I think both the interviewer and I knew this wasn't the job for me.

3. Variety of special education positions-1st round interview was during Educational Interview Days at TCNJ.  This position was over an hour away so I wasn't  too upset that I didn't get this job.

4. Variety of general education positions-1st round interview at a job fair.  2nd round interview with a principal and 3 teachers.  3rd round interview with all of the elementary principals in the district.  4th round interview with the superintendent.  This position was a dream job.  I would have loved it.  When I didn't get this job I was devastated.  I cried for a very long time and felt like a huge loser.  I also began to regret turning down the job in District 1.

5. Variety of special education positions-1st round of interviews with a principal, director of curriculum, and a teacher.  2nd round of interviews consisted of a demo lesson on guided reading.  I was sad that I didn't get this position.  I was actually called in to interview for another position later in August, but I had already accepted a position in my district.

6. Variety of general education position-1st round interviews with a principal and curriculum director.  2nd round interview was a demo lesson on Fact vs. Fiction.  I was very upset when I didn't get this position because it came a week after I was rejected from 2 other districts.

7. Special education long term sub-1st round interview.  Offered position after I already accepted my current position.

8. Variety of special education and general education positions-1st round interview with principal and vice principal.  2nd round interview was with principal, vp, special ed supervisor, and a teacher.  3rd round interview was a demo lesson on introducing a novel.  This job I wanted very very very badly!  I was crushed when I didn't get it.  I probably cried more than I've ever cried over anything or anyone.  I don't think I left my house all that much.  Deb yelled at me to pull myself together and that if I was going to give up, I didn't deserve it anyone.  She's real big on tough love when you just want to be coddled.

9.  Variety of special education positions-1st round interview was with a few principals, curriculum director, and director of special education.  2nd round interview was a demo lesson on making connections to literature.

10.  Variety of special education positions-1st round interview was a phone interview with a principal.  2nd round interview was an interview with all of the elementary school principals.  I did not make it to the 3rd or 4th round interviews, but was called back in for an interview the day after I accepted my current position.

11. MD reading class-1st round interview was scheduled after I already had my current job.  I turned them down.

12. Resource room position at my dream school.  1st round interview was with 2 principals, a teacher, and a special education supervisor.  2nd round interview was a phonics demo lesson on blends.  I ended up hearing back that same day that I got the job.  I received that call on my way to the gym and as soon as I pulled in I called the principal back.  She told me I got the job and I  probably cried for over an hour and had the best workout of my life.  I had to interview with the superintendent and then I signed my contract and got my job!

My life was crazy, but I'm glad it was such an emotional roller coaster.  The process made me extremely grateful and humble.  I know that I worked myself harder than I ever have in my life.  I was pushed to the brink emotionally and psychologically.  It made me tougher and quicker on my feet.  I am so appreciative of this position and it will make me work even harder.

Every week you're getting rejected, interviewed, passed over, and picked apart.  You could interview well and have a killer demo lesson, but the district may have a long term sub, student teacher, or a para who has put in more time than you.  Interviewing for a teaching job is kind of like going on a whole bunch of dates.  Sometimes you get called back, sometimes they break up with you, and sometimes, if you're very lucky, they choose you and you get to live happily ever after.

If you know someone who is currently interviewing for a teaching position give them a big hug and let them vent.  This is an extremely competitive and stressful time in education.  If you have a teaching job, remember to be grateful for ti.  Remember that there are 1,000s of people out there who would gladly take your spot in a heartbeat.  Remember the rejections.  Remember the triumphs.  Remember the sense of accomplishments.  Remember to be tough and don't let this get you down.  Even though it will get you down and crush your soul.  Remember that everything happens for a reason.  If I had taken the first job, I would have missed out on my current job.  I'm so glad I didn't get job #4 because even though it was everything I would have ever wanted then, it has nothing on my current job.  I'm elated, blessed, and grateful to be in the position I am in now.

....Did I mention the best part of my new job??  I'm working down the hall from...


MY DEB!  Yup, I get to work down the hall from my momma.  I'm going to write a post about what it's like to work with your mom in a few weeks. 

Gotta run and prep my classroom!  Enjoy your weekend and be safe!

Love Love Love,


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