Saturday, September 22, 2007

Door closed, Window opens

I start a new position on Wednesday . I went by the school Friday to get the textbook. Met several of the teachers. Found my room (ok, trailer) - and met the first of my students. Since they have subs now, I think he is thrilled to have some stability - he smiled when he asked "are you our new teacher?"

It is teaching a remedial math class, supplementing thir Algebra class. So, the kids who don't do well in math will have 2 math classes a day.

I start with cookies, I think!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Seasons in the sun

Never did hear from the 2 counties about substituting - even though I am certified in all middle grades subjects..... Never did hear from most of the principals I interviewed with. I have landed a job.

The teacher who left early has been reprimanded and manages to stay til quitting time every day (imagine that).

The principal still reigns havoc on his little fiefdom.

I think I will post my new experiences elsewhere.....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Not in Kansas anymore, Toto

There is something surreal about applying for a job. I had an interview 2 and a half weeks ago. It went ok, but not any better than ok. I emailed a thank you and, of course, never heard back one way or another.

Today, I get a call from the same school, for the same position, asking me if I would be interested in coming in for an interview. I am still interested in the job, but I had to believe they were clueless that they had already contacted me, so I mentioned that I had interviewed there already and were they asking me to come in for a second interview. Oh, panic! She would have to check with the principal.

So, I emailed the principal and mentioned that I was still interested in the position.

"<>Thank you for your interest. We pulled updated applications and your name was not pull [sic] out of the group. You have obviously updated your application recently. Sorry."

I assume - and we all know about assume - that the principal did not intend to have me called. I never got a call back or email along the lines "thank you for applying but we are not interested" - do you suppose I will get one now?

In the mean time, I have signed up for substituting in two different cities but am waiting for my fingerprints to be processed in order to pick up those jobs.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Great advice to new teachers

Great advice to new teachers

Today's AJC has a good article about Jonathan Kozol's new book "Letters to a Young Teacher" but no way to link to the article.

I was looking into the next GACE I want to take. I might be able to take 3 tests in a 4 hour period, any more is over kill. Everything I want to take is a 2 test item, only offered in the afternoon. So I will take one of the three and schedule the other 2 later.

Filled out paperwork to sub in a couple of counties. No joy so far as a full time job.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

School has started

School has started. At the old school, the principal, bless his pointy little head, has assigned Gilda, a special ed teacher, to work team teaching with a brand new teacher. Since Gilda has taught a dozen years, this sounds reasonable.

Gilda is inept. She cannot (or will not) write an IEP (individual education plan - the mainstay of her ilk). She can't grasp (after 2 years) how to read her emails or how to take role using the software.

She is a sweet little old lady who will be no help to the newbie. I wonder of anyone will help the two of them through this year.


I cannot do anything to assist. It is frustrating, which helps me not at all. What I need to do is focus on getting a job.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A new low point

Today I had to apply for free and reduced lunch for my daughter since there is no income. I feel like slime.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the hydrant.

We live in an environment where you read in the paper this teacher resigned following a drug arrest or that teacher resigned under suspicion of child abuse. If you teach in a school, you see incompetence (a teacher who is out sick, with regularity, one day a month or a teacher who shows movies unrelated to the curriculum rather than teach) or worse - the male teacher who gropes student teachers or the teacher who parties too hard every weekend with a different partner each time.

So, when your principal doesn't like you and labels you unsatisfactory, this is a hard hurdle to overcome. The teachers who taught with me don't see it this way (that I am incompetent) and my students' test scores were comparable. But, as I apply for job after job after job, I see the principals' eyes glaze over: what must be wrong with me that I was let go? And the funny thing is, I believe he just wanted me gone. Had he ever told me that, I'd be at a different school. Instead, he kept acting as if he liked me and if I just changed this one little thing or that one little thing, all would be well.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a new teacher. Only taught one year. I prepared for one environment (high school) and landed in another (middle school). Do I have much to learn? Oh, yes. Am I a good teacher? That is why I am writing this blog: to reflect on what I've learned over the past year and what I learn during this enforced vacation.

Because I want to be honest and blunt, I am doing this anonymously. I teach, or did, in a moderate sized Southern city. I have applications out in several school districts as well as at private schools. I will go back to subbing until I land another teaching position, but feel confident that I will teach again.

I feel blindsided.

Oh, the other teachers I mentioned are still in the school.