Posts filed under ‘JOB HUNT’

Had Just About Enough.

They gave the government teaching position to some coaching friend of theirs who already had a job.

It’s funny how quickly your spirit can turn. One moment, I was happily making unit plans and searching for the perfect desk calendar to map out the rest of my school year. The next moment, I was calculating whether I’d be Category I if I quit my job and took a position in a different district. There’s allegedly an English job – although I’ve never seen it posted – at the school where Mr. Bees student-taught. There’s also a language arts position at an area alternative high school, and one of the other LA teachers there was my freshman English teacher. She likes me. I bet she could get me in the door.

How easily all the fun can be taken out of a year. Now what am I supposed to do? How do I plan for the new year, get my room all fixed up, talk about all of the preparation and back-to-school stuff, knowing that every word of it is a dagger of disappointment for my husband – not to mention for myself? Moreover, do I even want to? Right this minute, I don’t even care.

My back isn’t broken – we’re going to get through this. Mr. Bees can keep working on his Masters, and we’ll get him subbing. He’s going to see if he’s qualified for the position Coach McJockstrap is vacating at a middle school. But I have to dump all of this venom somewhere so that it gets out of my heart and away from my job. It’s all going to be okay. But yesterday, and today – blech. We’re so disappointed. I can’t even put it into words. And after the other crap that has happened this summer… we needed this.

I know that we can’t take this personally – but I can’t help wishing they HAD taken it just a little bit personally for me. They had to know how much this was going to hurt.

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August 4, 2010 at 9:42 am 3 comments

Hiring Update

Finally got in touch with someone in HR. I have to go pee in a cup today (still intrigued that my new district seems to be the only in the area that requires a drug test) and will sign all relevant paperwork in August. Because I was offered the job in June, I’m free and clear from the dreaded Cat I.

Now I just need to get in touch with my department head and find out what my curriculum calendar looks like! I’ve got some planning to do…

July 7, 2009 at 11:38 am 1 comment

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Stimulated

Stimulus has passed. Hundreds of millions of dollars coming into education in our state. My future looks a tiny bit brighter – maybe I won’t be unemployed next fall after all. Maybe I’ll get to stay here in my school.

Here’s hoping. I like it here. I didn’t know if I would, but I do. I’ve built relationships that are, perhaps, becoming friendships. I’ve stuffed a classroom. I’ve started a program and began building another one.

Meanwhile, in more important news… job security = increased chances of family expansion.

For a fun explanation of the stimulus, watch this video.

Happy Valentine’s Day…

February 14, 2009 at 8:24 pm 1 comment

Ruining My Spring Semester

I am doing a better job at teaching than I am at blogging about it. (Although to be fair, I’ve got some notes and drafts stowed away. Probably ought to finish them and get them posted, huh.)

I love what I’m doing. Some days are hard, and some weeks – like this one – exhaust me with the sheer emotional load of caring about and for these children. I’m told that I’m doing well. I feel like I’m doing a good job. I’m feeling more comfortable, more at home, here at LMS. I’m settling in.

Too bad it seems to all be falling apart around me.

I’m what they call a Category 1 teacher, which means that I was hired at the very last minute. Technically, I suppose, I was a desperation hire. The enrollment numbers turned out higher than was anticipated just before school started, and I lucked into a position. I would have put my whole heart into my teaching anyway – why do something less than 110%? – but this was extra incentive. I had to do a good job if I wanted to keep my job next fall. See, Category 1 teachers are on a non-renewing one-year contract. I knew from the outset that I was going to be gently terminated at the end of the school year and, if all had gone well, rehired for the following year. This, of course, was also contingent on there being appropriate enrollment numbers. Unfortunately, it could take until the last minute (again) to find out about those numbers. That creates a very real possibility that I’d be Category 1 again: no tuition reimbursement, and no job security.

None of this seemed too worrisome in the fall. I reckoned it would all work out in the end.

But now the economy has fallen apart. They’re talking about laying off teachers, among many other things.

Apparently, and according to a friend and a contract expert, this is the scenario I’m facing:

At the end of the school year, I’m done. I will pack up and empty out my classroom. I am going to be paid through August, because it was a one-year contract, but I am in the same place I was before I ever got the job. I am not an employee of the school district. I’ve gained one important thing, in that the school knows me and (allegedly) wants me back. That’s a very important foot in the door.

The schools have to wait for the state, and the state has to wait for the feds. Once everyone gets their ducks in a row, they’ll know how many teachers they need for next year. If last year is any indication, this will be late in the summer.

Soooo… all summer, again, I’m going to be worrying about whether or not I’m going to have a job. I’m going to have to print out resumes again, get my application into the aggravating HR pool again, interview again. I could be back at LMS in my same classroom, or I could be in a high school on the other side of the district, or I could be sitting on my couch at home. If they are even hiring at all, it’ll probably be late, and I’ll probably end up Cat 1 again – which means we’ll do this again.

It isn’t supposed to be like this. Once you get hired, you’re supposed to be able to teach if you want to and if you aren’t awful. You’re supposed to get a job, work hard, get tenure three years later, and be able to breathe. You’re not supposed to fall in love with a school and the people in it just in time to get kicked back to the curb.

I’ve been assured by several coworkers that our admins are going to fight to keep me, but I know as well as anyone that these things are rarely within anyone’s control.

Worse, I know how miserable Mr. Bees is. He has graduated. His diploma (three emphases, a minor, and certification to teach two different subjects) is sitting on the mantle. He wants to be in a classroom so much, but if it was going to be hard for him to get a job as a social studies teacher before, it’s going to be nigh unto impossible now. When they’re cutting loose existing teachers, they aren’t hiring untested ones.

I figured I’d teach a year, get tenure within reach, and then consider that whole “baby” thing I’ve heard so much about. (Don’t get me started – I want to start a family so bad that my teeth hurt when I think about it.) Now I don’t know what to do.

I don’t want to lose this job. But I guess, in a manner of speaking, I already have.

February 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm 4 comments

Guess what? I are an English teacher!

Somehow or the other, I have beaten the odds and found myself a job as an English teacher!!

I interviewed at what I will call LMS, in the Suburban School District, on August 7. The interview felt like it went pretty well, but I never feel like I exactly know – especially considering I got only two hours of sleep the night before. The local Educator Grapevine began buzzing shortly thereafter; the Asst. Principal called my mentor teacher and got a resounding recommendation from her (I love you and owe you a lunch, DR). I had discovered that one of my grad school cohorts teaches at LMS; she told me that she’d heard the interview went well.

Every day felt like a week. There was a point in time when I wanted nothing more than to teach middle school, and a point in time when I felt I preferred high school; after interviewing at LMS I wanted to teach THERE and nowhere else. I mean, I tried to hedge my emotional bets; I told myself and my loved ones that I would be perfectly happy at a different school, that whatever was intended to happen would happen. But I was definitely counting those unhatched chickens.

A couple of phone calls and phone messages later,  I was really excited. Things sounded positive.

I was supposed to find out by 8:30 AM on Wednesday. By 2 PM today, I knew that I was going to be a seventh grade English teacher.

I haven’t done paperwork yet, due to some timing issues, but I’m scheduled for new teacher orientation Thursday and Friday. I’ve met the principal, however, and gotten a look inside the classrooms. I’m going to be teaching four classes of English 7 (writing) and one class of English 7 (literature) first semester; the lit class turns into a 6th grade keyboarding class in the spring. There’s another class in there that hasn’t been determined yet. I’m also – and I’m really excited about this – going to be advising student council. I know that student council at the middle school level is more emerging leadership than actual government, but I’m excited about the prospect of teaching some of the skills I’ve learned through membership in and advisement of student organizations.

The scariest/stupidest thing I did, in terms of counting those darn chickens, was thinking about a classroom. To me, one of the coolest things about teaching is having that space to yourself, that space to decorate and fill and make your own. I  knew it was a bad idea to get my head going that direction. Many first-year teachers share classrooms or travel from room to room with a book cart (hence “cart teacher”). Still, it was just too much fun NOT to think about.

Well… I have a classroom. (!!!) There was a slight confusion with the room number, and the room I’m currently assigned still has another teacher’s things in it, so I’m not 100% positive which room will be mine once I can officially begin moving in. Apparently the current inhabitant is changing subjects and moving to another wing of the building. I was able to wander around the school and take a look inside several classrooms. Mine is like most in that it doesn’t have a window or a computer projector, but it seems to be of average size and has a cozy feel to it. I am thinking about bookcases and trying to figure out how to arrange the room so that there is some division without making it crowded…

Eek! I am so excited… I’m browsing IKEA’s website, wondering if a small sofa will fit in the classroom, thinking about the possibility of buying my own projector, watching clips of Olympics-fan Bush on the Daily Show….

I’M A TEACHER. I HAVE A JOB. WHOO HOO!!!

There is only one video in all of YouTube that is up to the task of expressing my glee. Presenting, in all 9:33 minutes of glory – each and every second full of awesome – the NerdFighters/Brotherhood 2.0 Happy Dance Project. (If the embedded video doesn’t work, just click the HDP link.)

August 12, 2008 at 11:45 pm 4 comments

Furious. >:(

It occurred to me that it was the second week of June – not that extraordinary an occurrence, except that I was supposed to have heard back from Suburban School District the third week of May about my screening interview. And I never did.

Meanwhile, all of the Suburban School District jobs are drying up.

So I spent half my lunch break today on the phone with their HR department. (The other half I spent playing IT professional for our slapdash English department here at the summer school – I had wanted to call the jr. high principal back and thank her, but didn’t have time.)

I told the HR gal – the same one I complained about earlier – that I was supposed to have heard from them almost a month ago and had not. She looked through her files and…. anyone wanna guess what she said?

“We don’t have anything from you on file.”

“Uhm,” I replied, “when I called before – in May – I was concerned that my materials had been lost in the mail, so I had you look for them. At that time you told me that you had them in front of you.”

HR Lady made a noise like she thought I was hallucinating and shuffled some papers. She asked what I was endorsed in, asked for my name again. Then: “Oh, are you [Mrs. Bees]? I have your materials here. They haven’t been processed yet.”

Steam proceeds to build behind my ears.

“Yeah, it looks like I just reviewed them… yesterday… We haven’t processed it into a folder yet….”

I held myself in check. “I was told they would have been reviewed and processed three weeks ago.”

“Ha ha, yeah, that was probably wishful thinking on my part if I told you that they would be evaluated in a week.”

I responded with what I hoped would translate over the phone as a very pointed silence. Pretty damn poor time estimation, if you ask me. Thinking something will take a week when it will really take four?

“This time of year, you know…” she continued.

I’m thinking to myself, I applied to Urban School District at the exact same time, and have already been screened and narrowly rejected for an actual job. And you haven’t even put my application in a FOLDER yet??

She went on. “Well, I’ll go ahead and… I guess I can go ahead and schedule you for the screening interview now though. Can you…. can you come in Monday?”

“Well, I’m teaching summer school,” I replied. “I’m teaching from 8-4. In [Urban Area].”

“Oh well, we don’t have any afternoon interviews at all.”

My blood boiling, I asked if they had lunchtime interviews. She said they did and that the interview lasted 30 minutes, and that their latest interview was at 11:30. I looked at the bell schedule; I have lunch from 11:45-12:15, and the Suburban District office is about a 30-minute drive from summer school. I would need to miss an hour of teaching. If we have to miss, we have to find our own substitute; I have no idea how they get paid or anything, and we don’t have a contact list. We just have to “know” someone who is on file with the district who can handle a summer school session. Mr. Bees has offered to sub for me but isn’t available until the afternoon.

How am I even supposed to arrange for a sub that I magically find in the next three hours so that I can call her back and schedule an interview that was supposed to happen a month ago?

I am RAGING pissed, not to put too fine a point on it. This is just inexcusable – what kind of professional practices are these? It’s pretty clear to me, from the tone of HR Lady’s voice and the responses I’m getting, that this isn’t a case of being overwhelmed. It’s a case of not doing her job. There is no earthly reason that my application should not even be in a folder yet. There is no earthly way that they have THAT many applications. This is NOT a major metropolitan area, nor is it an area to which many educators are trying to move.

And it’s not like I can complain, because to whom does one complain about HR? And if I complain, or even indicate that I’m displeased, I’ll never get a job there. Of course, maybe that would be for the best! If this were a corporate environment there would be heads rolling.

June 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm 2 comments

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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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