When It Rains, It Pours

It’s been a time of celebration in my household. After a year and a half of searching, applying, interviewing, and rejection, I have finally landed a teaching job! A real, actual, full time with benefits, in charge of my own classroom, teaching job. A true to the whirlpool that is my life, it all happened very quickly and at the absolute last possible minute.

After a soul-crushing number of interviews, and an equally soul-crushing review of my interview skills with the Director of Pupil Services at one of the districts where I sub, I was seriously at the point of giving up on a teaching career. There was some amount of allure in a mindless sort of 40 hour per week job. And as I’m pushing 30, the lack of retirement was getting scarier and scarier.  I began searching for other jobs in the area that might be willing to hire a currently underemployed teacher.  However, I still searched for teaching jobs, kept an eye on the market and occasionally applied for the posted jobs.

It the past couple of weeks, I have applied for four teaching jobs. A couple of days after applying for one, I got an email setting up an interview for the next week. I ended up having to shift my entire work schedule around to make it, but I did go in for the interview. Despite (or maybe due to) the cruel frank review of my interview skills, I decided to go in swinging for the fences (I know, I’m not a baseball fan, but none of the sports I actually follow have as good of a metaphor). My husband recommended that I go in with my customer service attitude (after 6 years in the local grocery store, I’ve had to smile at and chat with a lot of people, ones I liked and others, not so much). I left the interview feeling pretty good, but didn’t want to get my hopes up.

On my way to that interview, another of the schools I applied to called to set up another last minute interview. They were looking for a long-term sub for a semester in a position that could turn into a full-time position. And the school was on the fringe of the commuter radius I established at the start of this never ending job search. Not ideal, but better than nothing, and they were willing to interview me on a day I had off from the store.

The following day, I had a pretty good omen. The school I had interviewed at called one of my references. Well, that’s a step farther than I had gotten on a lot of these interviews. Again, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but they were starting to rise.

The next day rolled around, and the interview at the second school. I didn’t feel that one went nearly as well, but the drive sucked and it was only for a semester, so I didn’t get too upset about it. What I did start to get upset about was the fact that I hadn’t heard from the first school. I was feeling pretty down, but then a call from the third school raised my spirits.

Then, it happened. The first school called back and said they were recommending me for the position. I needed to come in for what they called a “second interview” with the school superintendent. I was worried about this second interview, even though the teachers I talked to made it sound more like a formality. Not wanting to jinx anything, but feeling pretty confident, I told a select group of friends and relatives (that’s right, feel honored if you were in that group).  

The weekend passed. Before setting up the second interview, I heard back from school number 2 (the interview I thought I bombed). Apparently, they also wanted to hire me for the long term sub job. I’m not going to lie, that one shocked me. The school needed an answer right away, so I took a bit of a gamble and told them I had already accepted another job (hoping that it was indeed a formality). Of course, the second interview was scheduled at the same time as the interview for the third school, so I had to take another risk and cancel the interview at the third school (really, really hoping that it was a mere formality).

And yesterday, I went into my second interview. Believe me, I breathed a sigh of relief when some of the superintendent’s first words to me were, “The committee recommended you for the position, so I’m going to recommend you.” After a chat with him, I had an actual teaching job. An actual teaching job where orientation started in only two days, with students starting school in only eight total days (see what I mean about the last possible moment?).

Despite the rush of all of it, I thrilled to have this job. The school district has a wonderful reputation and everyone that I’ve met seems to be friendly and helpful.  I alternate between that feeling of elation and the feeling of terror when I think about being in charge of a classroom, a caseload of students, and two paraprofessionals in a little more than a week.

I’ll be teaching, at the elementary level, students with severe disabilities. I’ve visited my school, and seen my classroom. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that both are beautiful. I have access to a wide variety of technology and professionals to help my students. Starting tomorrow, I’m looking at nine days straight of work (this weekend will be my last weekend at the grocery store), but I’m excited about it. We will see how I feel after two days of orientation, two days in the grocery store cash office (yuppers, 5:30 am shifts for my last days), three days of in-service, an open house for parents, and two days of students.

Wish me luck as I embark on this (hopefully) wonderful new journey!

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