Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer PD: A Big Ol' Love Fest

I am one of the weird teachers who love professional development. Love it.

(If you are reading this, I suspect that you are one of those weird teachers, too.)

Even on my best teaching day, when I end the day feeling pumped about how my lessons went and I can see that my kids have had a breakthrough, when I'm sure I'm where I need to be and can't imagine myself doing anything else, even on days when I love, love, love teaching, I still love learning even more, so spending all day with people who know more than I do is my idea of a good time.

Here's a list of the PD I'm signed up for this summer.
  • Students in Poverty (regional workshop)
  • Using Web 2.0 Tools to Make Every Teen a 21st Century Reader (e-Learning course)
  • Classroom Management in the 21st Century (e-Learning course)
  • Special Students in Regular Classrooms: Technology, Teaching, and Universal Design (e-Learning course)
What are you learning this summer?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Classroom Decor Teaser

How I Got Here: Part II

I always love to hear how fellow teachers got their jobs. It's helpful to those looking for teaching positions, but I still think it's interesting to the rest of us, too. At my former school, I found that the interview process I experienced was completely different from even my coworkers' experiences. In light of that, and in hopes of helping future educators with the interview process, I've decided to share my experiences. (Note: This is Part II of a multi-part series. Read Part I of the series first.)

I went on two "real" interviews before being offered a full-time position. The first of those "real" interviews was with a school four hours away in an urban area I would not have normally chosen. When I applied for the position, I knew absolutely nothing about the school, the system, or its kids. I was also doped up on Lortabs, recovering from a nasty ear infection that had left me temporarily deaf in one ear. It was not the ideal interview situation to start out with, but as C and began to approach the area surrounding the school, I began counting the projects we passed, and then I began to notice that the only restaurants I saw were of the fast food variety and that none of them offered a "dining room" option. That's right, every single restaurant--including the national chains--had bars on the windows and required patrons to use a walk-up window.

Although seemingly impossible, it got worse when we arrived to find that ours was the only car in the lot. Hoping for the best, I approached the front of the school to find the door locked and chained shut. I did eventually find an open door and one other person who was also waiting to interview. At this point, I decided this was NOT the school for me, but I planned to go through with the interview out of politeness, and for practice, and because we'd driven four hours to get there. The principal did finally show up, fifteen minutes late, asked me four questions, and declared the interview complete. In all, I spent approximately sixteen minutes in his office, and for at least seven of those minutes, he was on the phone. He ended the interview by shaking my hand and saying, "Don't feel bad if you don't hear from us."

Lucky for me, my next interview was a much more positive experience.