Saturday, July 14, 2012

How I Got Here: Part III

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 the tale of how I got here. (Note: This is Part III of a multi-part series. Read Part I and Part II.)

When we left off, I had just finished my interview with The Worst School Ever, and as Hubs drove us back to the lake where we were spending the week, I called my mom. As I was describing the urban area we were traveling through (and in which the school was located), she cut me off mid-sentence and said, " Look, I get that these kinds of places probably need good teachers worse than any other schools do, but based on what you've just told me, I'm prepared to pay you not to work there."

Luckily, it didn't come to that.

That same day, a Thursday, I received a call from the superintendent of a little city school system in a neighboring county. He didn't have a straight math opening, but they were looking for a grad coach to work with students having trouble passing the graduation exam. The teacher hired would be pulling mostly upperclassmen from electives during the school day and tutoring each student in one or more subject areas. The superintendent said that the previous grad coach was moving to an open position at the elementary school level and as soon as he knew he had the opening, he started looking at his notes from Education Interview Day in March and thought of me. Was I interested in interviewing?

Well, the superintendent didn't know it, but his system was one I had not planned to interview with at EID. The teacher who heads up the teacher mentoring program for the system was helping man the booth at EID, and when she saw the big "MATH" label on my nametag, she literally grabbed my arm and dragged me over. After a few minutes of talking with them, I was sold on the super-small, family atmosphere they described, and I signed up for a screening interview. After the 30 minute interview, I felt compelled to move them to the top of my list, and I had been checking the state website where teaching jobs are posted since March, hoping to see a posting for this system.

I quickly scheduled the interview and spent my weekend researching the grad exam and beefing up my portfolio.

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