Monday, December 27, 2010

Getting Hired as a Teacher

The process of getting hired was tricky and confusing. In fact, it was so confusing, I find myself forgetting the particulars. I figured it was best to address this before I forgot everything!

I had an established hire profile for my district. I never tried subbing, but I had applied to be a sub. I'd done everything, which included getting several references, except sending in a transcript. I kept ordering them from my university, but they never quite seemed to make it there. It was just as well considering the baptism by fire I ended up with prior to student teaching of teaching at a summer camp and being in charge of kindergarten through second grade. Twenty two of them. By myself most of the time.

The references are fairly easy from what a friend, who I used as a reference, told me. I simply put in the person's information online and they were mailed a postcard. They filled out the postcard and mailed it back. I didn't know it, but they keep all of those in your record. When I changed my hire application profile for teaching instead of subbing, I put in five more references. I ended up with a lot of postcards in my file!

Now, I've worked a lot of different jobs. For larger companies, I almost always had to do a drug test. I was surprised that I did not have to do a drug test to be a teacher. When I was hired by Best Buy, I first had to have a drug test, but not for teaching. I did, however, have to be completely fingerprinted. Fingerprinting was part of the application process.

I completed and submitted my application in October before I started student teaching in January. Then I started playing the waiting game. I ended up being so nervous, I applied to several surrounding counties as well, including Shelby, Oldham, Bullitt and Spencer counties. When student teaching began, my classmates and I kept each other up to date on anyone's hiring. My cooperating teacher, whose classroom I invaded to student teach, told me she'd been hired in January. When January passed and I hadn't even been called for an interview, I started to panic.

There are a few subjects that always seem to be completely full. Two of them are English and Social Studies. I believe it's because people get their History or English degree and think "Now what? Um, teaching?" since both degrees are kind of worthless without any additional schooling. With this at the back of my mind, I started to fear I'd be one of those English teachers that would never get hired.

February started and miracle of miracles, I was given an interview! Several of my classmates had already received interviews, so had been really worried before that. My interview was scheduled for a day when school was already out. Unfortunately, we received a huge amount of snow, so my interview ended up being over the phone. I had made a list with my cooperating teacher of current buzzwords in Education, like Classroom Instructional Framework, the method of making a day's agenda, and other things that were "big" in the district that year. I made sure to mention those buzzwords and explain how I knew what they were and how to use them. The interview lasted nearly an hour before the man thanked me for my time and let me go.

And then I waited. And waited. And waited. No one else had been hired yet, so I knew I hadn't bombed it yet. February ended and my cooperating teacher lamented that she was sure I would have been hired by now. She'd been an Early Hire for the district and assumed they would have done their early hires already. Early Hires are the supposed best and brightest new teachers who are hired based on job projections instead of actual placements available. Sometimes they guess wrong and there are too many teachers for the placements available. If I wasn't an Early Hire, I'd have to wait until they knew the actual placements available in June. I was getting married in July. The idea of going not knowing if I was hired until a month before my wedding horrified me.

March began and I received a letter in the mail. The letter was from the district and I was too excited to read it properly. I only caught important words like "early", "employment" and "contract". Contract? I lifted the letter and there was a contract with my name on it. An employment contract. I was hired. They waited a bit later to do the Early Hires that year and I was lucky enough to land one, along with a handful of other English teachers in my student teaching seminar. I sent in my contract and waited for the next step.

After that, I was swept up into a whirlwind of more papers to sign with a few other new hires who were in the district office the same day as I was. We were given a date of when to show up for our New Teacher Induction, which was two days after my wedding. I'll write about how I spent the time that would have been my honeymoon tomorrow.

2 comments:

  1. my cousin also recently completed her elementary education degree last december and was getting married the following august. well summer rolls around and she gets an interview for her first choice school. they offered her a position but their orientation interfered with her honeymoon plans. like an idiot, she rejected the job.

    i'd like to thank you for not being an idiot and realizing that getting a job is more important than a week trip to hawaii.

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  2. Wow. I do NOT comprehend turning down a job, especially in the hiring season last year, for a trip to Hawaii. No, I cancelled my honeymoon to go to our New Teacher Induction. That wasn't even the orientation at my school. That was the orientation for the entire district!

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