Dear Job Seekers, I just wanted to take a minute to encourage you in your quest to land a teaching job. I am here to tell you, it can happen, it will happen if you don't give up. I have tried year after year, to get a job. During those years I did a lot of things that to fill in the experience and to stay in the field as much as I could. I taught in private schools, I substituted, taught in more private schools, worked as a para, all the time filling out job applications, having interviews, getting rejected over and over. I got discouraged, gave up, went back to college to begin a new career and then went back to education because i knew it is really the only thing that I really felt passionate about doing with my life. And finally... after 28 years (yes, I did say 28 years) today I signed a contract for my dream teaching job in a public school. Looking back I know that every job that I had over the years prepared me for where I was going to go. I can totally see that now. I do feel self conscious about being on the older end of the spectrum. There are teachers my age who are preparing for their retirement when I am just beginning. I am older than my new principal, twice as old as most of the teachers at my school and old enough to be the grandmother of most of my students, but I know I have the life-wisdom that most younger teachers don't have and a level of confidence that comes from not giving up. My advice is to be willing to take a para job or get in by substituting, either daily or long term. I have worked for the past three years as a para and got additional certifications along the way to increase my chances of getting a job. I was blessed to have the support and of my co-workers from my last school who recognized my talent and who encouraged me every step of the way. Although no positions opened up at that specific school, my principal was gracious to recommend me to some of her friends in other schools. I was called in to interview at one of them and I guess I made enough of a good impression that I was offered a position half an hour after the interview was over. I have worked hard, waited, cried, prayed and pushed myself beyond what I ever thought I was capable of doing and finally it has all paid off. You can have this experience too. Don't give up.