Got my fingers crossed

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Cerek, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2011

    This past Monday, I submitted an online application to a district about 70 miles from my home. I attended college in the district, so I'm pretty familiar with the area.

    The position I originally applied for was "Instructional Specialist", which basically sounds like a remediation/tutoring position for middle and hs students struggling with math. When I called the central office, the lady in Personnel pointed out they also had an opening for a HS Math Teacher. I told her I would be happy to be considered for that job as well, but let her know up front I did NOT have my certification for that level yet. She said my current certification would cover the needs of the position while I worked towards my HS certification.

    So I get a phone call today at 11:00am from the principal. He wants to know if I can come for an interview at 2:45pm - TODAY! I told him "Absolutely, I appreciate the opportunity." I had enough time to get cleaned up, eat a quick lunch, put together another portfolio packet and get on the road. I still managed to walk into the office 15 minutes before my appointment time.

    Turns out the position would just be Intro to Math and Geometry for freshmen for the first semester, so my current license DOES cover that (I'm certified for grades 6-9). I will be taking the Praxis II for HS math on Sept. 17, so I'll have that certification by the time they need me to teach higher level classes.

    BTW, their first day of school was today! So they will be making a decision very quickly on this. I've been working on my interview skills and I think this one went a little better than some of my previous ones, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. ;)
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Good luck!
     
  4. sunshine*inc

    sunshine*inc Cohort

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    Good luck!
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Good luck...you deserve that job!
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Good luck! I hope you hear good news soon.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Good luck.
     
  8. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Hope the job is yours!!!!!! How exciting!
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    fingers, toes and eyes crossed for you Cerek :)
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Hope it all works out, Cerek!
     
  11. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Good luck!!
     
  12. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Sounds promising. When I read your post I got the vibe that you will be getting good news soon.
    My fingers are crossed for you!!!!
     
  13. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    ooh good LUck!!
     
  14. xiangnong

    xiangnong Companion

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    Good luck!
     
  15. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I just finished my Thank You letter to the principal. I pointed out that my current certification covers the classes I will be teaching the first semester and I WILL have my high school certification before the beginning of next semester, when they would want me to move up to higher level classes.

    The last question of the interview is required by the School Board and simply asks "If we offer you this position, will you accept it." Of course, I told them I would, but in my Thank You letter I addressed that response more thoroughly. I told the P that the answer was true, but didn't cover the depth of my commitment to that job. I told him the more complete answer was the fact that I would NOT have dropped all of my plans yesterday on such short notice NOR taken up the time of him and his colleagues in the interview if I were NOT completely committed to working in their school and their district. I hope the fact I did change my plans so abruptly not only shows the excitement I feel about working in their district, but also demonstrates the level of commitment and dedication I would bring to their school and their students. The willingness to do whatever needs to be done is one of the intangibles I bring to any job I have.

    Oh, I also pointed out I am qualified to teach High School Business Education based on my undergraduate degree and will be adding that certification to my license as well.

    I really AM excited about the opportunity to work in this district. While it is over 70 miles from my home, it is the same town where I went to college and I really do love the area. I lived there for 3 years during my undergraduate years and, if I can't find a full time job in my home district, this district would definitely be my second choice of a place to live and work. If I DO get the job, I will simply find an efficiency apartment to rent (there are PLENTY available with the college there) and live there during the week, except when I have my boys. I will commute back and forth when the boys are with me. Since I worked in the after school program for the past two years here, I would still be getting home by about the same time each afternoon anyway.

    So, fingers and toes are crossed that this might be the one!
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Good luck!!
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    You are a dedicated teacher and father. All hopes that this will work for you.
     
  18. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2011

    Thank you, catnfiddle, I appreciate that.

    I am very much a dedicated father, moreso than a teacher. If I were offered a choice between a full time job in Asheville (a little over 100 miles away) or subbing in my current district, I would take subbing so I could be here for my boys. I have shown this dedication in other ways as well. After their mother and I separated, I met the boys at school every single morning for 3 years (except when I was in the hospital). I continued that until I began my student teaching two years ago and could no longer do it. The teachers at my sons' school noticed it as well and more than one commented on my dedication to the boys as their father. I never had to talk about my dedication, because I demonstrated it every day.

    The same is true for teaching. My interim position was only part time and my day didn't "officially" begin until 12:10, but it was very rare for me to arrive at the school any later than 10:00am and I often got there as early as 8:00 or 9:00am. This gave me time to catch up on my planning, grading and other work, but I also covered for other teachers if they need to leave their room for any reason. So, yes, I am dedicated a dedicated teacher as well.
     
  19. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    I hope you get good news, they would be lucky to have found you :)
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Your willingness to go wherever the job is will serve you well. I hope this lands your way.
     
  21. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I think that you have a great opportunity to really do good things here. I hope that it happens for you and you get that call soon!
     
  22. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Good luck, cerek!
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2011

    I have to admit I'm a little depressed. I did not get a call back for the HS math position and today is the day all the teachers and staff in my district report for the district-wide meeting that officially begins the school season. I've attended the meeting the last two years (1st as a student teacher then as a part-time teacher). This year, though, I'm at home. :( So, it's a little sad.

    On a more positive note, I did get a call yesterday to interview for the second job I applied for in the HS math district. That position is grant-funded, which is less than ideal, but it's better than nothing.

    In the meantime, I've printed my updated business cards and will begin visiting the schools tomorrow and Monday to give them my new contact and credential information. I also sent emails to individual teachers I know and to all the principals for middle and high schools in the district. I'll need to drop off my business cards in the next district over as well.

    I'm looking forward to getting back in the schools as a sub, but would obviously be happier going back as a regular teacher.
     
  24. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2011

    We're still here for you! Concentrate on that second interview.
     
  25. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2011

    Thanks CnF. I appreciate the support and I AM looking forward to the interview for the second position.

    Part of me is actually looking forward to working as a substitute. I love going into different schools and meeting different students. But it was just disappointing this morning when I woke up and realized all of my coworkers for the last two years were already on their way to the big, district-wide meeting. Of course, I'm sure those that have been there 20+ times would have been HAPPY to swap places with me. LOL. But it is still new to me and was very exciting last year when I got to go as a "real teacher" for the first time.

    Oh well....it will happen again. Just have to ride it out until something comes along. :cool:
     
  26. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    As long as you still have interviews, hope is not lost!
     
  27. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Well, best of luck w/ other positions!
     
  28. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    There are really times I miss subbing. I referred to myself as a gypsy educator. That being said, I truly hope you find your bliss in all respects.
     
  29. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 19, 2011

    Put in about 250 miles of driving today; took the boys to their school (about 50 miles round trip), visited my former school (an extra 10 miles there and back), then went for my interview (140 miles round trip). From there, I picked the boys up from school for another 50 mile round trip.

    The interview seemed to go well, but all of them have. I'll just have to wait and see. I DO feel fortunate to have gotten the number of interviews I have considering the fact I'm limiting myself to a few districts, all of which are rural.

    One note of encouragement came from my former P. He was on the first committee I interviewed with. He said I gave an excellent interview, but the two applicants that were chosen for the positions just had a lot more experience. They also brought extra benefits such as coaching experience and bus driver licenses, so they had a lot to offer each school. So at least I know I DID give a good interview.

    Even though I feel fortunate to have gotten so many, I couldn't help but begin wondering if I was doing or saying something wrong that kept knocking me out of contention. It's nice to know it had nothing to do with my interview skills, the jobs just went to applicants that had more experience or better qualifications.

    So, right now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed again that this most recent interview will work out. I really do think it is the best interview I have given so far.
     
  30. doodle70

    doodle70 Companion

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    Is there any way for you to add a bus driving license or such to gain an advantage?

    Fingers crossed for you!
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Cerek, weren't you driving the bus last year? I thought you had your CDL licence??
     
  32. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Yes, I DO have my CDL license and that IS a big plus. It just so happens that both of the more experienced applicants ALSO had their CDL license AND coaching experience, which I do not have, but is another attribute schools often look for.

    I did serve as the sponsor for the Jr. Beta Club in my school this past year, though, which included organizing school wide fundraisers and a field trip, so I've pointed out that experience as well.

    I also make sure to mention my experience as a Little League Coach, Cub Scout leader and AWANA teacher on my applications and in my interviews (if they ask for previous experience). In the interview today, for example, I did mention these experiences but stated I feel much more comfortable as an assistant coach rather than the head coach because I never played sports in school. I can HELP run kids through their drills and warm-ups, but I would have no idea what drills to do on my own.

    I'm cautiously optimistic about this last interview. I think it probably fits my current skills more closely than the other jobs I've interviewed for and I think I gave a better interview than I have in the past, so we will see.
     
  33. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Oh....one thing I DID do differently in today's interview was based on some information I just read last week and it did seem to make an impression on the panel members.

    In college and in my career counseling classes, our instructors always told us to answer the question "What is your biggest weakness?" with something that was actually a positive rather than a weakness...such as "I am a problem-solver and have a drive to "fix" any problems when I see them, even if it may not be under my direct job description".

    The article I read last week gave the exact opposite advice. It said employers are tired of hearing these staged answers. Everybody DOES have some area of weakness, so there is nothing wrong to admitting you have one. An employer would much rather hear that you acknowledge an area of weakness and then tell what you have done to improve upon it, rather than give a pseudo-weakness designed to impress them.

    So, when I was asked to name one of my biggest weaknesses, I said "I have to be honest. My biggest weakness is organization. Before I entered the teaching profession, my organization skills consisted of dividing things into loosely related piles scattered around my desk or work space. Once I began working as a substitute, however, I had to refine that a little bit. Then, when I got my own classroom for the first time, I definitely had to improve my organization skills out of necessity. I'm still working on ways to improve it, but I'm much better at it now than I was a year ago."

    All three panel members got a chuckle out of that and nodded their heads in agreement when I mentioned that I had improved out of necessity when I got my own room.

    Maybe that honesty will be part of the edge that tips their decision in my favor. Or maybe not. I should know something by next week either way.
     
  34. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Good luck! Hopefully you hear some good news soon!
     
  35. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I'm sure something will work out. I was a bit depressed yesterday when all the teachers reported to the district-wide meeting, but it REALLY helped to visit my previous school today and receive such a warm welcome from my former coworkers and (especially) from my former P and AP. His comments about my first interview of the summer really helped give me the confidence boost I had been needing.

    Even if I have to substitute, that will be fine. Like I've said before, part of me is actually looking forward to being a sub again because it let's me open my personality up a little more since I only see the kids for 1 day or a few days at a time....kinda like grandma and grandpa spoiling the baby, then giving it back to mommy and daddy. LOL.

    Of course, I have a lot of respect for the regular teachers and try not to spoil the kids too much. I also make sure we DO accomplish everything the regular teacher leaves to be done. My only concern with subbing, of course, is how often I will be called. I'm sure I will get plenty of work, since I now have actual teaching experience on my resume', but the uncertainty of it still makes me a little nervous.

    In the meantime, I trust God to provide for my needs and to open the door when the time is right. :)
     
  36. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Good luck to you - fingers crossed!
     
  37. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 21, 2011

    God gave me another little confidence boost today after church...just like a little reminder that He IS watching over me and is in control of the situation.

    Last year, the secretary for my former school retired after 30+ years of service. She also attends my church. Today, after church, she asked if I was working anywhere yet this year. I told her I had gotten several interviews, but no offers yet. She said "Well I know they (the staff at my previous school) were REALLY sad and disappointed to lose you. They all said you were a great asset to the school and would have loved for you to continue teaching there."

    Those were words were like manna from Heaven. We always imagine (or at least hope) we are doing a good job and I'm sure more than one 1st year teacher has convinced himself or herself that they were a lot better than their teammates thought. While I DID feel I had done a good job at the school, I always worried I had not done enough or given the kids the instruction they needed, etc. It was really nice to hear that the teachers and P I respected so much also had the same respect for me and DID feel I had been an asset to their school.

    It's those little boosts of confidence that keep me going through interview after interveiw.
     
  38. Galois

    Galois Companion

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    Aug 21, 2011

    Those words are, indeed, priceless, Cerek. It gives you a lot of hope. All the best.
     
  39. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Cerek, you have the right attitude about this. Trust in God, stay faithful and diligent in your job search, and let God do the rest. :) Best to you in the meantime, as I know this is not easy for you.
     
  40. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I was hoping to hear from my last interview by now, but so far, no call has been made. I'm holding out some slim hope that the Board may not have met yet, but chances are the job is going to be offered to someone else. :(

    In the meantime, I began visiting the schools in my district and handing out new business cards with my updated credentials and contact info. My first stop was at the school closes to my house (literally less than 5 minutes away). The secretary and I worked together several years ago in the local hospital, so we know each other very well. I told her "I really need your help. I need to get as many calls as I can." She said "Ok....how about September 2." :woot: So I already have my first sub assignment! :D

    My health issues have prevented me from working for the last couple of months. While it was nice to spend all that extra time with my boys, my bank account has begun going down in a HURRY with no money coming in. :eek: So I need to get as much work as I can as fast as I can. My manager at the hotel put me back on the schedule today as well, so hopefully, that will stop the downward spiral and allow me to at least hold steady and maybe even build it back up a little.
     
  41. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 22, 2011

    After having several interviews with no success (so far), I'm going over my answers to the standard questions and trying to improve them. One question I may not be giving the best answer for should be one of the easiest; "What is your greatest strength?"

    My answer has basically been "My greatest strength is my personality. I am able to connect very well with my students and also work very well with my teammates. I show my students that I care about them as an individual instead of just a student in a seat and I try to make my classes as exciting as possible. As a coworker, I believe very strongly in working as a team to coordinate lessons, tests and planning for activities that will enrich the learning experience of the students."

    While I DO feel my personality and ability to connect with the students is one of my strongest features, I realize that might not be exactly what the schools are looking for, so I would appreciate any suggestions on ways to improve that answer.
     

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