Seriously! Hello all! I have been reading posts here for a few months now, and finally registered! I have loved reading all of the various threads (especially Giraffe!), and wanted to share my experiences... So here it goes (warning: this may be a long story!)... I am a late bloomer to teaching, but I started as a TA in SPED, and was inspired to teach based on those experiences! After working as a TA for 3 years, it was time to go for it and get my teaching degree. I graduated in December 2010, and had a difficult time finding a job right out of college, so I worked as a TA at one of the schools I co-taught at for the last few months of the school year. Fast forward to the following school year, I found a job (finally!) :haha::haha: in late Aug. in an urban, high poverty area. The school year to follow was EXTREMELY difficult and stressful. I mean I knew it wouldn't be a cake walk, but I didn't expect this at all! I lost 20 pounds over the course of the school year and started having a lot of anxiety. I had no supports, no resources, the teachers were cold and distant, and to top it all off, the principal hated me! She would come in my classroom and yell at me in front of my students, and she gave me terrible evaluations, which came as a complete shock to me based on my teaching ! I had 6th and 7th graders, all boys, with severe BD/ED. They were fighting all the time, and I was blamed, but when I'd send students to the office after all my behavior strategies were exhausted, nothing was done. Somehow, the principal recommended me for renewal in the primary setting (different school), and I was relieved and excited for a fresh start. :wow::thanks: Primary year: Yay! Started out promising. I had 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders (cross cat). The fellow primary teachers were awesome, and we all clicked! The district fired all the principals from the previous year including the nightmare one I had, so in meeting the new principal, I was hopeful. She seemed professional and fair. First evaluation (Oct 2012): Good! Not perfect, but good, and I was happy! I'm new and still learning, so I didn't expect much more. Second evaluation (Jan 2013): Not good, in fact, significantly worse! My eyes immediately went to the spot on the page that says whether my contract will be renewed... it read, "non-renewal of contract!" I cried on the spot! What happened? Well I guess I'll never truly know. I was doing everything I was doing at the time of the first eval even better! This part is super long, so I won't go into it, but lets just say, there was A LOT of questioning on my part to the P, and her answers just didn't add up. I asked why none of these things were brought up or addressed prior to my 2nd eval, she just said, "oh, that's something I need to work on." To make matters worse, she kept putting off my post eval meeting (red flag), and it didn't happen for 3 weeks after my eval!!! **This is where I learn that teaching is totally POLITICAL! So here I am, jobless for next school year, and let go in an unjust manner. Just went on my 6th interview today (I have interviewed in 3 different districts). One interview was for ESY, which I got and am doing now. I applied for 2 other positions in the same district, felt I did very well, but didn't get either. Come to find out that my competition for the 2 positions works ESY also. One is a fresh college grad, the other hadn't taught in 2 years. What is their secret??? I am thinking it's nepotism. It is a great district in an awesome neighborhood, and it's an affluent area, so I'm sure many people applied and wanted those jobs as well. My interview today was hard to read... and I really want it! They are a school district in apple's "distinguished program," which means all students and teachers have an iPad and Macbook, polar opposite of the last district I taught in! My interview didn't occur on an ideal day though... today was my first day with the ESY kids (crazy!), and I had to leave right after school, and it happened to be raining really hard (no umbrella!). My clothes were damp, and my hair frizzed up! Annoying. Thoughts? Advice? Anyone with similar experiences? Sorry so long! I had a lot pent up! Please send your positive thoughts and energy to me! I need it!