I DROPPED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Joymusik, May 4, 2007.

  1. Joymusik

    Joymusik Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    There...I said it. I am pretty frusterated tonight. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy for my brother. But my brother and I have been applying for the same jobs for the last three spring seasons. It just seems that he has schools just knocking on his door...while for me it is a struggle. Today my brother found out he got a VERY good job in a great school district, in a great suburb. I also applied for the same job and heard nothing. Like I said, I AM happy for him...I'm just getting a bit depressed about my situation.

    I cannot help but feel that when ever there is a question asking about my past criminal record, I get aced out. So yesterday, I turned in an application (for a 70% job, mind you...beggars can't be choosers) and answered a question like this. This is the first time I have been so blunt, and to be honest, I don't think I have a chance at this school anyway (it is a good district and I've applied before and heard nothing), so PLEASE tell me the truth, if I should answer questions like this in the future, or if I should keep my mouth shut.

    What are your most important reasons for wanting to be a teacher?
    I am not your typical teacher, in that I did not enjoy school as a teen. I actually dropped out of high school after 10th grade. I entered college at age 25 to set an example for my own children and to make a difference in the lives of teenagers in our society today. I strive to set a good example for my students and let them see that each and every one of them has the ability to succeed both in school and in life.

    Also, this is what I have to answer every time there is a question about my "criminal" history: (I try to keep it short and to the point)
    1/94 (18 yrs. old) Attempted Theft. 6/95-Operating Vehicle w/o Insurance. 12/95-Driving w/o a Valid License. (My license was out-of-state while living in CO.) Please consider the nature of these offenses and how long ago they occurred. I can't change my past but I strive to impact the future of my students.

    (The two traffic violations come up as misdeameanors, so I have to list them for most applications.)

    SO, FRIENDS...am I doomed? It seems like it. Sometimes I think I need to pursue a different career. No one wants a "convicted felon" to be teaching their students.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I don't know who else to complain to. Everyone in my family is elated for my brother.
     
  2.  
  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    May 4, 2007

    Are you kidding me?
     
  4. Joymusik

    Joymusik Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    Wish I were.
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    I understand that you have turned over a new leaf.... but I think it will be rather hard to get by this....
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    May 4, 2007

    Then I agree that you should find a different career field.
     
  7. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 4, 2007

    Hmm.... It's great that you have learned from your past ways. However, in the district I live in, you can't even sub without a HS diploma. GEDs don't count for subbing. They want all subs to have attended every grade, thus they can't be dropouts. I know you have a college degree now, but schools probably will stick to their ways. Do you think you could actually talk to them about this? Do you think this would help?
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 4, 2007

    Wait, the way I'm reading this post is that the OP is a college graduate after having gotten a GED-- right??

    I think you need to do more to put this into a positive light. You need, not only to be an example, but to help prevent other kids from making the same mistakes you did. Your phrasing is too passive; I think you need to make this a focal point: that kids NEED to be reached, need to be convinced that education has a value, need to know that they can be a success story like you.

    Not all similar stories have a happy ending-- you need to push that YOU are the ones to reach these kids.
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    Alice,

    Realistically speaking, what you are saying is true, but on paper it doesn't look as positive... Do you suggest the OP walk in and introduce himself/herself?
     
  10. Joymusik

    Joymusik Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    Before I even went to college I called the state department of education and told them about the situation and what their thoughts were. They gave me the thumbs up. I did earn my GED when I was 18 or 19. Didn't go to college until 25. (I'm 31 now) Then I ended up graduating with an English degree and getting licensed through a state approved licensing program. They did a background check on me as well and accepted me into their program. I spoke intensively with the director and after many, many questions, he answered me (with much exasperation, because I kept saying "what if...what if...etc.) and he said, "Look, it's like this: If I go out tonight and get pulled over for a D.U.I., it isn't going to affect how I am as a teacher in the classroom." (I can't say that I completely agree with him there...but this is what he said) He went on to say, "What you did 10 years ago does not affect your teaching ability today and it may help you to better assess and meet the needs of at-risk students today."

    I'd also like to mention that I did hold a teaching job for one year in 2005-2006, but it was out of state, and I wanted to try to get a job closer to my family. I foolishly thought it would be so easy to get another job. I did get a job at a private school, but the school CLOSED! (what luck!! ;)

    Now, I am subbing in a long-term sub position. It is not that I feel I will "never" get a job. And I really am not that picky...I was hoping to be closer to my family, but maybe I will start applying all over the state and take what I get.

    My original question for this post was to ask how I should answer the question, what is the most important reason for wanting to be a teacher. Like I said, I answered it honestly on an application for the first time yesterday. I was wondering if I should continue to do this, but by the reactions I got on this thread, I don't think I will. I will answer it the typical way, "to make a difference in the lives of students."

    ALSO...speaking from experience: How are students supposed to feel like they can change and become the great person that we all hope they will be, if we don't allow them to? Think about that student in your classroom with so much potential who is heading down the wrong path. They are choosing the wrong friends. Breaking their parents heart. Now, see how they turned their life around. Is the only place they will ever "succeed" going to be as a drug/alchohal counselor? Do you really think I will have it any better working as a manager of a business? My past will always be my past. Every employer will always have other applicants to choose from with a clean slate.

    I wanted to be a teacher so I could help those students BEFORE they have to go to a drug or rehab counselor. I actually BELIEVE in these students AND in their potential to succeed. How many of you REALLY do believe in that?
     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    I really beleive in that too.



    I think you should state your original reason... it's sincere and truthful. See what happens. As you said, you have gotten jobs before.....
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 4, 2007

    That's absolutely the right response!! THAT's what should be the answer to your question.

    Like the rest of us, kids make mistakes. So many think that one mistake sets them for life-- that they've chosen a path that they simply can't deviate from. You are living proof that it's possible to change that path.

    I think that fire, the desire to protect kids from that wrong path, is what needs to come through in your applications.

    As to the odds of getting a job, some of that is geography. Here on LI, the market is brutal. Other parts of the country are different. If you don't mind me asking, where are you from?
     
  13. Joymusik

    Joymusik Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    Thank you Alice. I am from Wisconsin. I need to run...my kids need me! I will check in later.
     
  14. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    I agree with Alice, your answer is passive. Try being more assertive, how is are you going to use your past to help guide students down the right path?
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 4, 2007


    Same here... Kira needs "snuggles from dad" and he's working!
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 4, 2007


    THERE'S your answer to why you want to teach!!
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 4, 2007

    Yep!! You need to sit with a career counselor (with experience in this field or a related one) or someone that has the potential to help with this kind of thing. Ask them questions like this and have them help you get yourself across both on paper and in the interview. You do have a lot to offer and you just need that to stand tall. The guys here have given good advice. Take it, hopefully they will keep adding to it, then work on finding resources to fully prop up your case. You do have a hurdle. Without knowing too much about this field myself, I think you can overcome it with the right marketing.
     
  18. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    Here's how I would answer the questions in your situation, based on what you said in previous posts...

    What are your most important reasons for wanting to be a teacher?
    I am not your typical teacher. I did not enjoy school as a teen. I dropped out of high school, and was determined to self-destruct by the age of 18. At the age of 25, I came to my senses, got my GED, entered college, and set out to make a difference in the lives of teenagers in our society today. Now, X years later, I am a graduate of XXX University with a XXX degree with my XXX teaching credential/alternate certification.

    From my own experience, I am determined to help students understand how they can change and become a great person. Think about that student with so much potential who is heading down the wrong path. While my past will always be my past, based on my own experience, I believe I can be THE TEACHER that helps those students BEFORE they self-destruct. I BELIEVE in these students AND in their potential to succeed. I am a role model for these students; for them to see and understand each and every one of them has the ability to succeed.

    Criminal history question:
    During my self-destruction period at the age of 18,
    1/94 Attempted Theft, 6/95-Operating Vehicle w/o Insurance, and 12/95-Driving w/o a Valid License. While I can't change my past, I can speak from experience about how damaging these charges are. My goal is to make a positive impact on students, so they don't make the same mistakes I made.
     
  19. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,457
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2007

    Joymusik have you thjough about working in schools for kids on probation? They would hire you in a minute.
     
  20. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,276
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 5, 2007

    Joy:

    You said: "I was wondering if I should continue to do this, but by the reactions I got on this thread, I don't think I will. I will answer it the typical way, "to make a difference in the lives of students."

    My response to this, and to anyone who thinks you should not be a teacher is B.S.! If ANYONE should be a teacher, it should be a person like you! Who else is going to spot the signs of a freshman or sophomore considering dropping out of school? Who else can truly empathize with what a child is going through? I truly believe that you are eminently qualified.:)
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 5, 2007

    By the way, there are many people with disadvantages. There are people with disabilities. There are people who just look strange. There are people who don't speak clearly (maybe speech related or ESL). There are people with all kinds of issues that cause other people to shy away at first. People tend to see something different and react out of ignorance, habit and fear. Many people initially don't take the time to analyze and ask questions and look beyond the surface. It is YOUR job to get them to see beyond the initial gut stereotype reaction. I have a saying...I don't expect anyone to understand me, understand what I need, how to help me or how to deal with me. I only expect that when I've taught them something, exposed them to my legal and moral rights, and showed them tools and resources for finding out more or to see if I'm right, that they pay enough respect to listen and react accordingly. (I'm talking about deaf issues here). If I put myself out there and do all of that and they stay with the same stereotype closeminded view without even listening really, that's when I feel that person is truly ignorant, behaved discriminatory, etc. People aren't going to look at your situation with an open mind and open eye until you show them where to look and how to view it. That's human nature.
     
  22. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 5, 2007

    I was thinking that too. An alternative school would be blessed to have someone who had trouble, lived through it and turned his/her life around...
     
  23. Joymusik

    Joymusik Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 5, 2007

    Thank you all for your advice and support. I even appreciate the “negative” feedback, because I know it’s out there, and I need to know how to deal with it and to know exactly the fears that prospective employers may have concerning hiring me.

    I have thought of teaching in an alternative school, and have applied to one in the past. I’ve just been trying to stay relatively close to my family…like maybe 2 hours or less. There are not any nearby alternative schools with openings at this time, but I will keep my eyes open!

    CutNglue, this is the first time I have said it, even to myself, but I do feel a bit discriminated against. I don’t feel too sorry for myself because my “pain” was self-inflicted. I made poor choices as a teen. Now I continue to live out the consequences, even 13-15 years later. In most applications it reads, “Such and such school district does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, blah, blah, criminal records, etc.” But we are all human, and unfortunately for people who have a criminal record, it is very difficult to ever get a GOOD job, unless of course it is in a field like drug rehab or counseling.

    Anyway, thanks again for the advice and for ‘listening.’ I am doing better today. I got rid of my “life’s not fair” attitude. I hate not knowing the future. We have moved so much lately. The private school I was working at closed mid year due to financial problems and we moved in with my parents until a permanent position comes up. I’ve just wanted more than anything to be able to know where we will be so we can move my family and all our junk to our own home. Then when my brother got a position for next year, and he doesn’t have children yet, or much to move…well, it was just hard for me to not get down on myself.

    Thanks again, though. I am going to work on how to present this in a more positive light. I really appreciate your advice.
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    May 6, 2007

    Where are you located, Joy?
     
  25. KinderKatie

    KinderKatie Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 6, 2007

    I do not think you are doomed. You will find a teaching job. Have you thought about starting out as a para? It would be a good way to get your foot in the door to "prove" yourself.
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 6, 2007

    Not a bad idea! It may not land you a job at that school, but you can get credible school references.
     
  27. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,457
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 6, 2007

    Joymusid, Is there some high school exit exm you could take in New Jersey to get your diploma? California has the CHSPE. Maybe you could look into that. Terry G.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 6, 2007

    Terry,
    She has gotten her GED, gone back to school and gotten her Bachelor's. She's certified to teach, just having problems with her past creeping up on her.
     
  29. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 6, 2007

    Just curious here...
    Some of the applications ask you to list any criminal charges within a certain time period, once past that time period, I don't know if they would even turn up... what do you think?
     
  30. Joymusik

    Joymusik Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    I got a job!

    Thank you so much for your help and support...especially Alice. I wish I would have had a teacher like you when I was in high school!

    I got a job teaching high school English, teaching classes for non-college bound students. I am excited to encourage these students to believe in their abilities and to help them all realize that college is an option for each and every one of them. If I can do it, they can do it!

    I could not have gotten this job without the help of this website and the people that take the time to give their advice. A million thanks!
     
  31. teach101

    teach101 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    Good for you. Never give up. We should all support each other!
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 3, 2007

    Congrats!!!! You will be the world's best influence for these kids. So many non-college bound look at the subjects they're taking, absolutley sure that "I'm never going to use this!!!" You can prove them wrong!!

    Some may go to college now, some later, some not at all. But I'm guessing that they'll learn a lot in your class!!

    Lobster and champagne tonight??
     
  33. TeacherRW

    TeacherRW Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    Congratulations!!! You perseverance paid off... enjoy yourself and the rest of the summer!
     
  34. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    Joy,

    ONce again, congratulations. I had no idea about your past but I can tell that you have put it to work for you instead of against yourself. You will do marvelous things in your classroom. I, too, feel that my mistakes from the past can work for me not against me if I want them to. THe fact that you have made such an enormous turnaround since your teen years tells me that you are a remarkable person ready, willing, and able to work with kids. Hats off to you. I would hire you in a minute if I were an administrator.

    Good luck again on your new position.
     
  35. Eliza

    Eliza Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    Congratulations!! Good for you. I completely agree that you deserve every opportunity to prove yourself as a wonderful teacher and encouragement to struggling students. I don't think that there are many of us who would want to be judged now as the person we were as a teenager. Best of luck to you! It certainly sounds like you will put your heart into this job.
     
  36. Sterlingrio

    Sterlingrio Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    I'm applying in WI

    Okay, now I have a background in Special Ed (ED), and Urban Ed (aka- curric. & instruction with diverse populations), so getting a job in WI should be a breaze for me right-- but it's still not. I'm going through the process now and find it is still very scrutinizing. I think I've been lucky to get interviews lately- I don't have portfolio and I did not have all my letters of recommendations on the WEACAN site yet. Still I progressed through 3 phone interviews in 3 different districts, and they want me to come see in person. I think I'm doing good-- but the district I want to be-- Madison-- no call, no interview. :( And I'd think Madison had a bigger need for teachers as compared to the smaller districts.

    Hang in there---

    On the up note, as I've been through the "interview" teacher insight process and got feedback from an WI HR interviewer, think about your strengths as a teacher, what aspects of teaching do you enjoy the most. I.e. Is your strength building student teacher rapport, ideas, meeting the needs of each student, do you enjoy having a teaching job because it's gives your children a role model-- or do you really just enjoy watching students' growth.

    Also, I'm suspecting, as you mentioned you struggled with staying in school you are probably able to identify in students their personal struggles to continuing with school-- maybe you have ideas to motivate students to continue, or know from your own experience what would have helped--- talk about what you learned and how you would help students from a background similar to yours.

    I definately don't see you as a "drop out" from school, but more as in response to why I became a teacher-

    "I struggled to stay in highschool, as I had many outside influences pulling me in different directions. The outside influences prevented me from graduating but as I moved forward in my life to raise a family I became more cognizant of my need to be a life-long learner. Thus, I obtained my GED and went on to college to become a teacher. Knowing full well the struggles I faced as a young student, I believe that, as a teacher and as a role-model, I can make the greatest impact on a child's life, including my own children."
     
  37. Sterlingrio

    Sterlingrio Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    Ooops I see my first response was to you was late-- congrats-- definately in your position you will no doubt draw on your personal background and strengths! It was a right match-- the district obviously needed someone like you to reach the students, possibly the students like you used to be ;) )

    Congrats!
     
  38. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Jul 3, 2007

    Is there any way to get your criminal record expunged? I think the record is a problem- especially the attempted theft thing...Even with now having a job offer I'd work on getting the record cleaned up if possible...
     
  39. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    Joy (and everyone else),

    I got to thinking...I didn't quit school, but I almost did! How my mom kept my in there I don't know. Anyway, looking back and knowing what I know about at risk kids, I realize that I was extremely bored in school. I went to a very large HS in Dallas. They didn't care (in those days) about girls -- we were just supposed to be housewives, etc. -- so academic excellence was not particularly important. That experience made me begin to approach my at risk students from a different angle. I made a special effort to make stuff as interesting as possible, lots of hands on, teaching at a much higher level than you would normally think. IT WORKED! Too bad the district I worked in didn't see it that way. Oh, well...point is, I learned that my experiences could play a special part in how I taught and perceived my students.

    Please excuse me for this ramble...I just had a brain snap that I wanted to share. Use what you know...use your experiences...they will serve you well.
     
  40. Sterlingrio

    Sterlingrio Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    Exactly-- and if you have experience with Exceptional Education Need learners, AKA Special Education, draw on that too. I do, but it's all I got. lol. I know it my strength area, but I also am expressive about my "weak" teaching point, or areas I need to have more experience or grow in-- my general education classroom experiences, and teaching content. I might be a fool to follow my own advice-- but I try to express my weakness as areas I'm interested in growing in-- instead of saying I don't know how, or haven't-- I say "I know I need more experience in... I am most comfortable..."
     
  41. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2007

    Yes. I'm not sure I would want to work for a school who was not interested in educators growing and learning more. Isn't that what we are trying to do with kids? If we don't have the experience how can we teach them?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Kerrberr
Total: 274 (members: 3, guests: 258, robots: 13)
test