So, I finished my first year of teaching last year. (K-8 Music) It was very hard. There are some things that will be better next year, but some stuff I think will stay hard --OK Cue VENTING you don't have to read this part if you don't want to -- including the fact that I could easily be working full time at the school that hired me...but on top of that they make me travel and teach another almost 100 kids at another school. argh. Every day I have to pick up and teach at this other school for the last block. It's just silly. And it takes so much time out of my day, I have to clean up there, and it's very hard to leave because the teacher I share the room with there is a chatterbox and then get back to my original school to pick up and I can barely do after school choir but if I don't there just ISN'T a choir for the lower grades. I can't hunt down kids after school for district ensembles I'm required to recruit for because I'm NOT THERE after school. By the time I get back kids have mostly left. It's ridiculous. I'm supposed to and *want* to build up a program at this 450 kid school but I'm not even there for the full day. And I thought that the principal and my supervisor were pretty committed to having that not happen again this year but as it turns out my schedule is the same. :'( -- OK you can read again -- But, aside from that, one thing I think adds to the stress on a day to day level for me is that really, I grew up in the country, an EXTREMELY rural area. (And yeah teachers there definitely travel between little schools but not during the school day!) I also went to college in Maine, again pretty rural. Where I am now is more urban than I've ever experienced, and the CITY (not town) I'm teaching in is extremely densely populated, one of the most dense in the country. I think that my happiness level would go way up if I could go back to the country. It's just a different culture in rural areas and I miss it so much. We did not have a contract at all last year at my school so I have not signed one...I did basically give everyone the impression that I was coming back and really, I see no job openings right now that look like what I'm looking for. What I'm wondering is how the heck do you apply for jobs when you already have one? I don't want people looking at my app to contact my employer because I would just feel so awkward having them know that I'm looking around elsewhere. But it's not that I'm on bad terms with my employer. I love my supervisor actually, he's great. I don't know what to do about references...I am now connected with people who would be *much* better references than what I had last summer but again, I would have to ask them and therefore imply that I was looking at leaving....can I ask fellow teachers for references? I mean people I trust and already kind of know that I'm not planning on staying for more than another year? But, I know that people move jobs in their careers, in fact some of my friends have (I'll need to ask them also), so how do they do it? What are some steps for this kind of job hunting I should keep in mind? Thanks!