Losing faith in myself

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Springdruidess, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. Springdruidess

    Springdruidess Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2009

    Hi all

    I'm apologizing in advance for what is sure to be a rather long-winded post. I'm just feeling so much right now and talking with my already have a job teacher friends just isn't cutting it. I have the feeling that there will be at least a few people on this board who will understand what I'm saying better...

    I'm staring at Monday being the first day back for teachers in my area knowing that I don't have a job. Well, I suppose thats not entirely true - I am on the sublist.

    I teach in Alberta and right now I am just so frustrated with the way my board does hiring that I could scream. We get hired on with the board and our file goes into the applicant pool. From there, schools contact staffing and the people who work at staffing determine which applicant's names will be forwarded to the schools for consideration. All of which means that I, as the applicant, have absolutely no control over applying for jobs. We have three levels of 'contract' available - continuous (basically you're on with the board and would have to virtually kill a student to be fired), probationary (your first real contract, evaluated and theoretically recommended for a continuous contract for the next year) and temporary (basically LTS).

    I graduated a couple years ago and was hired on to the sublist right away, along with most of the friends I graduated with. That next September, I was the only one of my friends not given a probationary contract, which sucked, but I figured that I really didn't mind 'paying my dues' and working the sub-list for a year. I ended up spending 8 of the 10 month school year at one school on a variety of LTS positions - none of them long enough that the principal did an evaluation on my teaching. So at the end of that year, the principal approached me and asked if I would be willing to come back the next year on another LTS. Since I wasn't evaluated, I agreed to the LTS, knowing that I would be evaluated and get the recommendation from the principal to receive a probationary contract for the next year. I went back, had an amazing year, was recommended for a probationary contract and, in June, my admin called Staffing and requested me for a position they had open for this year. "No guarantees" staffing says, but we'll hold the position for her if we can.

    July, I check in with staffing - nope there are still continuous contract teachers who need to be placed, so we're not hiring new probationaries yet. Okay....

    Mid-August, I check in with staffing - no info yet, principals and staffing are both just getting back to work, but I'm in the pool and everything looks good.

    Friday, I check in with staffing - only to be told that there are very few vacancies (read: probationary contracts) this year (amazing how two weeks ago everything was good, but now there will be very few vacancies), but not to worry, there will be lots of subbing and/or temporary contracts available this year.

    I don't want another TEMPORARY contract. I want to have some security in my job, to be able to actually plan and run my own classroom. The thing is, if I knew that everyone was being made to spend time on the sub-list before getting a contract, I would understand, be a little frustrated, but would be cool with it. The part that is royally ticking me off is that I know that there are brand new graduates that have been hired into probationary contracts (yup, know - I spoke with three of them at a workshop on Thursday). These are not specialist teachers - that I could understand - they are elementary generalist positions with no identifiable special skill sets.

    So now, I have to question what it is about myself and my teaching that makes me less employable than these brand new grads. I actually have classroom experience and a principal who has evaluated me and says that I would be a good choice for a probationary contract and yet here I sit at home, crying, while these completely inexperienced, never been evaluated, no skill-sets that I don't also have, teachers are getting themselves organized to start their own classroom on Monday. I just can't help thinking that its telling me that, somehow, I'm not good enough to do this. That someone out there thinks that a complete newbie is still a better teacher than I am (don't get me wrong - there are many brand new teachers who are awesome, but doesn't experience count for something?). I have spent most of today in and out of tears and everytime I think about it, the tears start again. I just don't understand. This is a seriously #($@ed up system I'm working in.

    Anyone else been through this? I'm sure there are lots out there that have. I just feel so completely powerless and useless and mad and confused and so much else all at the same time. I don't know what to do at this point. Everything seemed so positive in June and now its all just not happening. All of my friends just keep saying, "Don't worry - you're a good teacher - it'll happen...." but it certainly doesn't feel that way.

    Ugh... once again I apologize for the massive vent. I needed to get all of this out somewhere and this was the only place I could think of where I might find some understanding folks.
     
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  3. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I'm so sorry. I know how it feels when it seems like you continuously get the short end of the stick. Do everything you can to keep working and getting more experience. Maybe go take a few classes to become more marketable? Again, I'm sorry you are going through this.
     
  4. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I can relate to SOME of what you are saying... but not all. So I fear my advice would only be spotty.

    But know I totally feel for your situation. I, too, have felt like.."am I not good enough"? Am I a wannabe? What IS it that these new/non-experienced grads have that *I* who HAVE working in the school DON'T?

    You seem to be able to talk to the principal. When things DO start again...and when the first rush is over. Can you ask him/her to observe you and tell you what you could do..what is missing...what you can work on?

    Do you know anyone on the hiring committees that can look over your stuff? Can you take one out to dinner and talk to them - like a mock interview...and see what suggestions they have?

    In the mean while... i KNOW what it feels to be "a fish flopping desperately on the pier while all the rest are swimming in the pond". Cry for a while (I surely am).

    But hen think about...what will move me in a positive direction...and DO it!

    (Can you move? Just asking what your possibilities are.)
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2009

    Springdruid...How about dropping an email to the principal who wanted you? Maybe he has some pull?
     
  6. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I used to teach in So-Al - think Prairie Rose, Horizon, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grasslands that area. There are more boards around there, but I can't remember all of the names off the top of my head.

    Now, I have interviewed with every one of those divisions, and been offered positions by more than one. If you are with a division that is wide and spread out (like Prairie Rose - which is HUGE), you might need to consider that if you are a sub that is willing to travel for jobs, they may need you more on the sub list. It is possible that it is nothing wrong with you - more something is RIGHT with you - you are a very good SUB and they are unwilling to let you go off the sub list (that happened to me with a city school board in Saskatchewan).

    My recommendation? Apply outside of your home school division. If you've been on the sub list for awhile you're unlikely to ever get off of it unless you are willing to work outside of your home division. That might mean applying for Hutterite Colonies or Old Colony Mennonite specialized positions (and if you need any help with either of those areas, I'm your woman!)

    There are tons of colonies in Alberta, and they have high turnover, but there are benefits. You can transfer in division, and if you're on a good colony, the free stuff is coming at you!

    So don't think its something that is WRONG with you, think that it is something RIGHT with you. You are such a good sub, your division is unwilling to let you go out of that position. So get out! Sometimes it is all you can do.
     
  7. Springdruidess

    Springdruidess Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2009

    Thanks for the replies! It is good to know I'm not alone :)

    futureteach - I have been upgrading etc... but like I said, if it was my skills that were the problem, at least I would have a reason. I'm not being hired while new grads with the same skillset I have are being hired. The only difference... I have experience and they don't. Something there doesn't seem right.

    McKenna & czacza - I have been in contact with the principal I worked with last year and he's talked to Staffing - as much as can be done from that end is being done - at least I think so. Unfortunately - well, no that's not the right word, in any other situation it would be a good thing - the principal and asst principal have both told me that there isn't really anything specific I should work on in terms of hiring. As a relatively new teacher, I am of course, working on gaining experience and implementing curriculum in my classroom - but I'm ahead of the brand new grads in that respect.

    Canadiangal - howdy fellow canuck! I'm with the Calgary Board - so its not a travelling issue - but I do think you may have hit the nail on the head. There are several other teachers that I know of who seem to be forever stuck on the sublist. I really don't want to leave the city - and right now I can't afford to - but I think if I do end up sublisting it again this year (have to remember that contracts do go out until about the middle of September...) then this year will become a matter of saving up and getting the heck out of dodge for next year.
     
  8. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Aug 22, 2009

    What about somewhere around Calgary? I mean, Okotoks springs to mind - I was offered a job from a private school there a few years ago, or Airdrie. I mean, I know the commute would suck, but so does permanently being stuck on the sub list. I mean, no contract means no benefits which totally sucks.

    I know I went into debt to move the last time I moved, but it meant going from a part time contract to a permanent full time contract. It was paid off within a few months, because I was making so much more money. Not to mention that if you head to say, Taber (where you are in the middle of 4 or 5 divisions) rent is WAY cheaper, and its basically a full service community. If its not in Taber, its in Lethbridge, less than a half hour away, if you drive like most Albertans.

    My suggestion? Start watching Zone 5/6 positions of Education Canada. Prairie Rose has an opening in Oyen (which is kind of in the middle of no where) but the division pays well - there is opportunity to transfer within the division, and they would likely help you find housing. Its a Science/English position.

    http://www.educationcanada.com/browse.phtml?a=mrp_location&sid=4

    That's zone 5 positions.
     
  9. lowes48

    lowes48 Companion

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I am sorry you are having such a hard time!! Each state is different. From your post that is a mess up system. Here it's mostly what the principal want. There is no pool or anything, at least where I am. The problem I was having was too many ss teachers here this year looking for jobs. I am also a new teacher so I would think a district would prefer someone who has experience first. I am currently working on another endorsement because I have put too much into this to give up!! Keep at it, look in surrounding districts. Don't feel like because you haven't found anything yet that you are not good enough because you are. :hugs:
     
  10. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Well fist of all she's also not in a state, she's in a province (I am sorry if that sounds snoty, but Canada DOES NOT HAVE STATES and ALBERTA is NOT A STATE) and a large city with a large school division with a lack of substitute teachers - Calgary Public regularly advertises for 200+ subs. Our degrees in Canada are also good K to 12, regardless of the subject, because most of what we learn in General Ed stuff that applies to all levels of education. We don't have endorsements. She is qualified to teach everything. Now without a major in Physics would a teacher be hired to teach High School Physics? Likely not, however would someone with an English major end up teaching Math at a Jr. High or Middle Years level? Possibly.
     
  11. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Aug 23, 2009

    It sounds like you are a little at the mercy of the district there to help you find a position. In some ways you are better off than many that have no experience and no principal that is going to bat for you. So, you have some plusses on your side. I wish you luck and hope you get that important call soon!
     
  12. Springdruidess

    Springdruidess Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Thanks for clearing that up Canadiangal - our system up here is pretty different from the way teaching in the States seems to work. That being said... lowes is right - it does seem to be a rather messed up system, at least in terms of hiring. I hate that I don't really have any control.

    Thanks all for listening and the kind words. I'm feeling a little less roller-coaster-y this morning. Still not happy, but more resigned to the fact that, for this year, there probably isn't much I can do. Found out last night that the board recruited more out of province teachers than they actually needed and has said outright to these teachers that they will be given contracts before the local teachers on the sublist. Sucks. But I guess for now, all I can do is be the best darn sub the board has ever seen so that I can get some kick butt reference letters for when I apply to new boards/schools for next year.
     
  13. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2009

    One thing to keep in mind, city school boards are INCREDIBLY political - because they have hundreds of teachers who apply every year. If you don't have a connection to the board office through family or close friends, you likely won't get an interview. When I got my interview with Calgary Public it was because my coach in University had connections. It took a super reference from a Superintendent to get an interview with Horizon, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Saskatoon and Regina.

    I used to think I would be unhappy anywhere but in a city. Then I left because I was tired of the politics. Now, I would never even dream of going back - and they offered me a job last year, but I took a different position and am totally happy where I am. Next year, when you look outside of Calgary, I highly recommend Horizon. They are a great division, and I've had two offers from them (I'd already accepted my current position when they offered). Medicine Hat Public is a great division as well.
     
  14. Springdruidess

    Springdruidess Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Yeah the politics are killing me - I lost out on a contract last year because the other teacher up for the job had a principal mom who was good friends with the Asst principal doing the hiring. Alright, being fair, I suppose there may have been other reasons that I wasn't chosen (can't think of what they might be...) but it does seem a little suspicious, no? Getting the interview with the board was not a big deal - I did my degree at UofC, so the CBE recruits us. Its getting the interviews with the principals. And with the board recruiting out of province - they apparently love teachers from Ontario - they seem to be perfectly happy to keep their local teachers on the sublist while recruiting new grads from other provinces.

    I've looked at Horizon before - and know a few people who have applied to all of the divisions you mentioned - some successfully and others not so much. I think I'll spend some time this year having a look around.

    I've always said I wanted to stay in the city. Mostly because its where my family is and I don't really want to be too far away from them. But.... things may need to change.
     
  15. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2009

    The thing is, you can always head out and go back - if you get a killer reference from a Super who has connections within the city.... and a lot of the Supers down south do have those kind of connections from what I know. If you need any help when you are applying to those divisions let me know - I'm a good interviewee and my cover letter (though called too long by many on the boards) definitely gets a lot of attention.
     
  16. Jlyn07

    Jlyn07 Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2009

    I'm sorry. I think getting a teaching job is sometimes just luck. There are A LOT of great teachers without jobs for no good reason. Have faith that your job will come along soon!
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Are there some places that you could take a class on interviewing? Even though I think I interview well, I know I would benefit from a class. Getting an objective opinion would help. Maybe you say too many "ands," or part your hair on the wrong side. A class could help you sort out the items.

    Good luck.
     
  18. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Aug 23, 2009

    You guys sound beat down. Come on... THROW AWAY those "I'm a Loser Vibes" and throw on those..."I'm a WINNER Vibes!" You WILL have another interview! You WILL ROCK in that interview. They WILL call you and you WILL one day post.... "I cannot believe I finally have my own classroom!" It will happen! It will happen when you least expect it.:)

    Faith is something that you cannot see. But MY FRIENDS, I am here to tell you that FAITH will see you through the hardest of days and the longest of nights. It will see you through.:confused:

    "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven ..." -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:rolleyes:

    There is a season for YOU out there. Be ready for it when it happens. Do not be blinded feeling like you are not worthy or that someone else was better or that your best friend in education got 3 job offers and you barely got an interview or that your Cousin Sue keeps asking you why you have not found a job yet.... :(

    YOUR season is just around the corner. Have a little MORE faith.:cool:

    Religious disclaimer or maybe that should be proclaimer?: I am sorry if my beliefs offended anyone. I just feel pretty strongly that as teachers we have a purpose. Your purpose - to me - is clear. You are MEANT to teach. I don't know when. I don't know where. I just have faith that your season will come.:hugs:
     

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