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.