Hey everyone! (Sorry in advance for the novel...) I know it's August, and it's a stressful time for job seekers, but I wanted to share my story in *hopes* that it will help lift spirits. A year ago today (Aug. 9), I got that call that I'd been waiting for..."they would like to offer me the job". (I then danced around and the living room and went outside to blow bubbles all over the yard.) BUT, I really have to give some of the credit to the wonderful people on this forum. I know that without the advice and help I received here, my job search wouldn't have been as "aggressive" or "intense" as it needed to be to land a job in this market. What did A to Z members do to help? They helped me polish my cover letter, changing it from a generic "I'm certified for elementary, I've done student teaching, I'm a good teacher, blah blah blah" into a letter that really spoke to my strengths and shared anecdotes of student successes. They pushed people to send out emails and info packets *everywhere*, not just where there were posted openings. (I especially have Aliceacc to thank for this.) They encouraged me to expand my geographical search area and be willing to move to start my career. Even beyond that, they pushed people to make the extra effort and drop by schools to personally deliver information, to show dedication and willingness to go the extra mile. I originally applied for my job sometime in June. I received a call the week after the 4th of July to come and interview. Because the interview was the day after next, was a 5 hour drive both ways, and I had to work the day after the interview, I asked if we do interview by phone or Skype. They agreed, and they were impressed that I asked to Skype, as they had never interviewed anyone that way before. The interview went well, but one.....two.....three....four weeks passed and I never heard anything. I was so bummed because I felt a very strong connection to the school, and in that time I'd started to overthink the interview and how well it went. Mid-August comes, and I've given up hope of getting that job. However, I did see that they had openings for special education aides, which is what I'd done the previous year. I was trying to fall asleep one night, and it just hits me that I have a couple days off from my summer retail job that upcoming week. Why not drive out to to WI (where the school was...I lived in MI) and deliver some packets in person? I prepared the packets with my cover letter, resume, and brochure and drove the 5 hours, making stops to several schools in the Chicago area as well. When I first got to the school, everything looked closed up and all the doors were locked. I called my mom, so disappointed that I couldn't even leave the packet with someone. As I was talking to her, I noticed a small white button to the right of the door. I pushed it, and heard a voice over the intercom telling me to come in. It was the principal!! She not only remembered my name, but was very happy to see me because as it turns out, she'd JUST gotten approval to hire another teacher. (The original openings had gone to people who had worked in the district previously and who had experience in those grade levels...makes sense.) She said I was a very close 3rd in the original interview, and that they were really disappointed that they couldn't hire me. However, the 1st grade numbers were big enough now that they needed an additional teacher, and she actually already had my file pulled and was going to call me the day I came. (At first, I wasn't sure if this was completely true, but she showed me the file on her desk!) She sat down right then and interviewed me, both for the teaching position and for the special ed aide positions that I told her I applied for. I think she was impressed that I was willing to get my foot in at her school as an aide, even though I was a certified teacher. At the end of the interview, she told me that it looked really promising, but she wanted to talk to the other 1st grade teachers first and make sure it'd be a good fit. I walked out on cloud nine, and then made myself still go to the other schools I'd prepared packets for, just in case. The next morning, I got the call! I didn't know anyone at the school, in the district, or even in the state (save for my boyfriend's mom, who lived about a half hour away), but I believe that I was meant to be at my school because God did a lot of work to make it happen! I love the school, the district, and where I live. I had an extremely challenging first year, but my principal was supportive and provided me with the help I needed. I learned so much, and I am very excited for the new school year to begin. Even though it's mid-August, please don't give up!! You never know what's happening with schools you've already applied to, or at ones where you haven't applied yet. (Yet being the key word there.) Get those emails, applications, and packets out there....get yourself out there... and do everything you can in these few upcoming weeks!!