New plan

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by dkjackson, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    Aug 2, 2009

    After three unsuccessful interviews, and sending out about 75 resumes, I've resigned myself to the fact that I will not be teaching this year. At least, I won't be teaching my own class. I know school doesn't start here for another three weeks, but the district I live in is on a hiring freeze, I haven't gotten a nibble from any of the surrounding districts, I'm not even getting anything from districts across the state... It just doesn't look like it's going to happen. I could be wrong, but from the feedback I've been getting, it just seems like I don't have the experience principals are looking for right now.

    And I've decided that that's completely understandable. As sad as I am seeing all the new school supplies and all the kids getting excited about buying new backpacks and lunchboxes and all that fun stuff, and as much as I wanted to be buying up everything in sight for my own classroom, maybe this is for the best. I've come up with a new plan, in fact. One that I think will get my resume looking better to principals, and might help me get my foot in the door here in my home district. I'm on the sub list here in my district because I was on it last year, and I chose to have them keep me on it in case I didn't find a full-time teaching job. I also know a couple of teachers at an elementary and high school right around the corner from me (in fact, my old high school), and have a past teacher who is running the student teaching program at a local university. So my plan is to spend a 6-weeks volunteering two days a week at the elementary school, then hopefully have my past teacher find a middle school teacher who is willing to let me come in a volunteer in his/her classroom two days a week for the next 6-weeks session, and then ask one of the teachers I'm in contact with at my old high school to let me come to their classroom for the same thing for the final 6-weeks of the semester. I'm thinking, if it works with the teachers' schedules, I'd like to volunteer on Mondays and Tuesdays, and then that would leave me open to sub on Wednesday-Friday. And I'm hoping that since I did a few days of subbing at my old high school in May and really got to know the sub coordinator and front office secretary and such, that I'll basically be able to be one of their go-to, school-based-type subs, and that I would have guaranteed work every Wed-Fri. I'll probably go to all the schools around me, though, and drop off my business card and let them know I'm available to sub. Gotta get my name out there.

    Anyway, so I'm figuring all that volunteering at the different levels, plus subbing would really make my resume look a whole lot better. Since I did an Alternative Certification Program, I didn't get to do student teaching, so I don't have that on my resume. Right now, all I have that's teaching-related is a month of subbing, and it was all at the high school level. So when I've gone on my interviews, which have all been for middle school, they wonder how I know I'd be a good fit teaching middle school if I have no experience with it. I feel like volunteering for a 6-weeks at each of the different levels will really give me a good amount of exposure to them, and really allow me to answer that question a lot better. And since I'll be doing all of this in my home district, that can only be a plus. I know there's a hiring freeze, but I'm really praying that it gets lifted, and soon. It's where I want to teach, and where I've wanted to teach since I was in second grade and decided I wanted to teach. I've done all my subbing at my old high school, and I really feel like that's where I want to ultimately end up. I love the school, I love the students, the teachers, everyone is so friendly and you just feel like you're part of one big family there, I just love everything about it. And they (the secretary) tell me that the principal likes to hire former students, so that's a plus!

    Anyway, sorry for rambling, I just really wanted to share my plan with everyone here. You've all been so supportive and wonderful through some tough times. I can't thank you enough :)
     
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  3. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    I am right there with you, except I didn't even sub THAT much and mine were mostly junior high with one Kinder and one day of high school PE.

    I tell you what, if I had ANY idea how hard it would be as an ACP candidate, I would have gone a different route and gotten another bachelor's or a different master's degree. It's just so hard to get experience if nobody will hire you until you have it.
     
  4. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    If I could do it again... well, I don't know that I would have changed my major because I loved being an English major. But I probably would have gone back to school and gone through a program that allowed me the opportunity to student teach, for sure.

    As for subbing, I didn't actually sub for the whole month, just a few days within that month, but I couldn't figure out how to express that on my resume. It was all at the same school, and almost exclusively for the same teacher, my senior year English teacher, which ended up getting me a reference (actually two because I also did some volunteering with my US History teacher on days I wasn't subbing). But I definitely have not spent that much time in the classroom. I think I'm up to 75 hours total (observations, subbing, and volunteering)... I had to turn in hours for my ACP, so I've been keeping track past the 30 hours that were required. Now, 75 is more than a number of people I talked to at my ACP classes, but it's nothing compared to student teaching!
     
  5. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    What's ridiculous is that I didn't even like being a business major. I just thought it's what you were supposed to do.

    My ACP didn't require any subbing or student teaching or observations or ANYTHING. I just had to complete the coursework and that was it. I did some observations in order to substitute at this one district (I later decided those schools were all too far from me, but it was good to have that experience), and I've subbed maybe...8 times? I really enjoyed subbing, and I wish that I'd had more time available for it last year. I was trying to finish up another business degree that I didn't really need.
     
  6. dkjackson

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    Haha, yeah, being a business major, it seems like it is "what you're supposed to do." I've heard a number of people say that. I mean, more power to those who enjoyed it, but I totally understand what you mean.

    That's crazy that your ACP didn't require any observations. No "field-based experiences" at all? I'm in Texas, too, and we were all told that the state required ACP candidates to log at least 30 hours of field-based experiences (observations, subbing, volunteering, etc.), I guess to make up for the fact that we don't get that in-classroom time from student teaching.
     
  7. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    I had to do 30 hrs of field experience and then could elect to do 150 hours of student teaching or do a capstone to complete my M.Ed degree. Obviously, I am choosing to do the 150 hours.
     
  8. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Well, I think the deal is that when you get hired, that first year is your field based observation. It seemed great at the time, but now I'm wishing I'd done something different.

    They revamped their website since I started the program, and I just noticed this little tidbit:
    Does that mean I'm supposed to be instructed for 80 hours, or I'm supposed to teach 80 hours of class? How in the world am I supposed to make THAT happen?

    They now have a new option where you can do a 12 week clinical teaching thing. Good thing that was available when I started. Pfft.

    I so wish that I'd gone through an ESC program instead of this one. The problem was that I was already taking 12 graduate hours every semester and didn't really have time for any additional classes that I couldn't do at my own pace.
     
  9. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    I went through Region 11 and did about 20 hours of observation. After I finished the program I subbed all last year in two school districts in all grade levels, well 3rd grade through high school. Can't stand doing those little ones. They're just not for me. I was probably working 4 or 5 days a week. There might be a half a day at one of the high schools or I might be working all day at one of the elementary schools doing 5th grade. Or I might have decided to take the day off because I wanted to and then get called in for something, even though I didn't want to.

    I probably learned more about what to do in the classroom and how I would run my classroom if I ever got a teaching just by subbing. But I did get tired of going from school to school, class to class introducing myself to all of those students. After a while it gets old. But I did gain a lot of experience.
     
  10. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    heymiss, I know for me, the 80 hours of instruction was me being instructed by the ACP people. I had a series of classes I had to attend, and I'm finishing up now my online training, which are powerpoints narrated by the ACP lecturers. I have three more to go, I should be finished by tomorrow evening, and should have my Statement of Eligibility later this week!!

    I really wish my program would offer clinical teaching. I would snatch that up in a heartbeat. I'm living with my parents right now, so I'm not too worried about money or anything, and I would feel so much more comfortable going through that than just being thrown into my own classroom and praying to God that I could do it.

    Mommy, I'm seriously considering going for my Master's now. I was planning on doing it down the road, but with all the trouble I'm having getting a job because of the lack of experience that goes hand-in-hand with an ACP... a Master's, where I would have the opportunity to student teach, just sounds so appealing. I'm way too in debt right now, though, having just graduated in December. I would have done like you, though, and chosen the 150 hours over the capstone.
     
  11. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    My half day of Kinder nearly killed me. They were adorable but I found out really quick that I just don't have the patience for them.

    One good thing about subbing is that if you do different campuses, you don't have to be concerned if this Tuesday you're wearing the same thing you wore last Tuesday. :)

    I know I'm going to have to keep a calendar with what I wore when I get my own class. My closet is stuffed, but I play favorites with my clothes like nobody's business. Also, whatever I like, I buy in multiple colors so sometimes I look like a cartoon character who only changes the color of her shirt.

    I couldn't start subbing till November last year (I didn't get my orientation until October), but this year I'm already on the list. I'm hoping that this means that the other teachers and staff will be a little more helpful and actually tell me where the bathrooms are and that kind of thing. Maybe they assumed that since it was later in the year, I should already know all of that stuff.

    Also! The first teacher I subbed for was newly hired in November. So that's a hopeful story.
     
  12. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    ryhoyarbie, I can imagine that it would get old going from school to school. There are so many just around me here where I live, I don't know if I could keep them all straight if I started subbing at all of them, not to mention all the ones on the other side of town. That's why I'm really hoping to become more of a school-based sub at my old high school, or even at just a couple of schools around me (my old middle and elementary schools aren't far away, so they're at the top of my list for getting my business card).
     
  13. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    I'm not even joking when I say that I have no idea how to go about getting a clinical teaching gig.

    My parents paid for 3 years of law school for my brother, and I finished my master's in 4 semesters (straight through, started in January 2008 and graduated in May 2009), so they're willing to supplement my income until I get something permanent. My mom is really good friends with a teacher back home, so she knows about not getting hired till mid-year and that kind of thing. I read in some other thread how families tend to be like, "what do you mean you can't get a job? EVERYWHERE needs teachers," and I'm fortunate that a) my family understands and b) they are able to afford me and my rock 'n roll lifestyle until I can get hired somewhere.
     
  14. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    heymiss, I totally do the same thing with my clothes! I have about two weeks' worth of clothes that I play favorites with. And when I find something I like, I have to have it in multiple colors. I'm trying to get better about that, but it's a hard habit to break.

    I'm glad to already be on the sub list this year. I plan on sending e-mails to all my past teachers that are still teaching at my old high school to let them know I'm available to sub for them, and my mom's friend who is a 5th grade teacher, too.
     
  15. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    It must be nice to be in a district where you already have connections. I don't know any school personnel up here, except for my friend who works in a charter school business office. Unfortunately, that school tends to not post job openings and just hires whoever they want without conducting interviews, so she's not very helpful to me.

    I looked at openings back home (my sister is a senior and she is BEGGING me to come teach at her school), but there's not much there and they pay peanuts.
     
  16. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    Haha, I love it!

    I can relate, though. I don't know how to go about do clinical teaching, either. Like I said, a past teacher of mine is running the student teaching program at the local university, so maybe she could help me out? But I don't even know. I might e-mail my ACP and see if they can help me out. But if not, I'm really thinking that volunteering might be a good alternative.
     
  17. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    I think it would be. It's a good way to get your face out there in a consistent way, since you're not always guaranteed to be able to sub at the same school.
     
  18. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    It is nice to have the connections, especially when it comes time to sub or ask people if I can come observe/volunteer in their classrooms. I just wish the district wasn't on a hiring freeze because I want to work here so badly!

    My brother was a senior last year, and he was soooo glad I couldn't teach until he was done with school! And I looked into applying in the district where my cousin is going to be starting high school this year, and when he found out, he freaked out! He was none too happy.
     
  19. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Well, my sister is a nerd. One of our brother's friends did his student teaching at her school, and she loved it. There are positions open there, but not in my areas, so too bad for her.

    Plus, my whole life is up in DFW now, so what am I supposed to do, let my house sit vacant for the year? I am absolutely not renting it out and I REFUSE to move again unless it's somewhere that I'm staying for at least 3 years.
     
  20. dkjackson

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    Well, here's hoping, heymiss, that we both find the job of our dreams, and soon!
     
  21. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Seriously. I don't know how much more my nerves can take. Every time my email dings, I get so excited...and then it's a freaking discount at Pottery Barn or something.

    I really think that the volunteering thing is a good idea, and it's great that you've got people who can recommend you and make you more than just another file in a huge online application system.
     
  22. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    I check my email so many times a day, it borders on obsessive, I think. My phone, too. I just keep hoping that someone has finally responded to resume and has decided that I'm the teacher they have to have.
     
  23. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    AT&T has a bad habit of not letting me know that I have voicemails until 12 or 14 hours after the fact. Sometimes, I'll have a mystery voicemail show up and no record of a missed call. I keep thinking, what if that was my chance? What if my magic call happened and I'll never know about it?

    I was getting so ridiculous the other day that I made myself get out of the house and went to see a movie by myself. I haven't done that in YEARS, but it was the only way to distract myself and act normal for two hours.
     
  24. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    That was probably the best thing you could have done for yourself. I've personally taken up crocheting. And by "taken up," I mean my mom started teaching me a couple of nights ago, and I started my first big project today, so it's not really an established thing yet. But it clears my head when I've done one too many applications, written one too many cover letters.
     
  25. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    My boyfriend recently bought a house, but he's been out of town for 6 out of the last 8 weeks due to a sick parent, so I've been taking care of the house. The sale was pending for several months and the homeowners had already moved, so the backyard was a JUNGLE.

    I've spent the past week doing some major landscaping. Job hunting frustration pales in comparison to spending 20 minutes trying to get one ugly plant out of the ground. Plus, being unemployed in the summertime has led to some serious slothlike behavior, so at least I'm doing something brutally physical to make up for my weeks of watching TV.

    I preferred the movie, though. It didn't make me sprawl flat out on the floor and pray for death.
     
  26. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    I'm really looking forward to school starting, even if I'm just volunteering/subbing, if only for the semblance of a schedule that I'll have. I'm doing some office work for my dad and grandfather's business, and have been since I quit my retail job in December, but there's no schedule. It's my dad, after all. I just sort of tell him the day before if I'm going to be there or not. But I'm really hoping for some sort of a schedule once school starts, so I'll stop being so darn lazy and laying around the house all the time!
     
  27. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Seriously. I have days where I get a lot done because I have to, but the rest of the time, I just do whatever, whenever. Most of my days consist of babytalking to my dog. I clearly need something better to do. This summer was supposed to be fun with the boyfriend and traveling, but due to the sick parent, both of our trips got cancelled and he's always in the hospital with no cell reception. Obviously it sucks a lot more for him than for me, but my fun summer turned into the laziest summer of my life. I know I'll look back on this in a few months and think I'm crazy for wanting school to hurry up and start.

    The good news is, I've been reading a lot. I normally try to read at least 52 books a year, and this year I've already read 45 from the library, and that's not counting the ones I've read on Kindle or borrowed from my sister.
     
  28. dkjackson

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    Wow, that's an impressive number of books! I've read quite a few myself this summer (well actually, since graduation), but I don't think I've read quite that many. I've probably bought that many, though. I have a huge plastic tub filled with books that I've purchased almost exclusively since graduation, and I've only read 5 or 6 of them, maybe. Plus there's the bookself and the shelf on my book that both have a ton of books on my "Want to Read" list (I made a spreadsheet to keep it all organized... a little embarrassed to admit that!) I'm a little disappointed in myself. Gotta get a move on with the reading!
     
  29. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    I had to get a library card a couple of years ago because I was spending so much on Amazon. I do prefer the smell and feel of a brand new book, but my habit was getting out of control.

    I've always been a book nerd. When I was little, I had a HANDWRITTEN inventory of my 250+ books so that I could keep them properly organized. I also had numbered labels on the spines so I'd know where to put them. Perhaps I should've been a librarian!
     
  30. rachaelski

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    I think that it's a great idea to spend time in various classrooms while you do not have a full time teaching position. Another option would be to apply for classroom aide positions.

    As far as ACP goes, I have discovered they are as different as could be. My own program required that you either did student teaching or "intern teaching" (for those who already had a teaching position). The difference between certification and a master's degree was 4 classes. And with 3 years teaching experience, I have never had a P question or seem leery of my masters degree and higher pay scale
     
  31. dkjackson

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    heymiss, I used to check out books from the library like nobody's business. But I rarely meet a book I don't like, so I figure I'll end up checking them out numerous times. Why not just go ahead and buy them? Especially if I can find them at Half Price Books, my favorite store ever. But it's become an expensive habit... I should probably go back to checking books out from the library again.

    rachaelski, I have lately turned to looking into aide positions. I haven't applied for any yet, but it's coming. At least it would be a steady job with steady pay, right?
     
  32. rachaelski

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    I LOVE Half-Price Books, but there aren't any in New Mexico...so sad!
     
  33. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    Oh my gosh, I don't know that I could survive in NM, then! I'm there at least once or twice a week with my, like, two-page list of books I want. There are five, I think, in my city, and about once a month, I like to spend a Saturday with Mom, making the rounds. I absolutely love that place!
     
  34. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Books that I think I will REALLY like, I usually buy on my Kindle or real books from Amazon. I know a lot of people are anti-Kindle, but if you travel or like to keep a book with you at all times, it is phenomenal. I was able to read 7 books on my spring break cruise and the bottom of my suitcase wasn't crammed with books. The only downside is that EVERYONE asks me if it's that thing they saw on Oprah and then I have to explain how it works.

    I also love Half Price Books. I just bought a load of teacher books in there last week.
     
  35. dkjackson

    dkjackson Companion

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    I just don't know how I'd feel about the Kindle because I just love the smell of a book, especially new ones, and the feel of the pages, and when it's so well-read that it just falls right open. Nothing compares, in my mind.
     

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