Saturday, July 20, 2013

Luck (The Crazy Kind)

I decided to switch districts because the hour commute each way was killing me.  I started looking at districts that were either by my house or by AJ's school. Through a friend of a friend, I heard about a district about 20 minutes from my house. It is very similar to the district where I worked last year, but I wouldn't be spending 10 hours a week in the car if I worked there.

I applied on Tuesday at 7:45 AM online.  I had an interview for a 3rd grade position at noon, the same day.  I got to the interview and the principal told me what they really needed was a kindergarten teacher.  I may have turned a bit white.

I had only applied on Tuesday because I had just heard about the district. But until that point, I didn't even know it existed. I was offered the job via email by the principal that night, with the understanding that HR had to give me the official offer.  HR gave me the official offer on Friday.  Here is the kicker, the kids start school on Monday. You heard me.

So, just to review, I am starting a kindergarten teaching job (which I have never taught) in two days.

The school I will where I will be working is what's known in the midwest as a "year-round" school. The students are in school for 200 days, instead of the traditional 180.  Although it means less of a summer break for everyone, it does have a lot of benefits:  1) if a child starts with the district in kindergarten and goes through 8th grade, they will have received an entire school-year's worth of extra class time. 2) There is less summer knowledge loss. This is a huge issue for teachers. We usually have to spend the first 6 weeks of school reviewing things from the previous grade. 3) It helps the community by lessening the childcare burden on parents over the summer.

I know some of my colleagues think I am insane for giving up a month's worth of summer break. And maybe I am. But, honestly I do not do well with a lot of down time.  I come from the business world and am still in awe that I get two weeks off at Christmas that does not have to be haggled and negotiated.

I had a very good feeling during the interview. The assistant principal actually went through the iTeach program back in the day, and even taught at the school I just came from.

My standard for a good principal is the principal I had when I taught art at AJ's school.  She was personable, professional and above all, a problem solver.  Because my new district has to do a background check, I cannot officially be in a classroom until that comes back.  The solution the principal came up with was  that I will assist the other two kindergarten teachers until my background check is done.  And then after school, I will be able to set up my own classroom.  This will allow me to see how the other classrooms are set up, get to know my coworkers and students, and become familiar with the schools procedures and routines.  In the meantime, I am trying to do what I can at home.

Next week will be a bit crazy.  I will be starting a new job in less than ideal circumstances, which seems to be my M. O. Did I mention Shawn will be out of town next week?

Rain has always been good luck for me ever since it rained on my wedding.  I am taking it as a good sign that I accepted a teaching position yesterday and we had the storm of the century last night. I am cautiously optimistic, as I really want to find a "teaching home" for the next several years. Wish me luck. I am going to need it.

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