So for the first time in 13 years, I have been seriously job hunting. There are many reasons for it, none of which include my students. This has been, by far, the sweetest class I have ever had. Of course they have their days (who doesn't?) but they make going to work fun.
Alas, I knew I needed a real change. I was not into teaching a split again next year and that's what I was assigned to. I took that as my sign that I needed to do something drastically different. Thus, I began a job hunt.
I haven't had a real interview in so long. I would argue that even the interview I had for my transfer to my current school wasn't really an interview. Not compared to the interviews I have been on recently.
On April 30, I had an interview in a district very close to where I currently work. Looking back on it, it was pretty awkward and stifling. They weren't welcoming, they didn't appear all that friendly and I left there feeling really weird about it. That same night, I applied for another couple of jobs in a district a bit farther away. The job description was really appealing. I told my husband the job description really should. have read "Raye, please apply for this job" because it fit me to a T. The very next day, on May 1, I got a phone call from them!
They did an impromptu phone interview right then. They asked me some really deep and thoughtful questions. I was quite impressed by their thoroughness. One of the questions they asked me was what I would do if stakeholders wanted me to keep the status quo but I knew it wasn't in the best interest of my students. I said "if you're asking me if I will push back against any and everyone in order to do what is right for my students, my answer will always be yes." I then went on to explain that my advocacy for my students has not always been appreciated (in fact I've had some principals who downright hated that about me), but I don't care. It's not about me. It is about what is right for kids. Period. They must've liked that because they invited me in for another interview!
I do not like the interview process. I always feel so nervous and awkward. But I have to say that this district made me feel SO welcomed and at ease. Their questions were wonderful and very thorough. As nervous as I was, I felt so good and confident sitting there with them. They put me at ease, laughed with me (when I said I didn't become a teacher for the fame and the glamorous pay) and were just so much more friendly than the place I had been the previous week. Amazing how vastly different districts/schools can be.
A couple of days went by and I got a phone call inviting me to do a demo lesson! I was so excited but so nervous. The demo lesson would be with high school. I am an elementary teacher by trade so it was a big step! (This is an ESL teaching position so all grades K-12 which is why the demo was at that level.) I prepped all weekend and fretted over the lesson because I am so not a high school teacher! They kind of scare me because they are so tall!
I did a close reading lesson using the lyrics from the song "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. The students stared at me for the first several minutes and then I told them that THEY were scary to ME because I teach small fries. That made everyone in the room laugh and then the kids opened up. I actually had a lot of fun teaching those big students!
On Tuesday I got a phone call that they were ready to check my references. Basically as long as those panned out, the job would be mine! Two (incredibly long) days later [because I am impatient], I got my official offer via email! So grateful, blessed and excited for a new opportunity.
I have felt so restless being in the same four-walls of my own classroom for the last few years. I think this ESL position will be a perfect change for me because I will be working in multiple schools, with multiple teachers and a variety of students who need support with their language development. Guaranteed that every day will be different because I probably won't be in the same school two days in a row (I mean I could be, but it doesn't sound like I will be). I'm going to get to meet and collaborate with so many people and I think that will also help me to continue to grow and learn as an educator. What more could a person ask for?