Over the past four months, I have interviewed with 13 different schools. Thirteen schools! Ten of those interviews took place at the school site; three were at the job fair. Many of those interviews required follow-up interviews, additional essays, analyzing assessment data, and teaching lessons to classes. I was highly critical of every school and turned down multiple job offers. The schools I felt convinced would be a perfect fit didn't offer me a job. As someone who likes to plan and control every detail, this period of uncertainty caused me to be in constantly anxious state.
Things are finally coming together and I feel surprisingly optimistic about everything. I finally accepted a job offer and have stopped searching for other jobs. Here are the quick facts about where I will be working next year.
- I will be teaching 4th grade (all subjects) at a K-8 school.
- It's a STEM magnet school (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
- The school has exceeded growth and their letter grade is a solid B.
- It is not a Title I school. While it may not be affluent, it is a very different socioeconomic level than I'm accustomed to.
- The demographics are about 70% African American and 15% Hispanic. Jackson will be in a very small minority.
- Students are ability grouped, and I will be teaching one of the highest performing classes.
- The entire 4th grade team is new to the school (though not new to teaching).
- My commute time is a whopping eight minutes.
- Teacher hours are from 8-4.
I forgot how tedious the hiring process is. I spent so many months trying to find the right school. Once I finally committed to a school, I didn't realize all the things I needed to do before I could even sign a contract. Within the last week I have:
- uploaded my renewed teaching license and college transcripts
- attended an all day orientation
- sat in a large closet/sauna/overcrowded waiting room for four hours to complete fingerprinting and drug testing
- scheduled an appointment and enrolled in benefits
- had a physical and TB test
- set up a checking account/direct deposit
- completed Request for Student Transfer forms so Jackson can attend the same school
I will be meeting with my 4th grade team and facilitator the first week in August. I also need to start moving things out of the attic and figure out when I can put them in my classroom. I fear the best of summer is over, but I'm hopeful we can continue to create some incredible family memories this next month. Another huge thing I still have on my to-do list is securing childcare for Jackson during the two weeks of workdays and kindergarten half-days.
I have a wide range of emotions when I really think about going back to work, but I'll save those reflections for another post. For now, I'm just relieved I can begin making real plans and know where Jackson and I will be next year.