Hi, everybody! Sorry to leave you hanging with no post after that last one that was all "what am I going to do to make enough money so my children will not go HUNGRYYYY?" but as you will soon see, I have been super busy for the past few days and haven't had any time to post until now. I have tweeted about the fast-and-furious changes here at my Twitter page, if you are like me and just can't get enough of your favorite bloggers. And of course I am one of your favorite bloggers, right? *cough cough*grin*
Let's see, what day was it when Justin and I decided that I should start applying for jobs? I think it was Tuesday that I emailed the principal of Miss Pink's school about an aide position that was posted on the district web site. She called me back Wednesday and by that time I was able to tell her that I had decided that if I was going to work full time, that I should go back to teaching ($45,600 vs. 13,000--probably worth the extra stress of having one's own class, no?) She mentioned that they just had a 4th grade position open up the DAY BEFORE. It was her idea to have me come in to interview. She loved it that I am a parent at the school and totally invested in the school's philosophy and success. *
So I went to the interview yesterday at 2 and it went very well. I felt very confident in the way I was able to answer the questions of the principal and the lead 4th grade teacher and they seemed to respond well to me. We even talked about the educational possibilities of Twitter! The fact that I have been at home for 6 years didn't seem to bother them, as I have kept teaching Sunday School and volunteer tutoring at their school, not to mention teaching my own little learning sponges. I was able to show them that I do have experience with elementary students and their schoolwork when I worked at Sylvan Learning Center, where I tutored kids of all ages and helped them get their reading and math skills up to grade level. Many people have said to me that I would make a good elementary teacher, and I hope I get the opportunity to try.
The only issue is that I do have to be certified in the elementary grades (my current certification is English for grades 6-12). To do that, I have to pass a test for Early Childhood through 4th grade which includes language arts (almost half of the points), math, social studies, science, health, art, and music. The principal has to know that I have passed the test before she could present me to the board as their choice to hire. So I registered to take the test at the next earliest date, July 2. That only gives me a few days to study (I ordered a book from Amazon and it should be here Monday) but I took the official sample test online and scored 91%, so I feel good about taking it. I just hope that the principal and lead teacher think I am a good enough candidate to wait a few days for, AND that some darn experienced elementary teacher doesn't come along and take the job!
That leads me to the only other issue, which is the math and science. *I* am feeling confident in my ability to teach those subjects, but this school is top-rated in the state-mandated tests and wants to maintain their ranking. They do not want to risk letting any students fall through the cracks, either; it's not just teaching to the test. If it were, we'd just spend all year doing TAKS worksheets and having a boring class. No, these are creative teachers who go above and beyond to create interesting activities in all subjects. In other words, just the kind of teachers I want to learn from and emulate. The teachers from each grade meet weekly to plan lessons two weeks ahead. They already have an overall plan of what will be covered and when (which is a relief for me because I don't want to leave anything essential out), and they tweak what they did last year to make it more successful. So I guess they don't need me to reinvent the wheel entirely, but to be able to provide ideas and input to help all the fourth graders be successful. So I am hoping that they will believe I can do it!
As my friend and fellow teacher advised me, I am cautiously optimistic. I can't say I don't have my hopes up, because I do, but if this doesn't work out, I will go back to my original plan (of a whole three days ago) to apply to the district which is opening a new high school, and once I have my elementary certification, any other position I'm interested in!
But oh, I would love to work at this school--it would be so wonderful to be at the same school with Miss Pink! So keep me in your thoughts and prayers, that I would get the best job for me and my family. It's been great that I've been able to stay home with my children this long, but being able to teach is a gift, too. I will not have to worry about taking off work when they are out of school, for one thing. And the stability of a guaranteed income will be good, too.
*For a description of how much I love Miss Pink's school, see this post. And probably many others, since I am willing to wax eloquent about the awesomeness of this charter school at any and every opportunity. Truly it would be a great place for any teacher to work.