week 4 monday.
Living at home in Peoria and substitute teaching. I rotate between 4 grade schools. It did not take long to get established, and I have been pretty much full time since summer. I am at two schools most of the time and will be taking over a long term subbing position mid-February in 4th grade at one. The teacher is great and very organized. We have met many times while awaiting her baby, and I feel overly prepared to take over her class. Excited to have the same classroom everyday. Teachers tell me how great I am doing—maybe from my loud voice in the classroom or just from word of mouth. I am keeping my fingers crossed that an opening will develop. It is a tough district to get into (they have up to 500 applicants per opening), but I am hoping I now have an "in," having gotten to know all of the principals through subbing.
To back track. I applied everywhere around the Peoria area but only had two interviews this summer—for a reading specialist position and first or third grades at one school. I was one of 3 finalists but didn't get the job. The first grade was for a "bubble" teacher—the teacher hired would be moving up grade levels with the class because it was larger than all of the others, but I am certified through third. Coincidentally, I just received a call yesterday from this school and they asked if I would be interested in taking over a maternity leave this spring. The principal said I had been on her mind since my interview and they would love to have my in their district so keep my eyes open for positions. Nice to hear that she remembered me!
A word of advice for the new cohort: Don’t be discouraged—jobs are HARD to come by in some areas. Subbing is an awesome alternative, and I actually believe I will be even more prepared now when I have my own classroom. I have gotten experience in all grades and have still kept very busy. It has really been a blessing in disguise. (Briana, 10)
constructing an environment for becoming a teacher (ideas from Bill Ayers)
Things are good over here. Busy, busy, busy! I am in my second year teaching full-day kindergarten at the same district. The second year is SO much better than the first year—but definitely not any less stressful! Classroom management is still one of the hardest parts for me, but I am definitely improving with the help of my kindergarten team and administrators. The kids are why I get up in the morning. They are the best part of my day. Watching them learn and grow and knowing that I had a hand in it is the most amazing feeling ever!
I'm also coaching a high school JV and varsity dance/pom team close to my school. It takes up a lot of time, but I LOVE sharing my dance background! It's a nice change to work with 5 year olds all day and then go work with high school students—although working with teenage girls makes me never want to have one of my own! We placed first in our last two competitions!
I am in the process of applying for a grad school cohort that starts this spring. It's for a reading specialist degree. I'll know in a few weeks if I'm accepted! I never intended on going back to school so soon, but this opportunity kind of fell in to my lap and works out well with my schedule!
I'm also living on my own this year. My mom, step dad, brother, and sister are in Texas now, but my Dad is still here. I got my own place in July and am loving living by myself! I definitely miss my family, but I like having my own space! Managing money and payments is definitely a learning experience in itself!
Rachel Friedman, 10
diary of novice teacher cont. (Scooter, March 10)
the challenge (for you & the kids)
in lesson study teachers