Thursday, July 14, 2011

teacher teacher

Okay, so here we are almost two months after graduating grad school. Score, right? It was probably the hardest 1.5 years of my life. Whoever said it was a're a fool! I was super thrilled to be done. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you, I was knocked down more times than necessary for someone who wants to be a teacher.

My friend Shannon said it was like when I applied to undergrad, they saw my application and was like "Okay, we're gonna mess around with her." Mind you, I maintained upwards of a 3.9 GPA (it was usually around a 3.8something) in my education curriculum. And I had placed into a 300 level Spanish class my first semester in college. Smarty pants, yes. I always got the best grades in my Spanish classes (I think the lowest was a B and thats because it was an advanced lit class). And my undergrad school required all foreign language education majors for secondary education (not elementary education) to take a departmental assessment test that was on grammar, literary analysis and culture. You had to get an 84 or better on each section....PLUS pass a $150 over the phone interview in order for them to let you student teach. Oh, wanna hear the kicker? You were not allowed to do this until the semester before you were to student teach. So I was suppose to student teach January-May 2009. So I did it fall semester of my senior year. Apparently what was on the test is NOT what we were being taught because NO ONE in my methods class passed. Like no one. That really says something.

So to give it another shot, I took a semester of pointless classes (really it was only to get credits because I had finished my Spanish concentration the year before in Spain). I took Sign Language, Deaf Culture & Heritage, Sociolinguistics, a Spanish Class and Child Psych (incase I ever wanted to teach an elementary level). Well, I only took those to be able to be at school to take the test again. Again, took it and I got like a 96 on the culture section but between the other two sections, I needed 16 points. And I had hit the same level again on the phone interview. So, what were my options? Basically I was told that if I did not pass the two other sections a third time taking the departmental test, that was it. Essentially four years of work OUT THE WINDOW! They said three times was the max and basically I felt like they were telling me "You're just not meant to be a teacher." I literally broke down in tears in front of my friends. I essentially was faced with the decision try again in the fall...or drop my education major all together. I did the second, which hurt so bad. And guess what? Because of all of this, the school said they couldn't "confer" my degree on time and I was not allowed to walk at graduation with my friends. My friends just felt so bad for me yet I remained with them to celebrate our graduation weekend because just the fact that I didn't walk with them, doesn't mean we did not have the right to celebrate four years of friendship. Here we all are:

(L-R: Emily, Jess, Heather, Heather's sister, Sarah, Me, Shannon, Sarah W, Jade, Olivia)

But I did not let this stop me. After taking a semester in a way off from life to figure out what I wanted to do, I applied to grad schools and started in January 2010. I was probably the only freakshow who took four classes a semester in grad school but hey. I finished in a year and a half. In that time, I was able despite feeling I couldn't do it at times to achieve my degree. My program was to certify me to teach Spanish in grades 7-12, with a middle childhood extension for grades 5 & 6. Ideally, I want to teach in a middle school. You all probably think I'm NUTS but I love that age! And, that is the age/grade level when I fell in love with languages. :)

So where does this all leave me now? Hello job search! I have a resume from student teaching that I can tweek. But I need to write a cover letter. Does this girl have a clue how to write a cover letter or what to put in it? NOPE! Technically most of the jobs I have looked at on OLAS (what NYS uses for teaching jobs) require the proper certification and I am taking my last test for it on Saturday (*prayers I pass!!*). As much as I feel like I'll be "rejected" because of not having it yet, it does not hurt to put my resume out there. I finally realized it's time to become an adult, ha ha. So here's to looking over my resume for any typos, asking for letters of reference (three different cooperating teachers [one part-time student teaching, two full-time], field supervisor, etc) that hopefully I can get, and onward to hopefully getting on a sub list. I won't give up my restaurant job but ANY extra $$ I can make will be well worth it.

Any advice from anyone about cover letters or other teachers who are embarking on their career or have been teaching is GREATLY appreciated!!


  1. Just make sure your cover letters are personable, follow up enough but not so much you annoy them, and don't give up! I sent out probably about 5o applications and had 3 interviews before I got a job.

    Looking back, I thank GOD I didn't get those jobs they just weren't meant to be. I didn't get one until 2 weeks into the school year and I was offered a teaching position and an ed-tech position in the same week. (I obvi took the teaching one. )
    Oh, and it's alllll about having "ins". Spread the word to all of the people that you know who are teachers and work in a school district.

    Many teachers I know got picked for the interview because someone on the inside mentioned their name to the principal, and then they went in and nailed the interview. So let everyone know that you're looking, give them your email, and push through!

  2. It does help that my brother is a teacher in the district I student taught in and the secretary told me "I hope to see your name on the sub list next year!" I have lots of contacts in different districts so lets see if they'll all help me out!