Monday, July 16, 2007

The Year in Review

It has been some time since I've been able to get to this blog, as I've been busy with all kinds of things lately. Summer will do that to a teacher, as he or she can finally take care of some things that have been put off for a while. And I was also off on a trip to California last weekend...

So now, it's time for my annual year-end-wrap-up post. (Er, I have done at least one of these before, haven't I?) I feel that, more than ever before, I'm a good teacher. My management skills have gotten much better, and I just seem to have it now. I also had a good year, with at least four jobs that lasted at least a week (a good sign that teachers and the district trust me), two of them teaching high school math. I had many students tell me that I was their favorite substitute, and (as it turns out) for all of the right reasons. It was also an extremely stressful year, as I worked two jobs four days a week, and it showed too often. The funky weather in late fall and early winter didn't help, either, as it resulted in some smaller-than-anticipated paychecks over the winter. Money has been tight all year, and so I'm determined to get a full-time contracted job this fall somewhre, or I will have to leave teaching. It may be temporary, however, as another job may give me the cushion I need to actually get my teaching career on some sort of track.

Highlights of the past school year:

  • Subbing for one of my old high school teachers. Much to my surprise, when I was subbing high school Spanish this spring, the regular teacher came in to get me up to speed, and I recognized her at once. We were both delighted, although it's been long enough that she didn't remember me (and I didn't expect her to). Her students were surprised that day when I told them, too.
  • Lots of work, and assistance and support from the staff, at the junior high school up the road. Great place, great kids, and a nice stroll to get there.
  • Inadvertantly meeting one of my friend's daughter's boyfriend when he did a terrific job reading one line from Romeo and Juliet.
  • Two different long-term math subbing jobs at the same high school, for two different teachers who both needed foot surgery. On one of the jobs, I had no job the day before it started, so I went in to talk about what was going to happen. I walked through the door and heard, "...and here he is now." By coincidence, I'd come towards the end of class just as the teacher was telling everyone he was going to be out, and who his substitute teacher would be. It couldn't have worked out any better if we'd planned it.

Lowlights of the year:

  • Being offered a job in October, only to have the school turn around and withdraw the offer because the district couldn't clear me quick enough. What was worse is that they didn't even tell me until I contacted them to find out what was going on. Needless to say, I'm not going to even accept an interview at that school again.
  • For the first time ever, I had to leave a class, and leave an assignment early. I got terribly sick one day this spring, but perservered, thinking I could do it anyway. Once the job started, however, I realized that it wasn't going to work, and even left the room unattended for a few moments to take care of things. They were able to get a sub for me, at least, but I wasn't happy that I'd done that.
  • On a similar note, through a miscommunication, it turned out I had a job that I'd missed seeing on the sub system, so I got a call from the secretary asking, "Where are you?" That's the first time I can recall ever being that late for an assignment. Fortunately, no harm was done — another sub took the first part of my first class — and everyone was cool about it.

I have a few things I may add over the next few weeks, and I'll also report on the job hunt progress, but in general I suspect this summer is going to be quiet on this blog. But keep checking back anyway, you never know what will happen.

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