Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Roller-Coaster Day Back at Work

Yesterday was one of the wildest roller-coaster days I've had in some time. First of all, it was my first day back teaching. It was high school science (three zoology, one biology), and it was pretty simple and straightforward. As this was only the fifth day of class, the students haven't had a lot of instruction yet, so this was a bit of an introduction day. The teacher had prepared some handouts, and the students read them and answered some questions. Pretty typical stuff for when there's a sub, right? The biggest problem was getting a couple of the classes settled down and listening while I took roll and gave directions, and even that went well once they figured out class had started. No, the big problem was the weather. The high school is undergoing a major expansion and remodeling project, and I gather that the air conditioning is out in the building I'm in. As we are having an unusually warm September, and temperatures got into the 90s in the afternoon, it got a little hot. Still, with two doors and a window open, it didn't get too bad, either.

It was after school that things got interesting. The head of personnel in a neighboring district wanted to chat about some of the less-than-pleasant stuff that's happened in my career, looking towards the possibility of hiring me in the future if something comes up. So we chatted, and I think I won him over. But when I got there, I also discovered that I still had the key from yesterday's job! This is maybe only the fifth or so time I've ever walked off with the key, and the first time I wasn't nearby and couldn't just turn around and return it. (I returned it this morning, at least.) I also asked him about the general state of hiring right now, in light of my not getting an interview. As I suspected, yes, there's a glut of teachers right now, especially at the elementary level.

I got home, and there was a note from my wife to contact another school I'd applied in, and as soon as possible. So I called. It turns out they'd been trying to get ahold of me all last week, but someone gave or read a wrong phone number or something, and couldn't do it. And by the time I talked to the principal yesterday, they'd offered the job to someone else. So it appears I need to do a little investigating. But I was bummed for the rest of the night about missing out on a potential job like that. (And I just checked the cover letter, and my phone number there is correct, and my e-mail address is also there. I don't know what I wrote on the application, but I know I gave them as much information as I could, including alternatives.)

Despite the troubles yesterday, I was slightly encouraged by my encounters. It looks like there will be some more hiring around here over the next few weeks, so I'm still going to keep checking those websites as often as I can and making myself known. But both of the people I talked to also asked if I had a science background, since they both desperately need science teachers. I know the local district also needs one. Perhaps, if the finances go well, I could go back and get a science endorsement in the near future...

No job today, but it's early still, and at least I already have a job lined up for Friday.

And a shoutout to my brothers and sisters in the Tacoma School District, who are now on strike. Hang tight and stick together, everyone, it will work out in the end!

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