Monday, May 7, 2012

In a strange turn of events...

A couple months ago, I was informed that I'd been cut (again) from the following school year's budget. My position just flat out wouldn't exist. So began the process of job hunting.

Last year, I applied for over TWO HUNDRED jobs. Two.Hundred. I had around 15-20 interviews (which is an extremely large number in my profession) and finally found a job two days before teacher workshops began. The position was ideally located, about eight miles from home, but the downside was that it was part-time. Still, fortunate enough to be able to afford to work part-time (2/3 time in this case) I accepted and started the following Monday. But then I got cut.

So I started applying for jobs. Since it was March, there weren't a lot of jobs posted for next year, but I applied to the five or so that I found.  Not long after sending out my first round of applications, I got a call for an interview. The job posting said it was a regular, 10-month contract position. I took this to mean it was for the fall.

Then I got to the interview. One of the last questions they asked me was "How will you handle stepping into a classroom during the school year?" After blinking a couple times I fielded the question (well, I believe) and moved on. I presumed they would hire someone "easier" to deal with since hiring me would require breaking a contract already in place and gaining the permission of my current school.

I was wrong. The principal called me a few days later and offered me the position, asking if I could start in less than two weeks. I discussed it with N as well as my current principal. My principal was incredibly understanding and encouraged me to take the position as it came with an increase in pay as well as being full-time, and continuing into the next school year.

After a week-long whirlwind, I moved to a new school in a new district. But before I moved I had to take pictures of my classroom, of course.

I had a wonderful principal in this building who encouraged us to think outside the box and try new things.  She responded with enthusiasm when I proposed removing the desks from my classroom and replacing them with bean bags, comfy chairs, and video rockers. I had small classes but along with that came a tiny room. The students loved it, and after some trial and error, we came up with a great system for choosing seats and things worked beautifully.
The view from the door. You can see the calendar on the back wall, an assortment of seats, and my desk area stuck in the back of the room.
Along one wall is my "Walk of Fame" (the "L" is stuck on the side cabinet, you can see it), book order bins towards the back and class folders. Each of my students has their own folder stored in a hanging file where they keep their reading journals and logs, next to those bins you can see our bin full of clipboards, handy for taking notes or journaling while sitting on the floor or a bean bag. Also pictured: my awesome Harry Potter Table of Elements.
Our classroom library. Fairly well-stocked, and organized by genre.
The view from the back. The bookshelves hold our textbooks and dictionaries and thesauri.
Looking towards the door you can find our book review board.
A nice view from the front corner.
My amazing students brought me a cake on my last day. It was bittersweet, but I've since heard from some of them, bragging about their MAP test scores.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the new job and I have to admit your classroom rules.



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