I started my teaching career around mid march after this 4th grade class had numerous subs. I cried almost every other day. I really had no training, and my support was very limited. I was at the school for almost two years, right when I was getting used to things and finally found my routines when I got riffed (laid off).
My second teaching experience was through a company that put teachers into private schools for supplemental learning. I liked to call myself, “the bungalow” teacher. It was an easy comfortable gig. I got paid a reasonable salary (although it was half of what I was getting at public school) but I didn’t care because I was still living at home, and everything I had to teach was set for me in a binder. Sure I put my own little style to it, but I didn’t have to lesson plan, I didn’t have to grade homework (only quarterly assessments), and my biggest class size was 6. I was comfortable here for 4 years.
Then I got bored.
One summer I decided to reapply into the public school teaching system, and enroll into grad school as a social worker, you know just to gamble and roll the dice I guess. As all fate decides I got accepted to both! However, another variable came into play, I also got pregnant. At first I saw it as a problem, then a friend said, “Cheryl there are people who are having such a hard time finding a job, getting to school, and getting pregnant. You got all three” What a way to put it into perspective.
So I chose the financial route, and decided to not pursue grad school, and go back to the public school. Double my usual salary? I’ll take it!
It was my 3rd teaching experience, but first time in middle school. I started January, it was their second semester and they also had a few subs. I probably only cried once a week instead of every other day. (yep I got a bit stronger), but it was still tough, I was teaching the EL (english language) class, and got one training. The school was huge and I was also getting huge (pregnant remember?). I rarely got support, and when I did it felt more of a “here do this and this and this” and I got really overwhelmed. So summer was here, had my baby and took my maternity leave, and bonding time. Only really got to teach my class for about 4 months.
Well that second year I find out that I’m getting displaced, which is different from being riffed, because I still have a job in the public school setting, just I don’t know where yet.
Then I found out about the current school I am at. A friend worked there and told me about an opening. Smaller school and closer to home. Great deal right? Wait it gets better. They thrive on social emotional learning, provide arts for electives, and hold council circles every week.
I started fresh the beginning of the school year, and now we just started our second semester. Of all the years that I’ve been a teacher, this is the first time I can say that I’m actually learning, and growing as one. All the other years, I’ve felt like I’ve just gotten by. But I find myself being challenged, in a good way. The support that I’m getting is still overwhelming, but I don’t feel like I’m just working to “survive” anymore. I feel like I’m working to grow and learn from my colleagues and my students. The teachers, staff and administrators are the best, and I only hope that this is the school I can finally call my home.