Summer has once again come to an end as the fall air is upon us. The days of reading a great book while the waves crash at my feet has been replaced by nights of grading papers and lesson planning- for the time being at least.
I had all of these expectations upon graduating college. With my new acquired B.A. in English, a minor in Spanish, and a teaching certification, I thought I would walk right into a teaching position. My hometown high school even had an opening for an English teacher- it was fate.
Then reality hit me. I did not even make it past the resume round. #postgradlife
I then understood this whole getting a job thing was going to be more difficult than anticipated. Since last year, I have subbed in numerous districts and I am currently at my second leave replacement. Although I am gaining tons of teaching experience, I still cannot wait for the day when I have my own classroom, with my own students and I do not have to start my first day with, “Hello. I’m Ms. Letteriello and I will be your teacher until Mrs. (___) comes back from her maternity leave”.
However, I have come to find substitute teaching and leave replacements are not so bad. I am making contacts with many districts and learning tips from veteran teachers. Also, by seeing how different school districts run and the classroom management situations I encounter, I have a plethora of information to discuss during interviews.
If you are a newly teaching graduate and are experiencing the same feelings I had about a year ago- do not give up! Here are some tips I have learned:
1) Do not rely on OLAS (if you are unsure what OLAS is, it is a NYS online database for job postings) Go to the schools’ websites or directly to the school.
2) Be open to traveling
3) Write thank you cards. *Handwritten cards go a long way too*
4) Do not let one bad experience with a student bother you. Just remind yourself everyday is a new day.
5) Get your masters in the meantime. From talking to teachers and principals about the myth “if you have a masters you won’t be hired” the majority said to pursue a masters. (So here I am in the TESOL program)