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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Really vague hoops.

I just registered for a test to prove to my new state that I am qualified to teach here. Unfortunately, the test registration website will not tell me what time the test is at, or where it will be given. I was able to choose "Central/West City" or "South East City." I live in the south west portion of the city, and since I couldn't get a street address, I didn't know which to choose.

I just hope they tell me before the test day where I should go, and when I should be there.

Or maybe, this is the test. If I can find the testing sight and get there on time, I pass. If I don't, I fail. And am required to pay another arm and leg to sign up and try again.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Brillante Weblogs are Everywhere

When I am tagged for a meme, I usually start doing it, and then get distracted, hit "save now" on Blogger, and forget about it for good. I'm determined to do this one because it's easy.

Sisyphus over at the Academic Cog gave me the wonderfully bilingual Brillante Weblog award. Thanks Sisyphus. I aspire to someday be able to write as wonderfully complex analogies as you frequently do.

And there are rules.
(Of course, rules are meant to be broken.)

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

I think the following people are deserving of this fun award.

- Leesepea at But Wait! There's More... because she always updates and it's always something worth reading.
- La Brown Girl because she paints wonderful pictures with her words.
- Ms. Sigh Ants at Red Fish, Blue Fish because, even though she hasn't updated for a while, I still wonder how she's doing and how she finished out the school year.
- Mildly Melancholy because she wanted a change (a new school) and she made it happen (and blogged about it).
- Ms. ABCMom because I always find her blog enjoyable to read.

And that's all. Five is enough for me.

Where do I live?

Today was my "orientation" which means that I went into the district office with about 20 other people to fill out paperwork.

As would be expected, I needed to put my address on a lot of the paperwork. Unfortunately, I am having a really hard time remembering my new address. I've only lived here a week, and yes, this is something I should learn, but it's just so hard!

So the first time I needed to write my address, I wrote what I thought was my address, and then proceeded to copy that address onto the oh, 20 other papers asking for my address.

When I got home, I looked at my address. I had been wrong. In my 4-number street address, I had changed the order of three of the numbers, and added a completely incorrect number to the mix. I called the district administration building and admitted this to someone, who transfered me. I admitted this to the second person, who transfered me. I admitted this to the third person, who finally was the right person, and was able to assure me that my paperwork would get fixed, while only mocking me a little bit.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back-to-school savings vs. gas consumption

I've been to Staples three times today and once yesterday, buying their "great deals" but needing many more than the maximum purchase limit. Unfortunately, my distance from Staples, and the fact that I live in a new-to-me area in which I get very turned around very easily means that in all likelihood, I have spent my savings in gas getting to and from Staples, and getting lost along the way.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Where I will teach.

Yesterday I went to see my classroom for the first time. MY classroom. MY classroom.

How neat is that? And, how did it come to be my classroom?

In late May I came down to Southwestern state to look for an apartment and visit some of the schools in the district. (At the time I had already been hired by the district, but had not been assigned to a specific school or grade level). In the weeks leading up to my visit I called the recruiter who had initially hired me at the job fair in April. He kept insisting that I would hear from schools any day now and should have at least offers by the time I came to visit. I still heard nothing. And then I heard nothing. And then I heard more nothing. These nothings were interspersed with phone calls back to him. I still had heard nothing when I got to Southwestern state to visit, and then began to really pester the recruiter. I called him on his cell phone over the weekend emphasizing the fact that I was in town for about two days and really needed to tour/interview over that time. He promised he would talk to people and call me the next day.

As promised, he called me early the next day, unfortunately while I was in the shower, and told me that he hoped I could interview at a school with a 1st grade opening in about 20 minutes. As I was staying with a family friend all the way across town, this wasn't possible. The recruiter said he'd set something else up and call me back in a few minutes, again.

Eventually, I had a schedule set up to visit four schools during the day. I would visit one school all morning. This was the same school that I couldn't interview with earlier that morning. Last thing in the afternoon I had an interview set up at that same school. I was scheduled to spend so much time at that school because the recruiter said that they were "very interested" in me. Between the morning tour and afternoon interview at that school I had three other tours/interviews set up at other schools in the district.

So, off I went to find that first school. I was given an extensive tour and introduced to way too many people. Along the way, I grew very impressed with the school. Every teacher I talked to was enthusiastic and optimistic about the school. Everyone simply raved about the principal and mentioned that their school was the best school in the district. At this time I was pretty excited to come back in the afternoon for my interview. I hadn't been able to meet he principal or vice principal because they were at meetings all morning (hence the interview for the afternoon) so I was looking forward to meeting them as well.

I told my "tour guides" (the literacy and math coaches, I think) that I would be back later for the interview, and went to schools number two, three, and four. I had a quick tour and an interview at school number two, a super quick tour and scheduled a phone interview for school number three, and a tour and set up a phone interview for school number three. After that, I drove back to school number one and told them I was there for the interview.

"Oh..." the secretary said. "Um, actually, that position has already been filled. I'm sorry." So, confused and disappointed I left.


A few days later I called the school back and left a message on the principal's phone. I thanked her for allowing me to tour the school, commented that it seems to be a great school with really positive teachers, and added that if on the off chance she had any more openings I would love to interview for them.

And lo and behold, the next day she called me back and said that actually, she DID have a new 1st grade opening and would like to interview me!! I set up a phone interview for later in the week. In the meantime, I had my two other phone interviews (one of which took place in my car, mostly in a parking lot and partly while driving due to some scheduling gaffes on my part) and was offered two positions in the district.

Finally I had the phone interview with that first school. Like all the others, there were a ton of people on the other end - I seriously have no idea who they all were but there were at least 5 people, and I think a few more came in part way through. I felt just as excited about the school during the interview as I had when touring it. At the end of the interview I hung up the phone expecting to wait a few days to hear back about this interview.

About five minutes later my phone rang again. It was the interview crew and they said that they would like to "unofficially" offer me the 1st grade position. (The job offers have to go through the central administration office to be official.) Excitedly, I said that I would like to "unofficially accept!" And I did.

And that is how my classroom ended up being my classroom. Soon I will begin teaching 1st grade at Suerte Elementary School. Pseudonymously named Suerte Elementary School because it was hopefully good luck that after the first missed interview, the long tour of the school, and the second canceled interview I was finally able to interview with and accept a position teaching at this school.

(And through this entire process, no one ever asked for a portfolio. So all that stress was for nothing.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I have arrived.

After a long three days in the car, watching the thermostat go higher and higher as I drover further and further south, I have arrived at my new home. I have set up my room, more or less. (There were a few obstacles, the biggest being that the Ikea bed I purchased would not fit into my car, and was immediately returned in favor of this bed purchased off the internet.

Last year when I graduated, I was given a gift certificate to a teacher store which I finally used a few days before the left the Midwest. Tomorrow I am going to bring that eclectic collection of teacher stuff (border, stickers, posters) to my classroom. MY classroom. I will finally get to see the room. School doesn't begin for a few weeks still, but I cannot even imagine how to start planning until I see what materials I actually have available to me in the classroom and what my room looks like. I don't know that I'll be able to do a whole lot until new teacher training which isn't for another week still, but just seeing my room and familiarizing myself with the space will hopefully help.

Hiatus: Over
New life: Begin

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Tomorrow I'm cramming everything I can into my Corolla and starting my drive from the Midwest to the Southwest to begin my new life as a first grade teacher. (Did I ever mention that? That I'm for sure teaching first grade?)

Maybe in a week or so, once I'm pseudo moved-in (aka: I own a bed or some suitable substitute, and my clothes are no longer layered between books in moving boxes) I will actually write more often than once every, oh, three months or so.

I'm excited to move, and terrified to teach, so nothing's new there. Hopefully more intelligent introspection to come!