My Next Career: High School English Teacher
Since April, I have been applying to jobs in four Maryland counties. Interestingly, Anne Arundel and Montgomery were silent. Howard, where I live, brought me in for a first (of three) round interview but the competition is such that I did not progress further.
Baltimore County, though, called me for five interviews. The first was in late June, at a middle school, and we liked one another well enough. While in Houston for the NASA trip, I was offered a part time reading position but when I inquired as to the details, the HR gent said he’d have the principal call. The following Monday, she called but couldn’t articulate the position but did note it was for 6th graders. I pointed out my certification was for 7-12 (which was made clear during the interview). She said she’d have to check with HR. Never heard from her again.
I had another interview that went nowhere although it was at a brand new high school building and they extolled how much they love training new teachers so thought it would be a nice fit.
Two weeks ago, I interviewed at one school while booking a second interview for the following week. Two Fridays back, I got a call for yet another interview, followed minutes later by the HR guy, offering me a post at the school from earlier in the week. I explained I had two more scheduled, one of which was talking about a split English/Social Studies slot which really intrigued me. He suggested I cancel the one interview, attend the interesting one and he’d put the offer on hold until we saw what was going to happen.
Last Tuesday, I went in and had a good conversation with a Vice Principal and the English chair. As things wound down, they admitted they had already filled the split position but had a 9th Grade position open but was awaiting final authorization to hire. I left feeling good but mixed so talked to HR, who agreed I should wait and see what would happen over the next few days. He didn’t want me to lose the one solid offer but it was clear, the other school would be a better fit.
On Friday, as I was literally headed for the door to load the car and go to Shore Leave, HR called. The position had been cleared the night before and he was calling to make the offer. Now I had two firm offers and picked the one that I thought would work best. While driving to collect Paul Kupperberg, the Vice Principal called to make certain HR called because she really wanted me. Over the weekend, the English chair and I emailed back and forth where it turned out she juggled a few things so I would have four sections of 9th grade and one of 11th grade.
Yesterday, I went to the district offices to be fingerprinted and drop off paperwork. Then, I headed over to the high school where my chair and the other English teacher were waiting for me. I was shown my classroom and around our wing of the building. I was asked to pick a desk in the tiny, cramped department office. In turn, they put a ton of material on a flash drive and printed out tons more, putting it into a binder. I collected teacher’s editions of the text being used in 9th grade and grabbed copies of the books I’ll be teaching.
Next week new teacher orientation begins and a week later I report to the high school fulltime for meetings and room setup time. On August 26, I meet my students on Day One.
Between now and then I have to come up to speed on a great deal of material and tidy things up at home, adjusting my schedule to once more get up really early. But it’s terribly exciting and all the work at grad school, my internship, and my student teacher is paying offer with a second career about to begin.
I’ll share some of my thoughts and observations as is practical during this first year. But I also know full well how busy I will so will shift to more of a social media lurker. It also means scaling back my expectations for writing work but I refuse to put it all aside.
Stay tuned, the next chapter is about to begin!