Wednesday, November 05, 2003

5 November 2003
Lesson Learned:I guess good things do come to those who wait! Read on!

OMG- has it really been three days since I've written to you all? I am so sorry to be such a slacker. Let me start with Monday, 3 November. As you may remember, I had a job interview. Well, I got there early, but not early enough to see the school before my appointment. Just goes to show that I'm a bit out of practice with my morning routine.

Well, I was a bit surprised when I got to the district office. It has been my experience that teacher interviews are held in a panel format, with some administrator, a couple of teachers, and maybe someone from the district. When I walked into the room and met Ron, the Human Resources guy, he was all alone! No one else was there, so I felt weird. His first question was to explain my education background. I just started at the beginning (a very good place to start), which means where I got my bachelor's degree. Turns out Ron used to live in Santa Cruz and teach at the UC, so he was very interested and had a couple of anecdotes of his own to share. I continued my history feeling more relaxed by his reaction. He said he was impressed with what I said and with my certifications/application and wanted me to meet with the principal of the junior high in question. That was fine by me, and before I left the office, Ron introduced me to the superintendent (who is new, BTW). They both seemed to be quite pleased with me, but I didn't want to get my hopes up too high.

Got to the school and sat with the principal for a bit. He, Jack, asked me a few questions (very few. Not questions off a list as has been the norm), namely about my impressions of that age group compared with high school students. He also told me a bit about himself, how this was his first year at that school, but has been a principal for about 30 years, etc. He had nothing but positive things to say about his school, the kids, and the staff. It was like he was trying to sell the school to me, instead of the other way around. I asked him a couple of questions about the curriculum that he couldn t answer, so he asked the head of the science dept to come down and talk to me. She seems like a pleasant person, and honestly commented on the school's few resources, but led me to believe that the staff was cohesive and supportive, which sounded better than my other school. Next, Jack gave me a tour of the school, let me peek in on their computer lab (which I still don t understand, re: not accessible during class time) and on the class in question. As it was lunch, we stepped into the staff lounge, which was full of teachers! I wasn't used to that! At my old school, only a few of the older teachers ate lunch there, and they usually had negative things to say, so I avoided it. Well, here I saw folks collected into two or three groups, and was given an opportunity to speak with another of the science teachers. Everyone seemed to like being there, the kids seemed to get along as well as 860 pre-teens can, and I felt good being there.

As you could imagine, I was very hopeful about this position, but tried real hard not to get too hopeful. I didn't want to get my hopes dashed like before. Tim was very helpful keeping me rational.

On Tuesday, 4 November, I subbed at a local high school. It was my first time as a high school sub, and after that experience, I think I prefer the junior high kids. You expect them to be immature and are prepared for it. High school kids I expect to be more mature, but I was wrong. Of course, not everyone was a doofus, but enough to make me glad when it was all over. The teacher had enough stuff for them to do, but not enough materials. She gave explicit instructions about them not sharing textbooks, and even when through the trouble of Xeroxing a few pages for those who didn't have a book, but there were still kids w/o books (of course). So it was hard to keep them from working together. I just let them form partners and tried to keep the noise down. Also, she was a roving teacher, so I had to run all over campus to get from one class to another. One of the regular teachers, when he discovered for whom I was subbing, looked at me sympathetically and said he was sorry, explaining that she has a rough group of kids in all her classes, which was true. But, the classes she said would be difficult, weren't as challenging as those she said would be good, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I was glad I subbed, as it kept me out of the house and away from the phone. They were going to call that day, which was on the back of my mind while I worked, and when I got home I had a message to call Ron back. I did, and he wanted to offer me the job!! I was soooo happy!! I did the happy dance a few times and called my mom, who was also very happy for me.

Which brings me to today. I got my LiveScan taken care of, with a bit of running around, and filled in most of my paperwork! I officially start tomorrow, and will get a paycheck at the end of the month! Not only that, but this year I will be earning the entire salary! I know, hard to believe, especially as I figured they would deduct Sept and Oct wages from it, but no, I will get a nice big paycheck this month! That was a HUGE relief. I almost got teary-eyed right there in the office. (Just to let you know, I only have about 80 bucks to get me through the month, and I have a mountain of bills that need paying, so I was very happy to hear this!)

I was so psyched about the money, that I went shopping, and demonstrated great restraint! True, I did buy some teacher clothes, but nowhere near what I was interested in.

Tim took me out to dinner to celebrate. We went to this very small restaurant, William, which I've been curious about. The meat was very tender and cooked just right. The French onion soup was amazing. Now, I'm blogging, trying to get you all up to date, and Tim is playing his new video game.

I'm going to go to bed soon. I need to be at the school at 7:10am!

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