I'll spare you the bit that goes all the way back to those days when I was a wee one forcing my little brother to sit on the other side of a little table doing math problems I came up with and corrected for him when he was finished. Instead, I'll just dive into the parts I remember most.
Oh and I'll gift you with some random pictures from a mini-scrapbook from student teaching that I took with me to interviews so I could stand out a little from other applicants.
After attending college in Northern California (10 hours away from home in San Diego) and being part of an extremely famous teaching program I returned home to Southern California. But in San Diego, no one knew about the program I had been in and I did not have any connections the way so many others did.
|Top: 4th grade...my favorite! Bottom: Making green eggs and ham with Kindergarteners|
|I dressed up as Athena to introduce my Ancient Greece unit to 6th graders.|
|Kinders doing a puppet play created by me and read by me. It is so weird to look back and see myself teaching such little ones, but I loved it at the time.|
|4th Grade Rocks!! Doing a geology unit on sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks using 3 different colored Playdoh that I made at home. Those were the days when I had time to do that kind of stuff all the time.|
My brother's realtor happened to be married to a teacher who worked in the district I have now taught in for almost 9 years. It turned out the district was the exact type I was looking for and dreaming about for years...one that is an at-risk urban area with a diverse population. Not to mention, it happens to be one of a couple of the highest paying districts in the city of Phoenix. At that point, I felt like it was meant to be. The next day, I drove out to the district office to turn in my application and drove back to San Diego the next day...hoping beyond hope that I would hear back from them.
A week or so later, I got the call that they wanted to interview me! They set up a phone interview so I didn't have to drive out there. I studied and prepared like a mad woman by researching the living daylights out of their website and schools. I looked into the curriculum they use, the student population, their report card status (state assessment scores), and anything else I could get my hands on from a whole state away.
The day came when I hoped my life would change. I remember having notepads at the ready and questions I wanted to ask them all written out and ready. When the phone rang, I locked myself in our extra bedroom and turned into someone I never knew I was. All I remember from the 30 minute phone call was that the HR woman told me she was going to ask me about 40 questions back-to-back (with no think time in between). Thinking back, I can't remember any of the questions she asked...all I remember is that I was able to answer every single one of them confidently and eloquently. It was like an out-of-body experience. At the end of the phone call, she told me that they would like to hire me and that she would mail a letter of intent that I would need to sign to officially accept the position. Once I did that, principals would begin calling me to interview me for spots at their school.
I went from being desperate to having multiple principals calling me from different schools. Finally, I felt valued as a teacher...because a district had taken notice and wanted me to be a part of them! After interviews for Kindergarten and 6th grade positions, I accepted a 4th grade position at a fine arts elementary school (ummmmm...helloooooooo...it was totally meant to be)!
|My very own first class of 4th graders...all mine. They are now 12th graders and I can't wait to see them graduate!!!|
|The principal that changed my life! Oh and me...as a little baby teacher so many years ago.|
|My first classroom is always a reminder of how far I have come. What was I doing?! Ugh. (the top picture is what it looked like when my principal showed it to me for the first time)|