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.
After attending college in Northern California (10 hours away from home in San Diego) and being part of an extremely famous (to the area) 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)|