A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Okay, just kidding! In December of 2012, in Jacksonville, FL… I graduated from the University of North Florida with my degree in Secondary Education for English, my teaching certificate for English, and an ESOL endorsement.
I promptly got engaged, planned my wedding in the two weeks of Winter Break, and then started my search for a job. We all know your first teaching job is perfect and you stay in it until you retire so I was very sure I was going to land the perfect job.
I had an interview for a part-time position at a school in Jacksonville Beach in my first week of looking. The interview went fine, as far as I can remember. If I am being honest, all I remember is how humid and sticky it was outside, how hard it was to find parking, and how nervous I was waiting to be interviewed after I had just been asked for my hall pass…I did not get the job. They called to tell me that I interviewed well, but they needed a teacher with more experience. Slightly dejected, but trying to put a positive spin on it (I mean, I really would rather have a full time position right?! And the traffic there is pretty rough…) I continued my search for the holy gra…a new job.
I saw a position post for a 6-12 school west of the city. The interview was in the middle of the week and I drove…and drove…and drove until I pulled up to a tiny school in a town with three gas stations, three BBQ restaurants, and not much else. In my interview I was asked:
- How would you handle a classroom of mostly boys?
- How would you approach a class that has had a substitute teacher for five weeks?
- How will you deal with behavior issues in class?
- How could you prepare your classes for FCAT Writing in 13 class periods?
These questions should have given me a hint as to what I was getting into, but, sigh, I was too naive and anxious to process that maybe I was interviewing for a position that was going to be more challenging than I had hoped for. After the tour and a quick pop in to another English classroom, I headed home. It took over an hour to get back to my apartment.
I received a call within a day or so and I was offered the job, starting Monday. I said yes, and began my journey as an English II and English I Honors teacher.
And the rest, as they say, is history (or really just my next blog post!)