becoming a teacher, pt 1

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 theĀ 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!)


young white woman with chin length blonde hair, wearing navy blue graduation robe, next to older white male with brown hair in pale blue shirt. Both smiling.
Dad and me at pre-graduation ceremony breakfast.

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