Can I play too?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2003
Can I play too?
Fri, 07-09-2004 - 8:18am
Hi! My name is Julie and I teach high school social studies. My path to teaching has been long and winding so I won't bore you with all the details.

I graduated in December 2002. I went to my county's Fall Job Fair and landed two interviews. Nothing came of first. Then, two weeks into the Spring Semester, the Asst. Principal I interviewed with for one school calls me up at my office. I heard the dirt from a friend of mine who teaches at this school and had close contact with one of the social studies teachers. The person the asst. principal wanted to hire was un-hirable according to HR. I got the position. Although I knew it was a terminating contract and there was always a chance I wouldn't be asked back, I did not know that they knew from the get-go that they just needed a warm body for a semester (the teacher who retired returned in the fall in order to collect both his pension and salary).

Anyway, my first teaching experience was not good at all! I made plenty of rookie mistakes...especially with classroom management. I was not at all strong in that area! That would have made the semester rough enough, but to compound that problem I had NO support from the administration. They didn't even let me have access to the building I was in, let alone my classroom, until the morning I started teaching! Good thing I had first period planning! I could go on and on...but I won't!

Anyway, I was able to get a couple of interviews for the fall but nothing panned out. Most high schools in my county switched to the 4x4 block schedule this past year. Because of this, they didn't need as many teachers. On top of that, there are lots of us social studies teachers floating around for some reason. With my measley one semester of experience, I couldn't even get my foot in the door!

I decided to be a SAHM for a year to spend some extra time with my DD, who was having some authority issues at daycare. That worked out pretty well, but I discovered I'm not cut out to be a SAHM! I decided to try a neighboring county. At first I just submitted an application to the central office and just left it at that. In early April I decided to email the principals of the three high schools in this county. I almost immediately received a reply from one indicating that he did need to hire a social studies teacher. I had a great interview. He told me that if I didn't hear from him in two weeks for me to call or email him. I did. He sounded glad to hear from me. There was a big mix-up with paperwork that I won't get into. Finally, in early June (two days before we were leaving for the beach) I called again. He asked if I could come by the next day. I told him I'd have to find child care but he told me not to worry to bring my kids with me! When I got there he told me that he had interviewed a lot of candidates and it had come down to two of us. Then he offered me the position! Hooray!

I'm going to be teaching World History (which I've never taught before) and Civics & Economics (I've taught the Economics part before). If anyone has any good advice on finding lesson plan and/or project ideas for either of these subjects or classroom management in general, please share with me!

If you've read this mini-novel, thank you! I hope to get to know some of my fellow teachers better!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
In reply to: jules9700
Sun, 07-11-2004 - 5:41pm

Congrats, Julie! I'm sure you'll go well. Everyone goes through a lot of learning experiences in the first year or so of teaching.