In June of 2018, I was still searching for a teaching position. My daughter, who I had homeschooled for 6 years, had decided in March that she wanted the adventure of public school, so I went to work on renewing my teaching certificate and immediately started looking for a job.
At first I thought it was going to be easy. There is always talk of teacher shortages, but high school English positions are obviously not in shortage. In our fairly large metro area, there were only 3 or 4 districts posting a need for an English position. I applied everywhere, except in a district I had worked in previously and had decided I did not want to go back to.
However, June rolled around and I still had not even been called for an interview…anywhere. I tentatively looked at the district I was avoiding, and there it was, a “High School English Teacher” vacancy. I applied, begrudgingly. A couple weeks passed, and I hadn’t heard anything. I knew that the school year was quickly approaching, and this position would have to be filled, so I did my least favorite thing and called HR.
The lady I spoke with informed me that the high school position had been filled, but they had left it on the website to drum up interest in a middle school position. I told her that I had middle school certification, and I wouldn’t mind interviewing for that role. She gave me the principal’s information, and I made contact.
I was asked to interview the next day.
When I arrived at the school ten minutes before my interview, there was just one person in the office, and it was not the principal. She told me they would be right with me. My interview time came and went. Fifteen or so minutes after my interview was supposed to start the principal and two assistant principals came into the office and told me they would be right with me. I was less than impressed.
The first words said to me after a brief introduction with the principal and the two assistant principals were, “So this job isn’t for an ELA position. It’s for a special education position.” The principal went on to explain the job, but I had mentally checked out. I had zero interest in teaching special education. I answered each question with 100% honesty and no sugar coating. My interview was between 30-45 minutes, and at the end, the principal asked if I would be willing to chat with the head of the special education department and get a better understanding of the position.
As not to be rude, I said sure.
I called my husband as I was leaving the building, complaining to him what a waste of time it had been, and there was absolutely no way I would be taking this position if they offered it to me.
Then, in all of his calm thoughtfulness, he said, “You might like it.”
The next day I chatted with the head of the department for about 20 minutes. She explained to me the role and what expectations there were for me. After speaking with her, I again called my husband and said, “I think I actually may like this position.”
I called the principal back and said I would be interested in the position if she was offering it to me. By the end of our conversation, I had a job.
Almost two years later, and I am a fully certified special education teacher with a Masters degree in the field as well. Needless to say, I have found my niche in education even if it was in the last place I was expecting.