Category Archives: job hunt

Layoff Notice


Excess teachers—I’m one—must go.

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New Teaching Job Begins Late July


Seven interviews, one offer—I accepted!

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A Half-Dozen Interviews Later…


…still looking for a new classroom.

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My Principal Wants Me to Stay


It will happen in his dreams.

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Eight Applications Later…


No interviews yet, but I’m hopeful!

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If I Were…

If I were going to plead with the seemingly elusive SPED director in a sort-of-nearby school district for a job, this is the e-mail I’d send him:

I sent my resume to you on Monday. (I’ve also attached it to this e-mail.) On Wednesday morning, after I submitted my electronic application, I called your secretary and found out that you are on vacation. If I recall correctly, she said that interviews for the position will not take place for another two weeks.

Because I am interested in teaching in your district, I am worried about the time frame for interviews. I am under contract with another district. Returning teachers report for duty on the 29th of July. Students return on August 4th. If you were available to interview me before the 29th, and if you decided to hire me, I would feel comfortable informing the district that I have taken a new position closer to home. However, I would consider it highly unethical to begin the school year at my present district, receive a job offer from you two or three weeks later, and then walk away from my classroom and my students.

The timing may very well be off for both of us. You’re on vacation, and I’m just days away from beginning a new school year. If that’s the case, then I will check in with you toward the end of the 2009-10 academic year to see what your staffing needs are for 2010-11. I’m patient, and I can certainly wait another year to work in a district that my friend and colleague, Ms. Special Ed Teacher, recommends highly.

I would like to reiterate, however, that I am available for a telephone interview before the 29th, if that works for you. Please, though, don’t feel constrained to give up your precious vacation time for business matters. I know how restorative uninterrupted time away from the desk can be!

Thank you very much for your consideration—and enjoy the rest of your vacation!

As I said, this is the e-mail I would send if I were trying to convince the SPED director to consider my application before July 29th.

But I’m not.

Will It Kill Me?

“Apply now, worry later.”

That was the advice Leesepea gave in response to my wondering if I should apply to a school district that pays more money and is closer to home than the one where I now teach.

Early this morning I submitted my electronic application. I followed up with a phone call to the SPED director’s secretary. She said that the director is on vacation and will be on the road for the next two days. She said that she’ll e-mail him and let him know about my application, but he probably won’t read his e-mails until at least Friday. (What? He has no BlackBerry?) Interviews won’t take place for at least two weeks.

I thanked her and hung up. Then I immediately called my friend who works in that district. “I’m supposed to start at my present school next Wednesday,” I wailed.

“God probably wants you to stay right where you are,” she said.

I don’t know about God, but I do know that the timing seems to be off here. Sure, I could resign my present position before being interviewed by the now-vacationing SPED director—but how stupid would that be? He might not call me for an interview. Even if he does, he might not hire me. Then I’d be jobless.

My wife has another idea: Start at my present district next week. If I land the job in the other district, then give my present district two weeks’ notice and quit.

Honestly, I’m not comfortable with that plan. I can’t imagine getting my classroom ready and teaching my students essential procedures, only to jump ship after two or three weeks. Teachers who do that sort of thing, except in dire emergencies, annoy me, and I don’t want to be numbered among them.

(Last year a teacher was hired to start a reading intervention class at our school. She worked one day, and then quit. The class was staffed by subs for the remainder of the year. The kids suffered.)

There’s a chance that the SPED director will check his e-mail or his text messages tonight or tomorrow night and call me from wherever he is. (C’mon, even if he doesn’t own a BlackBerry he has to be carrying at least a basic cell phone, and if he doesn’t have his laptop along with him, I’d be greatly surprised.) There’s a chance that he’ll interview me on the phone instead of waiting until he gets back from vacation. There’s also a chance that he’ll hire me based on a phone interview.

But I’d be a fool to build my life on chances—especially in this faltering economy. I already have a job. My principal and my students are expecting me to return. Will it kill me to go back for another year?

Should I?

A friend of mine would like for me to teach in her school district. (She actually has the job that was offered to me last year, a job that I, rather foolishly, turned down.) Today my friend volunteered to call the special ed office in my behalf. The SPED secretary remembered my application from last year and told my friend that I should submit my application.

Should I?

The chances of my being offered the job are probably pretty good. The district is located in a small town in what many people would consider to be an undesirable area. (It’s all a matter of perspective.) Many teachers come to interview, look the town over—and go back to wherever they came from as fast as they can. I met the SPED director last year, and we took an instant liking to each other. The fact that he’s willing to consider my application even though I turned down his offer of employment bespeaks his open-mindedness.

But should I apply?

I’d certainly make more money there than at the school I’m contracted to for 2009-10. It’s seven hours closer to my home than my present school (three hours as opposed to ten). And from what I’ve heard from my friend, there’s a good support system in place for teachers, and a great spirit of camaraderie amongst the staff. So it’s tempting to apply.

But should I?

A Matter of Timing

“Things happen for a reason,” a good friend of mine says.

I roll my eyes and reply, “Sometimes it’s not a very damn good reason.”

You’re in the wrong place at the wrong time and—wham!—you get hit by a car driven by a 90-year-old who’s had a heart attack at the wheel.

Or you’re in the right place at the right time, you put a buck in the slot machine and—bingo!—you get a $500 payoff.

It’s all a matter of timing.

I have a feeling that my timing is off for getting the job at the school where I worked two years ago. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on the 24th, but I’m expected to be back on the job at my present school on the 29th.

Things might work out for me to go back to my old school and they might not. I won’t be too upset if they don’t. I have job—and in this faltering economy, a low-paying job is better than no job at all.

Yielding to Temptation

In response to my “Temptation” post, a friend e-mailed:

Wow, now you have choices. I was in that same situation 21 years ago and my way of getting around it was to sign a new contract with the new school (in your case your old one) and then to write a letter of resignation to the current school. I know that may not be the high road, but I was a single parent and could not take a chance on being out of a job. At any rate, here I am, still working at the “new” school. LOL. Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Another friend wrote:

I would proceed until they say yes or no. You have nothing to lose by applying and do not have to sweat the decision until the school decides if you are the right candidate or not.

A third friend weighed in:

At your age (and mine!) if you can make $20,000 more a year, that’s important. I think you should at least APPLY for the job at the old school and see what happens. I would NOT give that advice for some random job that pays better, but if you know this school and they were “good to” you, that’s significant. Then IF they offer it to you, you can make your amends to the current school.

I was about to blow all this friendly advice off, because, after all, I said to myself a couple of months ago that my work isn’t finished at my present school. Then I thought: What the heck! Who knows what’s going to happen? What have you got to lose?

And I submitted my electronic application.