Sunday, December 9, 2012

From Casual Relief Teacher to...?

It's weird how I'll go these long stretches where I think about my blog and how I should post something, but can't think of anything to post because all I've been doing is working and doing laundry and buying groceries. And then something BIG happens in my life and I don't think about my blog at all because my life is in a whirlwind.

That's basically my entire history with this blog summed up. And boy, do I have things to tell you now.

Where did I leave you last...? Oh right, that offer from Warringa Park. Well things kind of got crazy with that in the following weeks. I took a couple weeks to get a better feel for the school. I did more CRT (casual relief teacher) work there, I talked with some teachers about the work and the students, and I really started to feel like I could be a part of the school. I started to feel like I could belong there. And then road block #1 came.

Two weeks after our initial talk, I spoke to the principal again to tell him I was interested in the position we spoke about. Unfortunately, for some reason he thought that I'd told him I wasn't interested. And just before we'd spoken, he'd been in a meeting with a bunch of other CRTs and offered them all jobs. But he said he might still have something for me and to just hang tight and keep coming back to the school.

I went home that night confused and upset and a bit embarrassed. I felt like I'd done something or said something wrong. I wasn't expecting to have the job handed to me if I wanted it, but I also didn't expect it to disappear. I spent the weekend confused and trying to sort out my thoughts through talks with my friends and parents. I decided to speak with the principal again the next week, if I was back at the school, and ask him to clear a few things up for me.

It took a few days for us to connect, but I finally had a quick moment to talk to the principal on the following Friday. (There's something about Fridays it seems.) What he told me was this: He couldn't promise me anything. He told me he was trying to see if they could get me on contract as a full time CRT for the new year, but that he still had to talk to these people and those people and stuff about the budget, etc. It wasn't how I'd pictured the conversation going (in part because we spoke at the door of the sick bay as he mopped up a mess). I was hoping for clarification, not what seemed at this point like empty offers.

Afterwards, I wasn't holding out any kind of hope. I saw my chances of getting contract work for the new year as slim to none. And I was okay with that. That's how I'd started this whole mess, it made sense that I was reverting back. I'd accepted that I'd be coming back to Australia in January to find a part-time job and sit tight until teaching work picked up around April. I'd accepted that I wasn't getting a contract.

And then last week came along. I was booked for the week at Warringa in an early years classroom (I'd been placed in these age groups more often in the previous couple weeks). The assistant principal for early years, the one who oversees everything, is a woman named Ashwini and she had spoken to me on Monday, asking how I liked working in the early years classrooms. Then she mentioned that she might have a position for me for next year, but, to use the principal's words, "couldn't promise me anything." Part of me dared to hope, while another part laughed at the irony. Well guess what happened around midday on Tuesday....?

I got offered a contract position as a classroom teacher in the early years for 2013! And I accepted!

My world sort of blew up on Tuesday and continued to blow for the next two days. I was being shown student profiles and introduced to planning templates and assessment files. I was in new classrooms observing students that I'll be teaching next year. I was meeting with so many helpful and supportive people. And my brain was exploding with information.

And so, my friends and family, starting in January, I'll be teaching 10 special needs students. I'll be setting up my classroom. I'll have two aides. I'll be planning and doing paperwork and working harder than I've ever worked in my entire life.

Good heavens, I am terrified.

And excited.