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Okay, so here’s how I got my first job and how I dealt with the stress/anxiety/craziness.
I got my Master’s Degree in May 2012, and started applying for teaching jobs even before that. I easily applied for probably about 50 jobs just in Orange County (Florida), and only got three call backs. My roommate, who was getting her Elementary Education Master’s degree at the time, was also applying for jobs and having similar bad luck. And this is with a Master’s Degree! Ridiculous.
My first interview was for a high school in a rougher part of town. I live in a major metropolitan area, so there are definitely parts of the city that are less than savory. The school itself had just been rebuilt, but as I was driving to the interview, I was certainly getting nervous about the surrounding area. Like, I was not feeling safe.
I actually used to live near this area at one point, and it was the worst area I’ve ever lived in. I would not go out to the store or to the gas station by myself if it was dark out. There were regular reports of shootings and stabbings in the area. Overall, it was not good.
So, when I arrive at the school itself, it is beautiful and I’m actually sort of excited to have the opportunity to teach somewhere where I’ll be “most needed.” As a new teacher, I knew the probability of me getting hired at a “rougher” school was pretty high, and I looked at it as though it was sort of my duty, or just dues I would have to pay as a new teacher.
This principal, though. Oh, this principal. First of all, she looked like she was out of a 90s rock music video. Bedazzled jeans and giant belt, high black boots, hair frizzed out to there. Apparently, she was a new principle, and she had a very specific view of who she wanted to hire. She went on to pretty much scare the crap out of me about working there — talking about how police and security have to regularly use tazers to break up fights, and how students are forced to the ground and arrested from campus on a daily basis. Then, she basically admitted that she was looking for a bulky, male teacher. That she didn’t think I looked like I could handle it.
Well, after that description, I wasn’t so sure myself. In fact, my boyfriend forbid me from taking the job, even if they offered it to me. He would rather work an extra job than have me working at that school.
Looking back, I’m even more annoyed by this experience, because I have since met a teacher who used to work there. According to her, the kids were really great and she said she wouldn’t consider it any “worse” than the school we currently teach out.
Obviously, I did not get hired.