Candid Teacher's Classroom

The view from the other side of the desk.

It’s Been A Long Time… I Know November 11, 2011

Filed under: education,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 1:28 am

Candid Teacher Admits: I know it’s been a long time. Forgive me please, and let that be a testament to how busy I’ve been and how hard I’ve been working.

I’d like to believe that this year, I’m being a good teacher. Yes, to say that means I haven’t always done my best 100% of the time in the past. Well, that’s true. I haven’t.  Now, I am!
I don’t mean to say I will do my best 100% of the time from now on, though.  I know that sound like a strange thing to admit, but I’m human!  Honestly, who can say they always “feel like” doing work every day and they put in everything they’ve got?  Maybe some superhuman person, but that just isn’t me.  Ah, well.
Anyway, the difference between the past years and now is that I am working with an amazing teacher who teaches Basic Skills – Language Arts Literacy (the same as I do) in the other elementary school in my district.  Having someone who teaches the same thing as me gives me a coworker to bounce ideas off of, discuss issues, and forces me to really make sure I’m doing all I can for these kids.  I’ve never had that before, and it’s absolutely phenomenal!
So, for now it is really quite a good thing and all the positives outweigh the few negatives.  True, sometimes she’s a little bit self serving and too proud of her own achievements. However, since she’s a top-rate educator, I can’t fault her there. Not really, anyway.
Still, it’s such a tough job. Tougher than Kindergarten, but indefinitely better for me, too. It’s actually even better than my last job. The only thing I miss from last year is that I flew under the radar and could do whatever I wanted. Nobody really knew what I was supposed to be doing or what I could be doing better. This year, the district is far more knowledgeable and therefore, I am more accountable. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I didn’t slack off last year and now can fine tune my skills further. All it really means is that now I know someone really is watching me, whereas last year, I knew nobody really was.

Ah well, hopefully this time the hard work will finally pay off and I will get rehired. We’ll see. I have a while before that looms large again.

Candid Teacher.


Day One.. August 30, 2011

Filed under: education,teaching — candidteacher @ 8:18 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: Day one is tomorrow, and I’m already nervous.

Tomorrow is the first day of New Teacher Orientation.  Even though this is my fourth year teaching, I have to attend because I’m new to the district.  I have no problem with that, but I am nervous beyond reason.  It’s silly because I’m not even teaching tomorrow.  I’m probably just going to sit through seminars and maybe participate in a few activities.  In addition to that, I’ve already met a lot of the new teachers and they seem very nice.  It’s silly to feel this way, but I can’t help it.

Hurricane Irene has added to my list of concerns.  Due to the massive flooding & destruction of trees, many of the roads I would usually take to work are impassable.  In the past few times that I’ve gone to work, I’ve made a wrong turn or two each time (I’m hopeless in terms of my sense of direction).  If I’m lucky, it will take an hour and a half instead of the usual hour it takes to get there… but we’ll see.  I have to be there by 8 AM, and I’ve never done this drive so early before, so traffic will also come into play.

Wish me luck!

Candid Teacher


Summer is for… July 11, 2011

Filed under: education,teaching — candidteacher @ 9:49 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: Summer is for relaxing, but I’m antsy!

I’m so “antsy” about my new job.  I know I’m supposed to be relaxing, but I wish I could get a better picture of what I’ll be doing next year.  Next Monday I’ll be meeting with the other Basic Skills Reading teacher, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to prepare myself for the upcoming school year. However, I have a feeling it will end up inducing more stress instead.

You see, right now I feel guilty that I am relaxing instead of preparing.  Luckily, I am able to banish that guilt with the rationale that I cannot prepare yet since I do not have enough information and am not able to set up my classroom until mid-August.  Once I have more information, though, I fear I’ll continue along my lazy summer routine instead of stepping up and getting things ready. Balancing relaxation with the appropriate amount of work is difficult!

This is not even really a true problem, but I’m making it one!  How silly…

Candid Teacher


I’M FREE!!! June 24, 2011

Filed under: education,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 7:56 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I have no regrets; I feel free!!

Today was a highly anticipated day for me (and the entire staff and students) – it was the last day of school until September! Woohoo!  The students, of course, were antsy and unable to be tamed.  The staff was checked out.  And me, well I was thrilled!

Unfortunately, events we look forward to our often a bit of a let down, as it was for metoday.  I’m not sure what I expected, but there just wasn’t any sort of grand goodbye as I drove away from my school for the last time.  I didn’t need a party or confetti or lavish gifts, but some heartfelt words from parents or staff would have been nice.
Though I managed to make one friend who I’ll miss seeing frequently and I’ll always worry about my students, I can’t say I feel as though I’m leaving much behind.

On to bigger and better things, I hope!

Candid Teacher


It’s Official: I’m the luckiest person in the world! June 16, 2011

Filed under: Budget,education,teaching — candidteacher @ 11:23 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I don’t know how it happened, but it’s OK with me.

As you know, I’ve been applying and interviewing for new jobs like crazy since I found out about losing my current job at the end of this school year.  My phone has been ringing constantly and I have been on interviews for 6 different districts.

3 of the districts offered me a job.

Offer 1- Literacy Coach – 1 year position working with teachers (not students) on the implementation of a new reading program.
Offer 2- First grade teacher – Teacher in a very upper class district with a no-nonsense principal; yikes!
Offer 3- Basic Skills Language Arts Literacy Teacher for a K-5 school.

Offer 1 was easy for me to turn down as I stated in a previous entry.  Offer 2 was intimidating in terms of the superintendent, principal, and the large amount of money offered.  Offer 3 was reasonable in monetary terms (though slightly less than Offer 2), and appealing in terms of community, staff, and job type.

The decision required very little thought.  I chose Offer 3.

I am already thrilled with this decision.  The other Basic Skills Language Arts Literacy Teacher has already spoken to me for a great length of time since getting the offer yesterday and has been so kind and welcoming.  I am immensely excited to begin working to set up my classroom over the summer!

Yours with giddiness,
Candid Teacher


2 out of 3? Maybe. June 8, 2011

Filed under: Budget,education,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 9:21 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I think I’m being selfish.

Last week I had 3 interviews. While I should be overjoyed that I’ve been fortunate to get even one interview, I am simply a frazzled mess instead. Perhaps I’m selfish or bratty. Please allow me to explain.

Interview #1– The position is a one-year grant funded position for a Literacy Coach, grades K-2. A Literacy Coach works with teachers and assesses students, but does not run lessons with students. I am a teacher primarily so I can work with students, and this position would put me in the exact same spot as I am now- looking for a new job. This school is 1 hour and 10 minutes West of me in the middle of no where.

Interview #2– I had a “screening” interview 2 weeks ago, a demonstration last week, and have a meeting with the superintendent next week. It is for teaching first grade. If you look back at my previous blogs about HATING being a classroom teacher and the long list of CONS about being a classroom teacher, you will see why this one makes my stomach turn. However, the district is very well-off and I would MOST LIKELY not be subject to lay offs. This school is 1 hour North of me.

Interview #3– I had one interview last week for a Reading Teacher position for a Middle School teacher. While children ages 11-13 (and older) scare the living crap out of me, I’d get to work with students in small groups. That is appealing to me and therefore makes this my first choice. This school is 45 minutes North West of me.

All three commutes are equal or worse than my current commute (goody). Since I haven’t been called for any other interviews (yet, I hope), that’s it for now. Nothing is a “perfect fit”, but beggars can’t be choosers. So here are the results…

-Interview #1 called me today and offered me the job. However, knowing that I am so close to getting the first grade teacher job (a meeting with a superintendent is usually a formality and the principal said, “I look forward to working with you next year”), I turned them down. It felt odd and was a bit upsetting to have to do, but I know I’d be miserable.

-My first choice, Interview #3, called me today and said I was their second choice but they have gone with another candidate. Darn. I asked them to keep me in mind if candidate #1 does not work out. I’d be OK with being second choice, they wouldn’t regret it!

-So, that leaves me with Interview #2, which would mean I’d be teaching first grade. However, this is the best option with the Reading Teacher position no longer available. Oh good grief.

Is it selfish of me to hope for the possibility of another Reading Specialist interview? I KNOW I would be miserable at the Literacy Coach job, but I’m terrified I’ll only be slightly less miserable as a first grade teacher. What am I going to do?

Candid Teacher


Hot, hot, hot! June 1, 2011

Filed under: education,just for fun,teaching — candidteacher @ 8:14 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I like it hot, but this is going overboard.

In both elementary schools that I work in, my “room” used to be a storage closet.  Therefore it has no windows, no ventilation, and no air conditioning.  In addition to being illegal (I believe), it is honestly like being in hell for a few hours.  In one of the schools there is a small fan in the room, and I had a small fan in the other room as well but I had brought it back home for use in my apartment.  Without that, the air simply hangs and is so opressive that it is actually hard to breathe!

It was so bad yesterday afternoon that I had to take my students to the air conditioned (hallelujah!) faculty room for respite from the heat.  I also had to let them have drink breaks every 5-10 minutes.  I like it hot, but even I couldn’t take it.  My students were sweating through their shirts.

As one of my pudgier students said with labored breath, “That fan you had was good.  You should bring that back,”  Such wise words from a very sweaty 8-year-old.  I will heed his advice so that I don’t leave looking like a drowned rat yet again.

Candid Teacher


Four Down, a Lifetime More To Go May 23, 2011

Filed under: Budget,education,teaching — candidteacher @ 6:18 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: While I love interviewing in spurts, I can’t do this for a lifetime.

I’ve been on 3 first and 1 second interview in the past 3 weeks, and I’m already ready to throw in the towel.  I am supposed to hear from the second interview today or tomorrow, and I’ve been on pins & needles since last Thursday. I can’t do this anymore; this stomach in knots, eggs in one basket, hoping for the best, putting my all into one 30 minute meeting… and coming out with nothing. I know I have until tomorrow to hear back from this job, but I’ve already given up hope and am assuming I didn’t get it.  It feels like someone has stolen my joy, my day of happiness.  And it’s not like this is just ANY job, it’s a step in the right direction for me and my whole future.  It makes me feel so out of balance. 

On top of that, my apartment lease is up, of course.   So I need to get a job, find a new place to live or determine if I can stay here, and sort out the rest of my young life as well.   It’s just a repeat of last year.  Happening twice in a row is too much to bare.  Twice in three years of employment is not a good track record.  This “It’s not you, it’s me,” is getting old real fast.  I didn’t think I’d be one of those people who got their self-worth and jobs mixed up.   Well, that just goes to show…
I didn’t think a lot of things would happen.  So far, they all have.

Candid Teacher


I’ll Take Some Blame, But Not All Of It May 3, 2011

Filed under: education,just for fun,teaching — candidteacher @ 8:37 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I’m immature, so I’m the first to laugh at passing gas or a joke about it.  But if you try to blame me when it isn’t my fault, that just isn’t happening.

When I started this blog, I thought I’d tell my point of view (in a candid manner, get it?) but in a “mature” sort of fashion.  Well, that has quickly flown out the window.  In order for me to write about this incident, I don’t have enough composure to get through it without a few giggles.  Here we go.

A few days ago, I was working with my fifth graders.  That day, I only had two present: one girl and one boy.  The girl was sitting next to me and the boy was across from me.  As they were reading, someone very clearly passed gas.  They both froze and so did I- let’s face it, sometimes I forget I’m the adult.  After a moment of impressing myself by not laughing out loud, I said, “Don’t worry about it.  It happens to everyone,” and continued with the lesson.  Dealing with this without letting a chuckle slide through was very difficult, and I silently congratulated myself for this victory.

After a beat, the girl stopped reading mid-sentence to say, “Wait, who was that anyway?”  I wanted to say, “SERIOUSLY? It was YOU and don’t try to blame it on either one of us!!”  In another victory for myself, I pretended to be mature.  The best I could come up with was, “Just let it go.”


While I’m easygoing about this stuff, I will not take the blame for you.  Yes, I know cafeteria lunch can be brutal, but teachers shouldn’t have to suffer for your humility!  Let it go.  Only three people including you witnessed it, so be happy for that.

What would you have done?

Candid Teacher


Interviews, the future, and budgets: oh my! April 28, 2011

Filed under: Budget,education,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 1:00 am

Candid Teacher Admits: There are so many things to be nervous about.

I am a bundle of nerves!!

So much is riding on the budget vote tonight, and I am powerless.  We will see what happens!  And of course, I will keep you posted.

All I know is that school is winding down so quickly, and I am so happy about it!  Summer sunshine, here I come. 🙂

Candid Teacher