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.


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


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


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


Applying… again! April 10, 2011

Filed under: education,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 8:46 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: Though I dislike the tedious process of applying for jobs, I actually secretly enjoy it.  It gives me a high to think, “Who will love me on paper today?’

It’s difficult to apply for jobs and wait, hoping the phone will ring, to find that nobody calls.  However, it’s slightly addicting to get a multitude of phone calls.  It makes me feel wanted, even though it is only on paper.  I enjoy writing and editing resumes and get a kick out of making my skills sound even better than they truly are.  Is that deceitful, or just good marketing?

Oh well, no matter what it is, I do hope I get to go on at least one interview – if only for the thrill of it.  Am I the only one who feels this way?  Though it’s never fun to be without a job (as I’ve found out already!!), it is fun to have the “courtship” of finding one.  And I must say, if I can apply online, it’s even better!  Click, and it’s in… very little effort is required once the application materials are together.  What a beautiful thing.

Candid Teacher


I’m Almost There… March 22, 2011

Filed under: Budget,education,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 10:44 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: This still isn’t quite the right fit.

I’ve been working relatively hard all year. (Yes, I’m being honest.. I know there are things I could have done better or more of.)  It’s been a large challenge to work in every school in the district, despite the fact that it’s a small district.  I feel that working in one school would allow me to do so much more.  However, instead of allowing me to focus on one or two schools next year, my district plans to have me go to the MSHS every day instead of for just one day per week.  This means I will spend 2 days at each elementary school, one full day at the MSHS, and one period per day at the MSHS.

You would think that this would mean I am definitely re-hired for next year.  However, you’d be wrong.  In the “interesting” world of education, nothing is ever certain.  I think I’ll find out by April 15th, but it may not be until May 15th.  Since I cannot wait that long (because I’d miss the prime time to apply for jobs), I will need to send out applications again.  This becomes tricky since I have no new references from this year and I feel like I’m sneaking around and being dishonest.

I do like most of what I do, but it’s just not quite the perfect fit yet.  Who knows if there is such a thing as a perfect job for anyone, but I’m going to keep trying.  I’d like to be a Reading Specialist for one school and see if that allows me to have more of an effect on my students.  Who knows what will happen, but here we go again!

Candid Teacher


Multiple Schools, Multiplied Issues October 24, 2010

Filed under: education,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 4:17 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: It feels like I work for a divorced couple.

Seeing the words “district employee” on my contract felt cool at first.  I felt empowered and important.  I, a 3rd year teacher, had been made responsible for overseeing the reading program for an entire school district. However, now it feels like I work for divorced parents.

Most of my time is spent in the two elementary schools in the district.  2 1/2 days are at one school, 2 1/2 at the other.  When I speak to the principals of the schools, often times they throw in a negative jibe about the other principal.  It’s becoming increasingly difficult to just ignore these comments and change the subject.  In addition, at times I am expected to go to the Middle and High School.  I don’t know how I’m supposed to be in so many places at once, but apparently it’s something I need to figure out how to do.

Though I do not miss my old job whatsoever, this new one comes with a host of its own challenges.  Of course, I anticipated this.  However, I never could have imagined I’d struggle with teachers asking me which school I like better, trying to tell me how to do my job, alienating me from their “cliques”, and parents questioning my credentials.  Ah!

I have not made up my mind about whether or not I like this job yet.  I don’t feel it would be fair to do so after a mere two months.  At the end of the year, I’ll reflect on everything and determine my next move.  No matter what, of course, I hope the district is happy with my performance and invites me back so that I am in control of what I choose to do.

We’ll see!

Candid Teacher


Ah Hah! May 27, 2010

Filed under: education,just for fun,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 10:50 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I like teaching Kindergarten.

This may seem like an odd statement since I’ve taught Kindergarten the past two years.  However, going on interviews for Kindergarten and other grade levels has made me realize that I enjoy the Kindergarten curriculum and child.  I know a piece of that is due to the fact that I’m now comfortable with the curriculum and the expectations of a Kindergarten student, but I also really enjoy teaching social and beginning academic skills.

I get to teach students how to speak at appropriate volumes, make eye contact, use words to problem solve, make and maintain friendships, and help them develop into independent thinkers.  It’s gratifying to know that when they leave my classroom, they will have manners and respect.  (Well, I’ve tried to teach that anyway.  They SHOULD have manners and respect.)

Also, I get to sing and reward them with “dance parties” and stickers, so really, that’s pretty sweet too.

Social skills are so important in their lives now and in their futures in the workplace.  I’m glad I get to play a role in shaping them in that way.


Candid Teacher


Now What? May 25, 2010

Filed under: education,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 8:25 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I’m so lost.

I had 2 interviews today.  One was a second interview for the district I mentioned in a previous post, and another was for a private Kindergarten.

I felt that the Kindergarten interview went very well.  However, the second interview was a mess.  When I entered, I was informed that the air conditioner for the office we were in was too noisy, so they were keeping it off.  It was 90 degrees today.  Let’s suffice to say that I got sweaty fast, and today I had chosen to wear my very baby fine hair that shows sweat quickly down.  So I was hot, insecure about my appearance (red faced, sweaty), and babbling like a fool.  I don’t think I put one coherent sentence together.

I know it’s still early in the game, but now I feel like it’s game over.  It feels as though I blew the only good opportunity I had.  Yes, I feel relatively confident about the Kindergarten interview, but it was for a private school and unfortunately, usually private schools do not pay well.  Who knows, perhaps this will be an exception.

On top of that, while I was being grilled about teaching literacy and math in the second interview, I realized: I don’t actually LIKE teaching content.  I like teaching social skills (which is a LOT of what Kindergarten is).

So now not only did I blow this opportunity, (or at least, I feel pretty certain I did) but I don’t know where to turn from here.  Do I continue applying for teaching jobs, which are few and far between?  Or, do I try to get into doing something else, even though I’m not qualified and there aren’t many jobs available right now?

Yours in turmoil,

Candid Teacher


Don’t Make Me Go Back May 19, 2010

Filed under: education,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 10:59 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I don’t want to go back to teaching my class tomorrow!

I spent yesterday and today meeting the incoming Kindergarten students for the 2010-2011 school year and screening them to see if they were prepared for Kindergarten.  Each assessment takes about 20-30 minutes to administer, and it involves the child completing tasks such as counting, creating & continuing patterns, shape identification, following directions, name writing, cutting, and identifying initial sounds.  Though I know I will not have any of these students next year (which I was relieved about in some cases, but disappointed about for others),  it was a welcome break from the classroom.

Lately, 3 of my students have been driving me up the wall.
Student A: Thrives on NEGATIVE attention.  No matter how much positive attention I slather this child with, he screams, whines, stomps the floor, hits the table, hurts friends, and refuses to work.  I’m at my wits end and am out of resources.  I’ve tried everything I can think of and NOTHING seems to be working.  Even my support team is stumped with him, and his parents don’t want to “suppress” his personality… but it’s not a personality thing at this point- it’s a major disruption!

Student B: Has aspergers.  Without a doubt.  The parents will not admit it and will not get the child the help required.  I need more strategies.  A doctor’s opinion & advice would be so useful, but despite the urging of me and several other staff members, the parents remain in denial and will not take the child to a doctor to learn strategies for meeting their child’s needs.

Student C: Is late nearly every day.  Mom curses at school staff in front of the child, using the “f word”, when forced to sign the child in or is denied breakfast when she rolls in at 9:30 AM (school begins at 8:50).  The recent change in the child’s schedule has caused struggles in the classroom, which mom thinks she has no responsibility to deal with.

So, you can see why after 2 days away from these students, I simply don’t want to go back.  The last 2 days have been peaceful and relatively relaxing.

Adding to this is a slew of (yay!) 3 interviews I have coming up.  One is for a new charter school that will be opening in September 2010.  The principal would like to come into my classroom to observe me.  I am very worried about these students, especially “Student A”, who thrives on attention and pulls out all the terrible stops when a visitor comes in.

Yikes.  I know I’ll get through it, but for now, all I can do is take a big breath and hold it until June 17th, the last day of school.

Then, I will exhale.


Candid Teacher