From the archives of how I came to be here...
“Hello, Bridgett, come on in. I assume that you were briefed on the job requirements by Sandy?”
“Yes, thanks.” Why am I still here? I don’t want this job. This is an assistant position. I would make zip. I would have to answer to other teachers, people with the same education, and maybe the same experience I have. How demoralizing. But here I stand, well, now I sit, across the desk from Larry Marxen.
His face is lost in a big white beard and I know he has to play some mall santa somewhere. He’s a bit overweight and even though he’s the superintendent, he’s dressed like a football coach in skin tight shorts and a polo shirt. Maybe this is a warning. This district is a little podunky.
“Graduate from SLU. That’s good. Not a lot of experience yet, right?”
“I just graduated.”
He nods and puts the resume down. “You’ll be a floater. We’ve gotten a grant to hire special education floaters. We have an open school environment, without complete walls between the classrooms. Your job would be to stick with a set of students….”
Don’t drift off. Keep smiling and nodding. Special ed? This isn’t for me....But I am so desperate.
“…color coded and filed. Does that make sense?”
“Sure,” I lie. What is color coded and filed? He hasn’t asked me a single question I’ve prepared for. What about my philosophy of teaching? My approach to student needs? My behavioral management plan? What about my goddamned portfolio?
“Do you want to see my portfolio?” I ask when he stops for a breath.
“No, not necessary. This isn’t a creative kind of position.”
I can’t take this job. I can’t make zilch for a whole year following behavior disordered children around on the playground. I can’t do it. I just hope Marilyn from the city calls me back. I yearn for a fourth grade classroom all to myself. Even a third grade one. Whatever. I’ll teach P.E. if they want me to. Just not special education aide. Not for a whole year.
“Is this Bridgett Blake?”
“Yes, well, I’m married now, but that’s me.”
“Is this Bridgett Blake?” the voice demands this time.
“This is Marilyn Jefferson from 911 Locust. You have an appointment with Mr. Poole at Winchester Elementary at 10 this morning. Can you make it at 10?”
“Yes. Thank you so much for getting back to me.”
“Goodbye.” She hangs up. Time to call Mr. Poole. Wait, first I’d better get out of bed and take a shower and drink something so I don’t sound like I just woke up. I have to get this job.