I've got some subbing under my belt. I've been in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms over the past few weeks. I am scheduled to go to another school tomorrow. I've picked a district that isn't the easiest place to sub in, on purpose because I need practice figuring out how I maintain an orderly classroom. I DO maintain an orderly classroom--I just was having a hard time explaining how I do this. So I've been keeping notes on what I'm doing.
I've assembled, on the computer at least, my portfolio for math and elementary and some for art. Art needs more of my own portfolio, and that will take a little more hustle to get done. I'm pitching myself as an experienced generalist with expertise in art and math. It isn't the typical resume and I have a feeling I won't be teaching at the typical school. In fact, the ideal school in my mind is not what my ideal school would have been when I graduated from college, or, frankly, perhaps anyone's ideal school.
My uncle teaches in the district where I've been subbing and I spent a few minutes with him in the morning before class last week, just to say hi, just to remind him that yes I still need a job and if he knows anyone looking for a math or art teacher, to let me know. He understood when I talked about my ideal school.
I applied for an elementary art position on Thursday through an online clearinghouse system the St. Louis area uses, and the next day it was at the top of the list again. I realized they'd changed the certification from K-9 to K-12. I kind of panicked, and got irritated, because it's an elementary art position. Why would you need K-12? So instead of acting like a stalker and calling their HR department, I emailed the state education office that issued my K-9 certificate. I asked lots of questions. She got back to me within the hour, which was a pleasant shock. She didn't know why they thought they needed K-12, but if I wanted to add high school to my certificate, I did qualify for it.
Yes, she said. It's the same test. It's the teacher's choice to take K-9 or K-12.
So I filled out the form to amend my certificate. And now I'm K-12 art along with 1-8 elementary and 5-9 math.
I've assembled a working wardrobe, separate from my denim and black t-shirt ensembles I've been relying upon. I look like a teacher again.
I know who my greatest influences are. I know my philosophy of education (I'm using a George Orwell quote that Mrs. Slocombe/Peter said about me, back when he was blogging: good prose is like a windowpane, but using it to describe good teaching). I have my sample lessons. I have student work. I have references and letters of recommendation.
Now I just need to prove it.