First, let me start with some background. I graduated college with my elementary education degree in 3 years. Typically, the program takes 4 but I wanted to be done with college. I went to my advisor after my first semester and I asked her how I could graduate in as little time as possible. We created a plan that included taking classes all year round. I was taking 6-8 classes each semester while everyone else was taking 4 or 5. I took summer classes and winter classes and I just did not stop. When graduation day came last May I was so relieved to finally be finished. I had worked my butt off and I was so proud of my accomplishment. I was so excited and I felt ready to start my career.
Prior to graduation, I knew that I was going to move to San Diego. In April, I began applying for jobs in all of the different districts in the area. I moved in August and about two days after school started last year, I realized that getting a teaching job was not going to happen. I applied to so many different school districts but there weren't many jobs out there. Feeling defeated, I applied to be a substitute in the Poway Unified School District. I began substitute teaching in September of last year and it ended up being a great opportunity. I'm extremely thankful for my year as a substitute teacher because it gave me a chance to experience the different grade levels. Prior to subbing, I thought I would always want to teach elementary school. However, last school year I had two long term sub jobs at different middle schools and I absolutely loved it. I had a great time and found that middle school was where I "fit" the best. I related with the students in a way that I hadn't been able to before and I just loved going to work. Substituting also gave me a chance to try different classroom management strategies and to see how other teachers ran their own classrooms. I was able to make contacts with principals and the administrative staff. Overall, it felt like a really productive year where I learned what kind of teacher I wanted to be.
This year, I started applying for jobs in Poway Unified and all over San Diego to be a full-time teacher. I had made many contacts in the Poway District and at the start of summer, I felt hopeful. Unfortunately, school started a week ago and I am still without a teaching job. Just like last year, there just aren't jobs available. It's a huge let down. I graduated over a year ago and I can't seem to find a job in my field. It makes all of my hard work seem pointless. I know many people in different fields of work have found themselves in a similar predicament. It's so easy to feel sad and discouraged about it but I'm choosing to look at things in a different light. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Looking back at my life, I can usually see why things have happened the way that they have. Right now, I don't know exactly why I'm not meant to have a teaching job but I know there's a reason. Maybe it's because I'm not prepared enough or maybe its just because it's just not my time yet. Whatever the case may be, I'm confident that something great is bound to come out of this. So for now, I'll spend the next year working on my teaching skills through substituting and I won't get down about not having my own classroom. Instead, I will try to touch the lives of the students that I do get to be with, even if its only for a day at a time.
Do you have a similar experience to share? I would love to hear from you!