What was your first official teaching position?What was your first official teaching position? How did you find it--word of mouth, job site, etc.?

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first official teaching job was in an "experimental" school.  It was for students in grades seven through nine,  and the students were problematic (juvenile detention, drug issues etc.) .  They "ran" for classes, and all three levels (7th, 8th, 9th) could be in the same class.  Naturally, everyone signed up for classes with their friends, so the classes ended up with all the students who fed off each other in one class.  It was ungraded in that they either passed or failed the class.  We had to write notes to the parents at the end of the term ----in triplicate --- explaining how the students performed. It was a nightmare!!!   Instead of studying social studies, we offered "Knights and Ladies" which was a combination of mythology and medieval history.  One class I taught was "History of France and Germany".   I don't know who thought that one up, but there was NO information on it anywhere, and I had to make up my own materials. We taught six DIFFERENT classes, so preparation was tedious and time-consuming.  The ninth graders taught the seventh graders how to misbehave, and by the time those same seventh graders were ninth graders, they were experts at it, teaching the next set of seventh graders.   The level of performance went straight downhill because the students realized that it didn't matter if they got a 70 or a 90, they would still pass.  The program lasted about five years, but I transferred after three to a more traditional setting.

How did I get this job?  The normal interview process.  It was a small district with only two junior high schools.  My husband was a disabled vet from Vietnam, and the man interviewing me had a son in Vietnam who had recently been injured.  Since my husband was undergoing rehabilitation for his wounds, the man was sympathetic, and it gave me an edge over other applicants.  I do not wish that edge on any other person.  Then again, I hope they never bring this "experimental" program back into the educational system.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am also still at my first teaching job, fifteen years later. I spent twenty years practicing law before I "recovered." There were no jobs available in my county, and I have almost given up hope; but the District next door to the local district called me out of the blue and offered me a position for one semester. It seems they had called the District where I live and asked for a name, and mine was the name given. I had never even considered applying there. The temporary position turned into a full time position, and then to Department Chair, and I have been there ever since. I have no intention of leaving for another position, or even retiring, if I can help it.

This is funny that you consider teaching your "recovery." - my husband looked at law school as his recovery from teaching!

I substitute taught through college but got my first official job as a result of a very active recruitment campaigne by Eckerd Youth Alternatives.  Applied online, had several interviews by phone, then was flown out for a final face-to-face to take a job on the East coast from my home in Washington State.

My first official classroom teaching position then came from searching online for open HS English positions in NC, and instead of completing my application (online with the state), I called individual principals and faxed my resume directly.  Was again hired over the phone.

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I got off to an odd start. I went from college to graduate school, then back to undergraduate classes to get a teaching certification. When it was time to student teach, I contacted the principal of the high school I had attended to see if I could student teach there in the fall semester.

As it happened, a member of the science department had resigned that summer; the school had been unable to hire a replacement, and the principal had convinced the teacher to come back for a couple of months while they continued to try to find someone to fill the position. The teacher had agreed, stipulating that he was done at the end of October, because he was moving his family to a warmer climate.

So I student taught with that teacher for September and October, "student taught" all by myself (the principal would stick his head in the door once or twice a day to see if I was still alive) for the month of November, was paid as a substitute teacher for December while the state processed my certification, and then went on the payroll as a teacher in January. It worked out well - I stayed in that job for 17 years.

beckijsilver eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first teaching position was actually as a substitute teacher while I was still in college.  I took the position to gain some practical experience to add to the information I was learning in my teacher training courses.  The position was at my home town school district and I loved it.  I got the position by walking into the board of education offices and asking what I needed to do to get certified as a substitute.  My first full time teaching position was at an all boys Catholic prep school.  When I applied for the position through a posting in the newspaper, I had never heard of the school before and had no idea that it was such a prestigious school.  I was actually shocked when I was hired almost on the spot during my interview.  I left the position three years later, but it still sits in my mind as being where I truly learned how to teach and how to set my expectations for my students.

Stephen Holliday eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first teaching position was at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, where I taught three sections of English 1A, the basic first-year composition course, and because two of these sections were at 8 am, about half of each class was made up of San Jose State's football players who needed an early class that didn't interfere with their practice schedule.  I was 24 at the time, and I was floored by the size of these guys when I saw them walk into class.  I also assumed jocks like football players were not particularly smart--wrong assumption.  The team's star quarterback showed me his playbook one morning, and it looked like a road map of east Texas--covered with lines going everywhere.  I realized that if these players could memorize their plays, I could teach them to write.

msmegmaynard eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It sounds crazy, but my first official teaching position came from CraigsList. I had graduated in December and was substituting at a local high school, trying to find a job somewhere in Ohio. The problem was that no one was hiring! Finally I started surfing places other than the Ohio Department of Ed. website and found  a post that said "Do you want to teach English in Asia?" I thought to myself, "Heck yes, I do!" and applied. I ended up teaching at an English day camp called Gyeonggi English Village in South Korea. I loved it! My co-teachers were from all over the world, the facilities were amazing, and my students were the light of my life. If I could do it again, I would in a heartbeat.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am also still at my first teaching job, fifteen years later. I spent twenty years practicing law before I "recovered." There were no jobs available in my county, and I have almost given up hope; but the District next door to the local district called me out of the blue and offered me a position for one semester. It seems they had called the District where I live and asked for a name, and mine was the name given. I had never even considered applying there. The temporary position turned into a full time position, and then to Department Chair, and I have been there ever since. I have no intention of leaving for another position, or even retiring, if I can help it.

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I first taught in Waegwan, South Korea for an English Institute. When I was in college, I had a Korean roommate, and she told me about the many positions available to teach English as a second language in Korea. I wanted to live in a foreign country and experience another culture; so I looked into positions posted at my university's career placement office and pursued the job in Korea. I went right after I graduated with my bachelor's and would not trade the experience for anything. It solidified that I wanted to earn a master's degree and provided me with the opportunity to teach all age groups (kindergarten through adults).

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since I couldn't find a job immediately after graduation from college, I became a substitute teacher for a year. It was great on-the-job training, and it was interesting trying to control high school kids who knew that I was only a few years older than them. Taking early morning phone calls, rushing to new schools whose location were a mystery, and trying to keep control of a classroom with no lesson plans left by the absentee teacher still managed to convince me that I really did want to become a teacher.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Depends on what counts as an official position.  I taught a few classes (not as a TA but as the main instructor) when I was in graduate school.

In terms of high school teaching, my first job came about through word of mouth.  I had just gotten done student teaching and a principal at a very small district near where I live asked the HR person at the district where I student taught if she could recommend anyone for a vacancy they had.  She recommended me.  That's how things go in a small town...

cbetances eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The same one I have now! And I wouldn't have it any other way. I teach at Coral Gables Senior High School in Coral Gables, FL. I have 9th grade English and the Creative Writing classes as my preps. In the beginning I taught general level and ESE. My second year I was given all honors level classes, which continued until this year. Now I am teaching pre-IB gifted and I love it!! This is my 5th year at my school and despite many of the issues, it is still the place I want to be most. 

pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I was very, very lucky.  I student taught at my current school during the fall semester.  At the time, the school was on the block schedule, so in the spring, after I had graduated, they had an opening.  Overcrowding in the 9th grade forced them to hire a new teacher.  I was all too willing to be that teacher.  The next year a teacher left, so I was asked to stay on the staff.  Ten years later, I'm amazed at all lucky I was and excited that I am still there!


stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Recruiters for the New South Wales, Australia (schools are run by the state in Australia) were touring education departments in the Midwest looking for teachers who wanted an adventure. I interviewed as a lark - most relaxed interview I've ever done because I didn't expect anything to come of it!

To my amazement, they sent me a contract - at which point it stopped being a joke.  Teaching kindergarten in Australia was quite a beginning to my career!

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first official position involved being one of a number of teaching assistants  (or "preceptors") for a very large lecture class. I met with out 12 students twice a week; on the third day they heard the professor's lecture. It was a great introduction to teaching because of the small class size and the motivated students. It helped convince that I had indeed chosen the right profession. I have loved being a teacher ever since.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first teaching position came from a referral. A local university needed a professor to teach Latin. I believe the original professor was on maternity leave. So, my department chair asked if any graduate students were willing. I took the job. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed the teaching. This also proved to be a great benefit, because it helped me get my second job, not to mention the experience.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first teaching job is my only teaching job. I was hired because I had a dual degree in English and Social Studies and that is exactly what they were looking for -- pure luck on my part, but the decision to take the job has made all the difference in my life. I enjoyed being a part of that staff from the very start; I met my future husband there, and I can honestly say that the last 22 years have gone by fast!

litlady33 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first teaching position was as a Teaching Assistant at the school where I student taught. That turned into a part-time teaching job, which turned into a full-time temporary job, which gave me the experience to get the job in the district where I currently teach. It's important to be willing to take the small low-payig jobs because they are usually the ones that lead to the full-time jobs.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first job was at a newly opened alternative school. My job was to "teach" kids who had been suspended from regular school settings long-term. Sometimes there would be 30 of them in a room with 25 desks. A trial by fire if there ever was one. I only did it for half of a school year, when I applied for, and received a normal full-time teaching position.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I found my first teaching position on my state's Bureau of Education page. Luckily, the principal I had subbed for knew the hiring principal and put in a referral for me. The year after I graduated though, I put out over 20 resumes and nothing. So, luck played a large part of my first job.

wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Besides the usual freshman English classes in grad school, my first full professor level was a sabbatical replacement appointment found by my graduate school office. It strengthened my c.v. For my next appointment, tenure track.
buster101 | Student

My first teaching position was as a substitute for a special ed. teacher.  After a couple of weeks, I was hired to replace her to finish out the school year.   The principal liked what I was doing and hired me back the next year as a 4th grade regular ed. teacher.  I've been in the same school for 13 years now, enjoying every day.

wanderista | Student

My first student position was at a Steiner education styled school, until Year 3, where I went to a private school in regional Australia.

carsonjason64 | Student

My first teaching position was really a great experienced for me and I must say that teaching is one of the most wonderful profession you could do.


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rochellerhea | Student

My first teaching position was in 6th grade at a Catholic School.  (the same one I'm at now).  I did an application through their district and my resume was sent to all of the principals.  I recieved about 5 or 6 calls from various principals wanting to interview me.  Since I was fresh out of college, I accepted the first position offered to me.  I've loved the school and administration ever since.  (which is why I'm still here.)

bhawanipur | Student

Addition to post #31

I have forgot to mention about my first official teaching position. I joined a private college which was later on provincialised by the government. I was appointed as Lecturer in the Department of English.

jenniferjcthompson | Student

Hello everyone, in retrospect, my first teaching occupation was in 1987 with the completion of my Social Science degree.I was appointed to teach or instruct learners in (RSA) grades 8-10  (Std 6-8) - at an established school with established and very experienced educators within turbulent political times.My love for teaching continues to exist and advance.

The disadvantages of the political instabilities in my country then created unachievers whom I believe would have succeeded beyond their immediate circumstances(marginal and disadvantaged) societies if our national context were different.We lost many capable learners to varied and not necessarily suited activities and occupations.

I (5ft 4 inch) remember being intimidated daunted by the height of learners (tallness) who repeated grades willing themselves to succeed.Politics destroyed opportunities such as these as well.The Lord bless you.Jennifer

mkirkman | Student

My first teaching position was at a private Armenian school in the Los Angeles area. I had graduated from UCLA two years earlier and was desperately looking for a teaching position, but it took a lot of time, energy and effort to finally find what I wanted. I came across an advertisement on Craigslist one day. I was a little skeptical, but I sent them my resume and got a call for an interview the next day. I had three interviews in one day and was hired about a month later. I stayed at that school for six years. Now I am at a different Armenian school and am the English department chair.

taraechave | Student
What was your first official teaching position?

What was your first official teaching position? How did you find it--word of mouth, job site, etc.?

I had to teach out of my content area my first year, but it got my foot in the door.  After ten years, I am now at my dream job.  Hey, you have to work your way up.

bhawanipur | Student

Since my childhood, I wanted to be a teacher. My father was a school teacher and probably it was a kind of inspiration to me. Unfortunately, after completion of my 12 standard, I joined Air Force and worked there for 13 years. While working in Air Force, I completed my graduation and post graduation in Political Science and English literature privately. This helped me to resign from Air Force and joined a Private college for a few months. It helped me a lot and gained me experience. Then I joined a Government college in 1996 and since then I have been working here. But the thing is that our college is situated in extreme rural area where most of the students are afraid of English as I hail from a non English speaking country. Our students consider it a subject and not a language and feels as if it is imposed on them unnecessarily. Students organizations are putting pressure to teach in vernacular language.

The very first day, I was very scared to go to the class room. I have tried to make the language interesting among students and now we have some offering honours in English.

florine | Student

 I got my first teaching job as a French assistant teacher in England for a year when I was twenty years old. I was but only a few years older than the high school kids I was expected to teach. It was quite fun and I just had to teach small groups, which was, most of the time, quite rewarding. On the whole, it was really an enriching experience that I would recommend to any young student.

 For my first teaching job in France a few years later, although I had always lived in Paris, even as a full-fledged qualified teacher, I had to teach in the north of France, in Amiens, which involved a four hour and a half drive (by train) every day as I didn't want to move to Amiens and 38 pupils for one of the two classes I taught.  Can you imagine how I felt when I saw them entering the classroom for my first lesson! Anyway, I haven't given up teaching for all that matter and I even confess to enjoying doing so...

paulbunyan | Student

My first job was at a low achieving elementary school in a 35 year old gang neighborhood.  Of course I did not know that at the time nor would it have kept me from accepting the job had I known.

I was given the keys to a third grade classroom that was comprised of 32 English language learners.  In the interview the principal asked me if I was bilingual and I said "Yes." That was the end of the interview.  That placement was the beginning of a profession that encouraged me to become a teacher researcher and that is what I am still doing almost thirteen years later.  I now teach at a comprehensive 2600 student high school in the same neighborhood.  I have never looked back. My work as a teacher is my life passion.  Every day is new and exciting, what more could one ask for?

mshvinh | Student

I got my first teaching job while I was completing my teaching credential.  It was my first teaching interview ever, and I ended up at a school in South Los Angeles.  I taught 7th and 8th grade middle school English and ESL.  It was a valuable learning experience teaching middle school students.  The first semester was a breeze, but the second semester was a challenge.  Now, I've found my love of teaching as a high school English teacher.

najm1947 | Student

I had a passion for teaching since I was a boy and when I was a college student, my Maths professor asked me to go for teaching. I told him that I shall be a teacher when I earn my enginnering degree. In the end of final year at Engineering College - University of Peshawar (now UET-NWFP, Pakistan), I was asked to join the college as a lecturer. This was based on my participation in the class discussions and academic performance. I was also introduced to the junior classses in the college as their future teacher. On completion of my studies in the engineering college, I formally applied for the post of Lecturer in the college and started teaching the subject "Production Engineering" in the same college on Jan. 8, 1971.

It was a subject of my choice and I had prepared for it during summer vacations through practical training in various factories and corporations for more than 6 months. 4-month practical training was a pre-requisit to earn the engineering degree. Thus I prepared for a teaching job and achieved the goal.

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