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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cbetances | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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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. 

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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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.

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beckijsilver | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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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.

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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.
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msmegmaynard | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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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.

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Stephen Holliday | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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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.

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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).

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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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!

 

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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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.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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.

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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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!

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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!

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litlady33 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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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.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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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.

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