Sunday, May 11, 2014

Proud to be a Shirley Hills Mustang!

After putting together my application for Georgia licensure and several 10-hour road trips to Warner Robins for the recruitment fair and follow-up visits to schools, I was selected for four interviews during Spring Break. What wonderful timing! I was able to go home for Easter and then drove down that Tuesday for interviews on Wednesday and Thursday.

I scheduled my interviews in the order I would accept them should I be so lucky as to get a job offer.  Padre said I needed to accept the first job I was offered or I may be sorry down the road if  I didn't get another. I completely agreed.

Wednesday afternoon I headed to Shirley Hills Elementary for my interview. The interview was set up in two parts: (1) working with a few groups of kindergarten students and (2) the formal interview.  I met with the principal, the assistant principal of instruction, the instructional coach, and a member of the staff and went into one of the kindergarten classrooms.  

The teacher handed me a paper showing her student groups and what level the students were reading on. I was blown away. Not only are most of her students reading on a level E-F with the highest group on an I, but the students were working silently at their desks and knew exactly what was expected of them. Nobody was getting up to go to the bathroom or wandering around the classroom.  Nobody was sitting staring off into space or playing drums with their pencils.  There's a paraeducator in every kindergarten classroom! (Well, Spotsylvania is probably the exception there in not having one, but still, it's exciting for me since I've never had regular assistance in the classroom!)

Anyway, I did my small-group lesson with the kids and then watched the kindergarten teacher do a reading mini-lesson. Again, the kids sat motionless. No squirming on the carpet. I literally thought to myself how is no one moving right now?! How are they all being so statuesque? But they were. Each and every one of them was sitting, listening quietly and following directions as the teacher gave them.  It was incredible.

Anyway, after a little more interaction with the students one-on-one, it was time to go to the office for my formal interview. Sometimes I think I am terrible at interviews. I literally get so excited to talk about what I have to say that I hardly leave room for questions. I just show everything I've got and talk about what I've done in the classroom and experiences I've learned from.... and nearly twenty minutes later I'm apologizing, realizing I've only been asked one question.  Terrible.

When I got to the end of the question(s) and had shared everything I was able to fit in one tote, Dr. Jackson (the principal) asked me if I was planning on driving back to Georgia the following morning.  I told her that I had three more interviews scheduled but that I'd be leaving after those.

And then she said, 
"You don't have to go to those if you don't want to." 

My thought process: What? Did I just get offered a job in Houston County?!

I asked for clarification. "Are you offering me the job? In KINDERGARTEN?!"
She said yes, and made sure kindergarten is where I wanted to be. I said of course! Yayayayayayyyyyy!

We went back and I got to meet my new team.  The ladies I will have the fortune to work with next year seem amazing. They are welcoming and funny. As for the teacher whose classroom I was in at the beginning of the interview... she will be retiring. Hence the open kindergarten slot. When she found out I got the job, she said congratulations and "honey, you just died and went to heaven here."
I am beyond excited to be a new member of the team at Shirley Hills Elementary.

But to the staff, students and families of Spotswood Elementary, I will miss you greatly and I hope each of you stay in touch.  

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