Saturday, May 24, 2014

Post Grad Life: Week 1

Well it's been just over a week since I graduated last Thursday.  I still can't believe I wont be going back to school in the fall.  After 16 years of school its hard to imagine being done.  So what have I been up to in the first week of my post grad life? Well I had two interviews with two different school districts, I had a demo lesson for one of those two districts (Out of 50 applicants, I was 1 of the 3 who made it to demo lessons) I had to brag a little bit because later that day I got a call from the district saying they picked another candidate because they have a couple of years of experience (not fair! I just graduated!) So that's about it on the job front right now, still no job and I'm clearly not happy about it either.  Everyone says it will come though so I just need to be patient. 

During the time of all of these interviews and demo lessons, I also got pretty sick.  I think all the adrenaline fro student teaching, senior week, and graduation finally wore off and my immune system was just shot.  I think my body just needed so rest.  Unfortunately for about a week I had a pretty bad cold that just wouldn't give up.  Thankfully I think my body has made a full recovery. 

In other news, the lease on my college house is up at the end of May so I've been spending a lot of time getting all the crap out of that house.  I'm amazed at how much I was able to fit into my room in the house.  It definitely wasn't a huge room but I made it work.

I hate moving! Here's the last pile of stuff that I moved out of the house today.  My mom and I moved out a ton of clothing and school supplies last weekend.  I spent a lot of time organizing and finding places for all of that stuff in my room throughout the week.  In addition to everything you see here, my car still needs to be unpacked, and my dresser, desk, bookshelf, and bed aren't even in the picture! There is so much stuff I don't even know what to do with it all! My main task this upcoming week will be to find a place for all of this stuff!

Finally, I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend! I know I am.  Barbeques for days... and birthdays.. because my birthday is on Tuesday!!! I'm going to be 22 :) 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Graduation and Interview Tips

I did it! I am officially done with my undergraduate college career and I could not be happier or more scared! I graduated this past Thursday, my department ceremony in the morning and the entire school ceremony in the evening.

Waking up Thursday morning for my 9am ceremony was a struggle! My college hosts a senior week for the 3 days prior to graduation.  Essentially we all move back into our freshman dorms (aka twin beds, communal showers and bathrooms, and eating in a dining hall).  Thankfully it was only 3 days! During senior week the college buses all of the students to a bunch of places.  This year we went to a bar, a nightclub, and the boardwalk as well as many events held on campus.  We were basically busy from 9am, all day until 2am.  Needless to say there was little time to sleep during those 3 days.  Oh and our guest speaker... you may know him from Breaking Bad... Rj Mitte.  He gave a great speech and even stayed after at our senior picnic to talk and take pictures. 

I unfortunately did not get a picture with him because I was too busy eating, riding a mechanical bull (23 seconds..woo!!), and running through inflatable obstacle courses. It was a blast.

Anyways.. getting off track.  I cannot believe I have finally graduated and am looking for a job! It has certainly been an eventful experience so far.   I've already had five interviews and I have another one tomorrow.  Of the five I have had, I made it to the final round of two of them but I didn't get either job unfortunately.  Finding a teaching job is tough!  I'm still waiting to hear back from two of them though so hopefully I'll be getting called soon.  This whole process is so stressful... the interviews and demo lessons, and worst of all, waiting for the call to hear if you've made it to the next round!

Although I've only had 5 interviews, I'm starting to get the hang of how these interviews work.  I get asked the same questions all the time.  When I walked into my fifth interview I wasn't even nervous like I had been for the others (you know when you get really hot, your face turns red, and you have butterflies in your stomach because your so nervous... yea that was me).  Thankfully I'm past those nerves now.

Now, so this post isn't all pointless ramblings from me, here are some things I have found most helpful in the interviewing process so far.

1. Always, always, always arrive at least 20 minutes early! I always want to be in the building 10 minutes before my scheduled interview so I always plan to arrive 20 minutes early so that I can sit in the car and now feel rushed when going in.  

2. Research the district... and the school.  I always look at the mission statement, diversity of students, academic achievement, and anything else I can find that may be beneficial to know about the school.  That way I can answer questions in a way that matches with the school and its students.

3. Practice your responses to the most commonly asked questions, Why did you decide to teach?  If I walked into your classroom on any given day what would I see? How do you handle discipline problems?   Examples of how you differentiate?

4.  To help with #3 make a portfolio and make the categories big buzz words that way when they ask you about something you can just open up to that topic and have multiple examples to show.

My categories are labeled cooperative learning, differentiation, assessment, behavior management, and technology.  These are the topics I get asked about the most.  This is also extremely helpful if I ever blank on what to say because then I just turn to the category and I have examples of things to talk about.

5. Be yourself! Don't try to put on a show for the interviewer.  They want to see the real you. If you have a good sense of humor show them! If your more calm or serious show them that! They want to see your passion for teaching and for the students, not if you can put on an act to please them.. so relax and just be yourself!

Hopefully these tips will help out anyone who is starting their job search like I am and please if you have any more tips feel free to share them in the comments, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Long Break is Finally Over!

So I'm back... finally! I took a long break during my student teaching because the amount of work I was doing for student teaching and for my capstone was completely unbearable by itself! There was absolutely no way I could do all of that and still find time to blog about everything unfortunately.  I have missed this place though and I'm glad to finally be back.  I have tons and tons of stuff I want to talk about.. mostly teaching related since the past 4 months have been nothing but teaching!

Also.. on a super exciting side note.. I'm graduating college in 9 days!!! I cannot believe the day has finally come and I am feeling so many different emotions!  I'm so happy and relieved I'm done with all my classes and I have no more finals to take... ever!!! Well.. until I decide to go to grad school. But I'm also super nervous about getting a job! I've already met with two superintendents and I'm waiting to hear back from one of them to see if I got the job (I didn't get the first one... I got beaten out by someone with real teaching experience). This is such an exciting time in my life and its also a super anxious and nerve-wracking time because I'm basically figuring out what I'm doing for the rest of my life!

Anyways... that's some of the big stuff coming up along with soo much more!  I can't wait to tell you all about it! I'll be getting to all of that soon enough, there will be plenty of posts to come!

I would like to write posts that people want to actual read though.. so if you are a soon to be student teacher / math teacher and there's something you'd like me to write about (lessons, classroom management, behavior management, anything at all) let me know!

If you are graduating this semester please share! I'd love to hear about where your graduating from and what you'll be doing next!

Also anyone else who would like to see me write about something else.. college, graduating, whatever.. let me know, I'd love to share!

I'll be looking forward to your comments and suggestions.  Stop by soon to hear all about what I've been up to :)

In the mean time... you can check out my final capstone project that I presented last night here.

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