January 29, 2014

That time I got a job based on a first impression…

….with one of the most competitive school districts in the state.

After I decided in August that I was going to be a substitute teacher again, I pulled out all the stops.  I put on a skirt.  I put on heels.  I took a Kindergarten job on the second day of school.  I remember looking at the job on the computer screen.  I had 2 minutes to decide: yes or no.  The clock on Subfinder was actually ticking down.

I took it. Needed to get the year started off right.

You see, I'd applied to the district back in May.  I hadn't heard anything from them.  I wasn't really shocked.  Just deflated.

During my one day in kindergarten, the principal saw me.  She called me brave for taking on kindergartners on the second day of school.  Definitely a good first impression.

I was back 2 days later, subbing in 1st grade.  I went into the office to ask the secretary if she had any other jobs coming up (a tactic the best subs use!).  The principal came out of her office and asked me if I wanted to teach 2nd grade.  The secretary said, "I was just getting ready to ask Mrs. Darhower that."  I said, "Sure!".  She wrote my name down for an interview as the principal referred to me again as the "brave lady who took on kindergarten the first week of school!"

That was a Friday.  The next Wednesday, the district office called to set up my interview (this is a very from-the-top-down district).  I went in on Thursday and interviewed at 8:30am with the principal and assistant principal (another secret: always pick the first interview slot available!).  I was at home by 9:15…the assistant superintendent called by 10:00 to offer me the job.

I was in my new classroom by 11am, rearranging desks.  

The next few days were a blur, but I know they involved a solid day (Friday) of working in the classroom, Saturday I spent shopping for school supplies in Springfield, and Sunday I spent finishing the classroom (Scott helped…then we went to Panera for breakfast…then he decided it'd be wise to invite people over for dinner.  I was freaking out.)

By Monday, I had 22 kids in that classroom.

I've changed my room around a million times since that first week of September, and this is what it looks like now.  I actually shudder when I think of the mis-matched bulletin boards I had going on there for awhile.

So now, it's January and I've finally got my act together.  Nice, right?

Let this be a lesson:  Always make a good first impression!


  1. I once got a job on first impression, too. The black guy who was interviewing me asked me if I was racist in any way....and without really thinking, I responded that I thought everyone has racist tendencies at times. He just looked at me and said, "You're hired." It was so weird...but psh. I'll take it!
    Just for the record, I'm totally not racist. LOL I was studying psychology at the time and I was just speaking my mind on how our brains are wired to think. ;)
    Your classroom looks great. I'm always amazed at the work that goes into them. Creativity, planning, organization- Teachers do so much!

  2. Wow!! That certainly sounds like it was a whirlwind for the beginning of the year!

  3. I love how it all fell into place for you! I wanted to be a teacher very badly, and went through observations and all that, but the four classes I observed, the teachers were awful, miserable people and it made me so sad. That probably sounds dumb, but for what teachers in Florida make, at the time, I made slighlty more and I thought did I really want to finish and owe back to be miserable like these ladies? But any time someone share classroom photos, I get excited like a school nerd. I'm glad your first impression got you the job!

  4. I love this so much! The principal was right--you are BRAVE! And this is exactly what you are meant to do!!! I remember how much you missed teaching and then BOOM: teaching job! I'm so happy that it all worked out for you!

  5. Wow, you really can never predict what's going to happen!

    Amd, um, do you have a student named Maverick?

  6. You go girl - I know you told me this but yay for how fast it happened. I've heard it could go like that. I hope it happens to me this year :)

  7. I once got a teaching job in Winston within an hour of interviewing...and then turned it down. It was good for my ego though ;) Congrats on the job, I am glad you are enjoying it!

  8. I'm a HUGE believer in the power of first impression. You would not believe how many people I've seen interview for jobs in jeans and t-shirts, especially around here.

    You are very brave. I could never be a teacher. I love kids but...a few at a time. ;)

  9. No idea what school you teach at, but my son started Kindergarten at East Elementary. He also we to pre-school there. I don't remember why he didn't go to Freedom, since we lived down the street, but whatever. It's fun to remember.

  10. I'm still so happy that you got this job...even with all of the crazy events that led up to it! Second grade is fun to teach, I think! At least, I liked my experience teaching 2nd grade. :)

    I love your classroom!

  11. I love hearing it went this way for you. We have had su s in our building that want full time jobs but we know after the first day that they will never work full time for us. Your room is so cheery!


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