Just so you know, as I typed that title I was singing, ‘where in the world is Carmen Sandiago’ in my head. Just so you know.
A week ago, last Tuesday, June 1st to be precise, I changed jobs. Of course I still teach. Though the context and audience has changed significantly!
I am now teaching French as a 2nd language to students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 at a public school 15 minutes from my home. Oui, c’est vrai.
The decision to change jobs had me torn in a few different pieces. As you know, if you’ve read previous posts of mine, I loved working in the alternative program. I love each and every one of my students – no matter the hard time they may have a given me! There is something special and unique about students between the ages of 15 and 18, those students who have a drive to succeed and need kind, caring adults to help them get there. But I was breaking away bit by bit, traveling up to 3 hours a day tired me OUT and I felt so much less of what I am from the constant exhaustion. My original plan was to find a position for next year. I figured that if I jumped, by giving my principal my notice even before I found a position, that the net would come. Well, I wasn’t quite expecting it to come swooping in so quickly!
I was offered this position to finish the year and potentially continue in the same one next year. I was offered it on a Friday to begin the following Tuesday. That weekend was spent in hibernation mode. I finally decided that since there were 4 class days left and then the exam period at the old school, I could make the break by leaving plans for a substitute teacher for those 4 days and continuing to evaluate the students’ work in order to write their final report cards. It is so difficult to find a teaching position in my area and I finally decided that I needed to get my foot in the door, so to speak, by accepting this position.
I’ve registered for a Teaching French as a 2nd Language (FSL 1) course over the summer. The Ontario College of Teachers is very specific about the qualifications they require for a teacher to teach a specific subject. After this summer I will have the FSL qualification on my teaching certificate and so will be officially qualified to teach French. Apparently that is one of the easiest ways to begin teaching in my school board. Of 35 or so new teaching positions posted last week, 30 were for French positions.
So here I am, starting a new chapter in my professional life. Have you ever been the new teacher in June? Imagine it for a moment….