First of all, thank you to all 980 or so of you who responded to my post earlier this week about my permanent job offer. I am completely overwhelmed by all the advice I received from fellow teachers and principals in the lead up to my interview, and by all the well wishes I received after being offered the job.
A few people have asked me how long I have been teaching/subbing etc for. I will give a brief synopsis of my teaching story thus far here.
I still cannot believe I have a permanent job really! I mean this is it, what I have been working towards for the past three or four years. I need something new to work towards now, for in the words of Dewey- ‘Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another’.
I trained with Hibernia College. I did English and Law in NUIG as my undergraduate degrees. I had finished my LLB degree and had been offered a place on two masters courses- one in journalism and one in law, technology and governance. The deadline for accepting a place was looming and I didn’t know what to do. In the final hour, I declined both places and sent off my application to Hibernia instead. I was offered a place and began studying with Hibernia in March 2012.
This time last year I was subbing away on a daily basis, and I was delighted with myself. I was working away, mostly in one school, but between three schools altogether. Then, one cold, stormy November morning, I decided to take a day off. I had become very complacent at that stage. I was really happy in the school I was subbing in and hadn’t applied for any jobs which were being advertised. I was planning on subbing for the year in the hope of a job in that school coming up the following year. My sister however, kept texting me urging me to apply for jobs for something more long term.
So to keep her quiet more than anything (Sorry Elaine!) I applied for two jobs that day, one in my current school and one in Blanchardstown. I was offered an interview for both schools. I had the Blanchardstown interview which I didn’t get, so then I absconded and went home because it was coming near Christmas. I received a text a day or two later inviting me to interview in Kilcoskan, and I wasn’t even going to go! I was at home and at that stage I was just tired of interviews. I had no connection with the school and I had never subbed there-so I thought I was just called to make up numbers for interviews. Thankfully, Dad forced me to go up for ‘practice’ – and I did! I think I did a good interview because I was so convinced I wasn’t going to get the job,strangely enough. So that was that, until 11 o’clock that night when I got the phone call offering me the position!
I was exultant at the thought of having my own classroom, it was the best Christmas present ever! It was a truly transcendent time.So one thing led to another, I re-interviewed this summer and was successful. I started this September being so grateful and pleased at the thought of being back in the school for a full academic year. Then this happened! Who would have thought it-from subbing to a permanent job in the space of a year! And funnily enough, it took such persuading for me to move to Dublin. I wanted to stay at home where all the schools knew me, as I thought that was the safer bet. In the end I changed my mind and moved up, and I am so happy I did. I really didn’t like city life at first. I found the schools too big, the traffic too busy, some elements menacing, the list goes on! By Christmas however I had settled in, and now I like it here.
I think finding the right school is so important. I know some of you may roll your eyes or scoff when I say this, but I do enjoy going to work every day, I really do. The possibilities and the stuff you can get done with a group of 21 enthusiastic children is both staggering and spectacular. Maybe I am just spoiled with my lovely class, maybe in ten years I will be sitting here saying I despise teaching and want to do something else, but I sincerely hope not! I do think I am limited in some sense though- for example I don’t know how I would fare in a one on one teaching/learning support role. I just thrive on the energy you get in the classroom- but maybe I would like it. I suppose to be a well rounded teacher you need experience in all areas of the school.
So, if you are subbing at the moment then don’t lament! This time last year that’s exactly what I was doing, while many of my friends had jobs for the year.Now here I am, a permanent fixture in Kilcoskan National School. Remember, circumstances can change over night!