Going Through the Steps

So, my last official day of student teaching was this past Tuesday. It’s the proverbial end of the road. But I’m looking for ways to make that road a little longer, maybe even into a bridge.

About four months ago, I walked into a seemingly innocent history classroom in an East Valley school. I started semi-teaching right away, and a week later I was full-time: five hours, two classes, one prep, and about one hundred ninety-two students. I went from mentor teacher to substitute teacher to mentor substitute. And it’s been very up-and-down, very back-and-forth. It’s been one of the most stressful, frustrating, and difficult situations I’ve ever been in, but at the same time one of the most fun, most rewarding, and most exciting.

And I want to finish off the year. Virtually everyone has been telling me to bail at the end. It’s too tough of a job to be working for free, it’s too thankless of a job to be volunteering. But my annoyingly bleeding heart wanted to stay just to see the year through with my students. So, I convinced myself to stay the week and work things out. The past week has been full of scrambling, and I have spent a lot of time on my phone and writing e-mails. But, Friday came and went and I’m not going to be teaching until I’m working.

So, Operation Teach Again is already crawling forwards. As of the beginning of the week I was on the cusp of getting emergency certification to teach the rest of the year. But, as the week got started I swung by the district office and with a bit of a hop in my step. My hopes were dashed when I found out that my efforts were in vain: no emergency certification for me. But, before the day was over I was charting course for a substitute certification. For the rest of the week I was making calls to ASU’s Teacher’s College and the Arizona Department of Education, and I’ve drafted a to-do list.

  1. Get my grades to post on my DARS at ASU and contact my academic advisor
  2. Get an institutional recommendation (IR) from the Teacher’s College
  3. Take the IR down to ADE in Phoenix and fill out a substitute certification application. Supposedly I’ll walk out with it the same day.
  4. Take the certification down my the school district office and meet with HR and the sub coordinator.
  5. Start subbing!

Step one is done, and hopefully I’ll be getting my IR on Monday. We’ll see. As soon as I get it I should be able to burn through this list and move forwards. Meanwhile, my mentor/sub is going home to Kentucky this week, so there will be a substitute in the classroom anyways. It’s possible that the sub will be guaranteed the job for the week, so I might have to wait in the wings. Either way, I’m hopeful that I’ll be wheedling my way back into my classroom.


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