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.
- Get my grades to post on my DARS at ASU and contact my academic advisor
- Get an institutional recommendation (IR) from the Teacher’s College
- 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.
- Take the certification down my the school district office and meet with HR and the sub coordinator.
- 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.