My Unusual Journey to a Full-Time Teaching Position

My journey to becoming a full-time teacher wasn’t easy. It started in 2011 when I began teaching pre-k. Then, at the beginning of 2012, I became a substitute teacher. I joined the Teachers Pay Teachers community in 2013. It was the week before I got married. And the week before that, we bought a house. My dreams were coming to fruition. But, one dream was still left unfilled. At that time, I had been substitute teaching for over a year in hopes that I would soon find my “forever classroom”.

As we settled into our home and married life, the next year brought three more long-term positions–but no luck.  The sting of rejection didn’t seem to hurt as much that school year as I was creating resources. Teachers all over the world were using things I made! How cool! Not only that, but the teachers I filled in for were using them, too!  There was no greater feeling than seeing my products being used by teachers I admired (and envied) as they were living my dream.  Their support encouraged me that someday it would all work out.

{seeing my products in use by other teachers = greatest feeling ever!!}

During the summer of 2014, I interviewed eight times for the district where I had been a faithful substitute for over two years.  Each time, I shared my passion and excitement for teaching and learning.  I also shared my journey on TPT and the resources I was so proud of. Each time, I faced rejection.

{a life goal list I made a long time ago…I found it last year. It was a reminder that things don’t always go as planned}

I reached out to fellow TPTers and I had a few reach out to me.  The conversation was consistent: how to keep going? I entered the 2014-15 school year with high hopes despite the rough summer.  I got a call the day before teachers returned for PD about filling in for a 2nd grade teacher.  I, of course, said yes.

{my first school picture as a 2nd grade long term substitute}

That next day, the keynote speaker for opening day was Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis.  If you don’t recognize her name, you will recognize her story.  She was the 1st grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary who protected her students by locking them and herself in the bathroom of her classroom.  Her room was 10 feet away from where the shooting started.

I anticipated her presentation to be, without a doubt, very sad and upsetting, yet her message was one of hope and choice.  We cannot control what happens to us but we can control how we react.  Her story really put everything into perspective. My issue paled in comparison. I took her message and chose to stay positive.  Something would happen soon.

Around the same time, I had interviewed for a cyber school position.  It wasn’t until my long-term position in 2nd ended that I was offered the job teaching Kindergarten at a public cyber school.  It wasn’t my top choice but it was a job so I was thankful. It would provide me the opportunity to go back to school and start a family.  It didn’t take long until I found myself in a Master’s program for reading and expecting our first child, a baby boy.

Life was coming together but there was still a yearning to be a classroom teacher.  Working with students virtually wasn’t fulfilling my heart’s passion.  Eight months pregnant in July, I went to my one and only interview of the summer.  I went out on a limb and put my blog button and link to my store in my resume.  When I arrived at the interview, I was greeted by the principal who asked “Are you The Sassy Sub?”

“Wow! They have checked me out!” I thought. As I walked into the room, another principal asked me a few questions about information she had read on my blog. I immediately felt like these were educators who ‘got me’.  And I was right.  I was offered a full-time contract position in 2nd grade! Needless to say, I am over the moon with excitement.

I knew right away it would be a challenge setting up a classroom and starting the year out 8 1/2-9 months pregnant but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Life just works out that way.  I have reached my goal. I owe it to the amazing TPT community, which has lifted me up, driven and focused through this journey.  I knew one day all of the hard work would pay off.  And that’s what kept me going.

Learn more about my passion for teaching: About Me

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