Over the past year I’ve come to the realization that I want to teach high school biology after graduation.
I learned about a great alternative certification program,the SMART (Science and Math Accelerated Readiness for Teaching) program, offered by Hillsborough County for those with science and math degrees, but without an education major. If accepted, this program pays for the classes necessary to get a professional teaching certification as long as you remain a teacher for three years. It also reimburses you for the test fees at the end of those three years, which isn’t chump change. They also provide a mentor to help new teachers navigate their first years.
For someone who realized late in the game that they wanted to teach high school, it’s a really great program that can help save a lot of money and jump start your teaching career!
Prior to being accepted to the program, interested parties take five pre-service classes in the following topics: Basic Teaching, Classroom Management, Disability Awareness, Pedagogy, and Resume Skills. I decided to get a head start on the classes and take them this semester, even though I was planning on looking for employment for Fall 2015. I wanted to get the ball rolling with the process.
I finished the last of the classes last week (12/10), and they were really great. The instructors were inspiring and informative.
That’s really saying something, considering these classes were six hours in length a piece!
The next step after the classes is a screening interview. I had my screening interview on Wednesday, 12/17, at 8:15 (two days ago) that decided if I would be accepted to the program on Wednesday. The interview went very well, and I was accepted to the program! Yay!
But there’s more!
While in the interview I distributed my resume to all seven interviewers. I wasn’t expecting anything to come from this, because I was looking for Fall employment.
Apparently those in the interview weren’t aware of that, because I received a voice mail at approximately 10:30 from a high school near where I live. They were looking for a biology teacher to teach five periods of Honors Biology and one period of AP Environmental Science. They use a block schedule, which means that I would only be teaching three classes per day, with a different batch of students every other day. They received my resume from one of the interviewees who thought very highly of me during the SMART screening, and they wanted to interview me!
I called back. I let them know that their voice mail was definitely intriguing, because I wasn’t really looking for work quite yet because I was finishing up my doctorate. I admitted I’d love to come talk about the position, but I didn’t want to waste their time with a ‘maybe.’ I left it up to her and her principal if they wanted to schedule the interview.
They did, and we had the interview at 3:20 yesterday. That interview also went well and lasted about an hour. The position sounds fantastic, and their approach to teaching seems to be a good fit with how
I got the call and the offer today.
Holy schnikeys! In January, I’m going to be a high school biology teacher!! And a Ph.D. student!
Things have happened so quickly, I feel a little overwhelmed.
I’m a little worried about some of the logistics of employment, since I’ll have a gap in my pay I’m not really prepared for.
I’m also concerned about getting everything done on both the Ph.D. and the teaching fronts.
But I think it’s going to be Ok. I think I can do it. All of it!
My Ph.D. adviser is supportive and has already offered to help me get a plan together. My committee has already offered their support as well.
I finished my Masters degree while going through a divorce. This will be a different kind of stress, but a much more positive kind. I know I’ll need to take care of myself, because I will be very busy for the next few months.
The next few months will be a test of living daringly. I’ll need to be very honest and patient with myself. I’ll need to make my needs known to my friends and colleagues, which also make.
I’m really proud of this accomplishments for a few different reasons:
- I’m proud that I made the decision that is good for me and my life, instead of what might be good for the short term.
- I’m proud that I’m remaining open to change, even though there are scary things about this change.
- I’m proud that I’m going to be serving the community and the next generation of global citizens.
- I’m proud of all of the things I’ve accomplished that led me to be hired without even looking for a job. (How does that even happen?!)
- I’m proud that I let go of what I thought I should do for a career so that I could find what I was meant to do.
I’ve been feeling like I’m on the right track for awhile now. This feels like a good decision and a good change for me. I’m really excited, and I’m looking forward to starting my career a few months early!