I called the high school and found out heartbreaking news. The principal
told me that the ceramics teacher who was leaving had decided not to leave after
all. He explained that the teacher had put in for a transfer to another
school and had changed his mind for some reason. The principal told me that he had
really wanted to hire me and said that he felt that I was a "real quality
person" and would be an excellent fit in the public school system. Because of
that, he had given my name and a recommendation to that other school who was now
without a ceramics teacher.
That school called me yesterday, and I interviewed today. They offered me a
position on the spot. I was in shock because I explained that I don't have
much ceramics experience. They told me that they need a ceramics teacher this
year but that they are adding more teachers to the art program each year and
that next year I might have the opportunity to work in other areas, such as 2-D
So, here are the big pros:
It is a new and excellent school. It has recently become an IB and magnet
school. They get magnet funding for the arts and have tons of new supplies.
They offer a mentor program and take their teachers on a retreat to a spa, all
expenses paid, before school starts! I would be teaching 9-12 grade ceramics,
using a block schedule. Teacher teach three classes per day (a little shorter
than 90 minutes each) and they get two planning periods. Some teachers may
be given the option to teach an extra period for more compensation. I have
already met the other art teacher before when I did my field observation there,
and he was super cool. I met the director of the Fine Arts Dept., and he
seemed very nice. It is also close to my house, so the drive will be nice and easy
and with no tolls!
I have never taught high school and don't know ceramics!
EEEK! I totally did not expect this offer, and I asked them if I could give
an answer tomorrow morning. I feel like it is a chance of a lifetime, to join
the beginning of a magnet program. I have already called that woman at the
ceramics league and left a message so that I can ask her advice and see if I
can schedule some private lessons NOW! Is this doable? I don't think they had
a ceramics teacher before, so I don't think that I will have to follow in
anyone's footsteps, which is also a good thing.
Here is what I've done so far. I decided to turn down the elementary
position. I have decided that I should take this job or stay at my current school
for one more year. If I take the elementary job, I will be locked in for three
years...possibly on a cart for all three years. If I stay at my current job
in the charter school, I can leave at any time, which means I could try
applying to schools again next year to see if something pans out. OR, I take this
risk and try to learn all I can about ceramics in the next few weeks...do my
best for one year and try to see if I can teach a different curriculum the
following year. Who knows, I might end up loving ceramics.