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Re: [teacherartexchange] The interview

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From: ceastman (ceastman_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 15 2006 - 11:35:56 PDT


hi stacie,
looking for a job is, at the very least, interesting. you learn a LOT
about politics, school districts, and people in general.
i have a few comments regarding your new school situation
1. you can get used to anything. bad or good, you get used to it. i
have worked as an itinerant art teacher in k-6 bldgs for 12 years. i
actually enjoy this because i like getting out and about during the
day. many times i have had a schedule where i had to travel at lunch
time, but even that was ok because i would treat myself to lunch out in
the real world. that helps to relax, clear your mind, and renew for the
p.m. as long as you keep good lesson plans and don't get confused
about what to take with you when you are going to a different school
the next day, it's not a problem. it's also good if your 2 schools are
not a long drive from each other, just in case. you might want to make
that drive at lunch time to see how the traffic patterns are. i also
enjoy getting acquainted with lots of different people. this means i
can identify the ones i'd like to get to know better and not be forced
to spend a lot of time with the "other" kind. however, when you are
itinerant, it is sometimes difficult to feel a part of the group. you
may miss staff meetings, special events, etc. after a couple of weeks,
you will get used to the travel schedule. it isn't that hard to do.

2. benefits and pension are biggies!! this is something you should go
for early on, but also lay plans on your own because both can be pulled
out from under us in bad economies. in michigan, teachers have the
opportunity to "buy years" based on salary. this means that a starting
teacher can buy up to 5 years of retirement credit so would only have
to work 25 years to get 30 years credit and retire 5 years early. the
cost to the teacher is based on her salary at the time of purchase so,
if florida allows this, you should do it right away, cost based on your
starting salary. here in mich, it comes out of your check as an
automatic deduction and is hardly noticeable. sure is noticeable at the
end though!

3. the drive to school is another biggie, especially in light of the
cost of fuel. for half of my teaching years i had a 60 mile commute,
each way and the stress of that had a very definite impact on my
health. now i am 6 miles from school and it's such a relief, especially
when there are evening activities that i'm expected to attend.

odds and ends...if i may ask, why can you only use the kiln after
hours? that seems odd! if you can't access it during school, make sure
it is an automatic (digital) one that you don't have to monitor and
flip switches every hour! that would be a royal pain.
also, you might want to add "putting on 2 art shows" to your "con"
column! ;-))
grades 2-5 will have very few of the attitude and behavior problems you
dealt with at the middle school. this age group of kids is great.

good luck with your decision!
linda in michigan

On Jun 15, 2006, at 12:24 PM, StacieMich@aol.com wrote:

> Well, the interview was a little disappointing. I was so excited
> because I
> heard that it was an "A" school with a great principal. I was excited
> to see
> the art room only to learn that again, there is no art room.
>
> Pros of new school:
> - Ten miles closer and only 1 toll - nice easy drive
> - Full benefits and pension - Public school
> - Teacher's union
> - Ability to work at two "A" schools in a decent area
> - Like the principal
> - Principal promised supplies, said she already spent $4000 in new
> supplies
> for next year
> - Teaching grades 2-5
> - Floating to two different schools may be good for contacts, new
> experiences
> - Principal mentioned interest in murals and school exhibits - could
> be great
> opportunity,
> shows she supports the art program
> - School has a kiln that I would have access to after hours
> - Working with the full time teacher might be a good experience -
> might learn
> a lot
> - This is a way to get into the public school system
> - Possibly better hours - half days that we don't get at the charter
> school
> - All rooms have a sink
>
> Cons of new school:
> - Working two schools might be a little chaotic
> - No room - working from a cart at two schools
> - Not sure how I will like the administration or other teachers
> - Assistant principal gave me a weird vibe
> - Stuck in a 3 year contract once I commit - what if I hate it?
> - I will be and itinerant teacher for the overflow of students...not
> sure how
> this will
> work with the other full-time teachers.
>

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