The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Looking for Work

I did not teach today. Again. But such is the life of a substitute teacher. Some days the schools need more subs than are available, other days not so much. Usually there is something, but there are a lot of us out there, and sometimes we just miss the opportunity. I have had experiences in which I attempted to accept a job assignment, only to find out that someone else clicked the “accept job” link a moment before I did.

* sigh *

With most of the honey-do list from yesterday out of the way, I find that I’m not sure what to do with myself today. I ran some errands, responded to some emails, but I haven’t really accomplished anything. Sure, it is almost 2 pm now, which is when I am typically wrapping up my day, but I hate having days when I don’t accomplish anything.

So I thought I’d make good use of my afternoon by filling out the job applications that I’ve had sitting on my desktop for the past week or so. Except I looked at them closer and realised there was one big catch: most of them are far-removed from where I currently live. And my wife is starting a new job a week from today. Seeing as there is no chance we can afford to pay rent for two places, and the chances of me finding a place to stay free-of-charge are roughly slim-to-none, there doesn’t seem to be much point in applying for any jobs that are more than an hour’s drive or so from Champaign.

I would be thrilled to get a job working full-time in the Champaign area. My teaching certificate is currently valid in Champaign and Ford counties, but I can easily register with a different regional office of education to be qualified to teach elsewhere. But the catch is first finding a job, and then finding a school district willing to take a chance on me. I realise that I am relatively untested when it comes to being an educator. Even though I have been substituting for over two years now, and I have received high praise from teachers throughout the districts in which I work, I am still just a substitute.

I am not giving up hope, though. I love my profession and I love what I do. But there are definitely days when I get tired of looking for work. I have submitted applications for well over 500 teaching positions within the past 5 months. In fact, I have probably applied for closer to 1,000 jobs since July. Of all these applications, only one actually netted an interview. Those are some pretty harsh statistics. But I don’t need dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of interviews. I just need one. And if I don’t get an interview, I will continue to work as a substitute teacher because, let’s face: I’m dang good at what I do.

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