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I've been offered a full-time job


Deb in NZ
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I've been working as a relief (substitute) teacher for the past 7 years.  On Friday one of the schools I teach at offered me a full-time position.  I had a feeling that this might be offered as it is a very small school with a growing roll, but I didn't think they could get a new teacher approved by the MoE so fast.  This school is a small Christian school, currently a one teacher full primary (ages 5-12) in one classroom.  They have 5 more students that have indicated they want to transfer to this school in the next fortnight.  The teaching principal told me on Friday that as soon as they have "bums on seats" they can open a second classroom.  I have been her #1 relief teacher since she began at the school in January, even though I am not a member of their church, I am her first choice.  I am quite interested in accepting the job, but it's been over 25 years since I last taught full-time.  I'd love to hear how others found going back to teaching full-time after years off raising kids & homeschooling.  Dh is supportive, but isn't pushing me to accept if I don't want it.

 

Some background info.  I would be the teacher of the senior class (Years 4-8, ages 8-turning 13).  I would have 16 students, with 2 of those students new enrolments I haven't yet met.  The five year 4 students are quite low, but the other students are on grade level for the most part.  Three of the students head off to high school after this year & one heads off to another school for middle school.  The school had a complete change of staff in January when it again dropped from two teachers to one teaching principal due to drop in numbers.  This teacher has worked very hard to bring up the standard of teaching & encourage new enrolments.  There is a part-time teacher who teaches one day a week, allowing the teaching principal to focus on principal duties.  There is a teachers aide, who also cleans the school.  I think she'd continue to work with the junior class, but as the student she was hired to work with left the school a couple months back, she may be asked to take a cut in hours as no new students have funding for teacher aide hours.  

 

The school is fairly well resourced & has a beautiful outdoor play area with a big field, playground, tennis court, gardens, etc.  The technology isn't new, but is less than 6 years old.  There is about 10 desktop computers running Chrome boxes, 2-3 old windows laptops, & a couple iPads to share between the classes.  The furniture in the junior class is about 3 years old, but the senior class has very little as they had a cleanup of really old gear when the school dropped to one teacher the end of last year.  The principal has told the board that new furniture & a few new computers are necessary for reopening the senior class.  

 

I've been jotting down a few ideas of draft timetables, wish lists for furniture, & general questions to ask the principal when I see her Monday  afternoon.  I am teaching for her both Monday & Tuesday, so will hopefully get to see more info on the level of the class, something I didn't need when working as a relief teacher.  What sort of things would you suggest I ask, that I may not have thought of at this point?  I am thinking of using the Daily 5 / Daily 3 to organise my literacy & numeracy programs.  This would give me time to see all the students daily for both literacy & numeracy.  The afternoons would be used to cover music, art, PE, & unit studies.  MLE (modern learning environments) are all the rage here in NZ, with all new builds & renovations moving toward that style of classroom set-up.  I'm not sure that that would be good for this small class, but desks in rows may not suit as well.  How are classrooms where you re at set up?  What do you see as pros & cons of that set-up?

 

TIA,

Edited by Deb in NZ
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Congratulations. Could you explain briefly what is meant by Modern Learning Environment?  Also, I am not understanding Daily5/daily3 and by literacy=do you mean literature, reading skills, writing, spelling, grammar - all of those or just focusing on teaching to read because here literacy would really imply remedial or maybe initial work with someone who can't read. And numeracy means math but again, is it basic or remedial skills or all types of math topics.  Numeracy here would imply just things like the addition, subtraction, etc. and not anything like geometry even simple geometry like shape names.

 

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.  I am quite interested in accepting the job, but it's been over 25 years since I last taught full-time.  I'd love to hear how others found going back to teaching full-time after years off raising kids & homeschooling.  Dh is supportive, but isn't pushing me to accept if I don't want it.

 

 

 

Congratulations!

 

I just did it last year.  I was home for 11 years raising kids and helping my special needs (Autism) child.  He is doing well now and I have felt like I could go back to work.  So, last year I went back to the school system (public) and got a job.  The first job I got back was not my first choice, but I took it to get my foot in the door.  This coming year I will be back in the counseling office, where I want to be.

 

It was HARD for a while.  I was exhausted and we often either got pre-made type meals or quick meals for dinner.  DH and the kids helped too.  My house was often quite messy, again, I got help from people as I could.

 

Just know that it will take a lot out of you in the beginning and plan for things at home not to run as smoothly as they have in the past and suck it up for a while.

 

I am now planning to work until retirement.  I also will be using my salary to pay for college for the kids.  It was necessary for me to go back to work for ME.....I love working and even a couple of friend commented recently that I seem much more grounded and happy.  Yup, I am happy working.  

Edited by DawnM
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Congratulations!

 

I think that you should go for it! It will take some time to adjust, but it could really be a great situation for you at this stage of your life.

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That's such an unusual teaching environment for this day and age. It will really help that you've been substituting, so you have a handle on how it flows.

 

I don't think I can give you much practical help, but I do think you should totally go for it. Have fun! You'll learn so much this year. I think it will be great.

 

 

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Here literacy means reading, writing, spelling and grammar. Numeracy involves all math areas including a big focus on mathematical language and word problems . Nothing remedial about either term I wasn't awear that those terms were not used in USA.

 

 

Congratulations. I have only substituted so no advice. Most schools in my area are small schools as well.

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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Here literacy means reading, writing, spelling and grammar. Numeracy involves all math areas including a big focus on mathematical language and word problems . Nothing remedial about either term I wasn't awear that those terms were not used in USA.

 

 

Congratulations. I have only substituted so no advice. Most schools in my area are small schools as well.

 

As a high school teacher in the U.S., I can tell you that we use the word literacy the same way you do.  The Common Core standards (the closest thing we have to national standards) have literacy standards for K - 12th grade.  

 

Numeracy is a word I'd think of as "teacher speak".  I knew what she meant, but in the U.S., I'd expect to hear the word "math".  

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Literacy = all aspects of reading, writing, listening, & speaking

Numeracy = all aspects of maths, including arithmetic, measurement, geometry, algebra & statistics

MLE = Modern Learning Environment, usually characterised by a large variety of tables (of different heights) chairs, beanbags, couches, stools, etc. in the room where students choose where they want to work & they have some choice in what order they want to work.  Much of the work is done cooperatively & technology is utilised whenever possible.

Daily 5/ Daily 3 = a way of organising how literacy & numercy are presented.  Student choice is key to this working.

 

After spending the past two days in this school, I now am much more aware of the wide range of abilities I will have in one class.  One of my students is still struggling to sound out basic CVC words & others are working at a fluent level that has them working at a level where they will enter high school in February prepared to succeed.  I have decided not to try to implement Daily 5/Daily 3 at this point as most of the students don't have the skills necessary to work to a high standard when choice is given.  Instead I think a set rotation for literacy before snack time will allow me to spend 20 minutes each with 5 groups.  When not working with me the groups will be rotated through 4 stations (writing, word study, SSR, & Reading Eggs / STEPS WEB on the computer).  After snack I have an hour for maths.  I will either do 3 groups of 20 minutes each (teacher time, book work,  & Mathletics on the computer) or 4 groups of 15 minutes each (adding in manipulative games/play with the other 3 stations)  How the abilities looks best to divide will determine how many groups I have.  Afternoons will be used to cover all other subjects.  It's just beginning to dawn on me how big a job I've taken on.  Luckily for me there's only dh & I at home most days, so meals will be as simple as necessary.  Housework is hit or miss as we are still in the mist of major home renovations.  

 

 

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Congratulations. Could you explain briefly what is meant by Modern Learning Environment? Also, I am not understanding Daily5/daily3 and by literacy=do you mean literature, reading skills, writing, spelling, grammar - all of those or just focusing on teaching to read because here literacy would really imply remedial or maybe initial work with someone who can't read. And numeracy means math but again, is it basic or remedial skills or all types of math topics. Numeracy here would imply just things like the addition, subtraction, etc. and not anything like geometry even simple geometry like shape names.

Modern Learning Environments are a bit like barn raised chickens using kids. You still have 1 teacher to 30 kids but you sort of mash them together so you get have 90 kids with 3 teachers. I have sensory sensitive kids and it is a nightmare. Also it seems to decrease personal responsibility in some teachers. A lot of people love it but I am not a fan. I rather like my kids to form a relationship with their teacher and actually receive instruction.

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