Monday, July 2, 2012

Life is happening! - Liz Lemon

Soooo big news… I got a new job for the fall!!!!


Same grade, but this time at an elementary school that’s much MUCH closer to my house.  I can’t tell you how excited I am for September.   I’m already in the process of revising old plans and making new ones.  Nerdy, yes, but there are few things that I enjoy more than planning for a new year- figuring out what’s worked in the past and researching ways to be more effective for the future. 

But my awesome new job is not what this post is about (no matter how awesome and new it is).  Today’s post is about a book recommendation.

A few weeks ago, I was in the car and turned on NPR for company (don’t stop reading yet).  The guest on the program I was listening to was Dr. Meg Jay, a psychiatrist/author of a book called "The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter- and How to Make the Most of Them."  “Hey,” I says to myself, “I’m in my 20s!” I says.  So I listened in a little more attentively than I normally would have and at the risk of exaggerating, it kind of changed my life.  For the immediate future at least. 

(NPR.  "Seems legit," says Scrappy Teacher)

FLASHBACK! Last year, when I was looking for a job, my boyfriend (soon to be husband, whaaaat) told me that I should contact anyone I knew who worked in school systems I was interested in.  I refused.  I felt like that was cheating, that if I couldn’t get a job on my own merits I didn't want it at all.   I wound up employed, but it wasn’t the place for me.  For a variety of reasons, chief of which was distance.  An hour long commute when you’re ALSO running aftercare is a nightmare.  Something had to be sacrificed: school or personal life.  And because I’d die before I cheated a student, it was home life, which wasn't fair to me or my fiancée. 

BACK TO CURRENT TIMES!  I’m listening to NPR and this woman repeats K’s advice exactly.  But she adds that if I don’t make the call, someone else will.  For some reason, that thought never occurred to me before.  Not when K suggested I reach out to contacts, not when my teacher friends agreed.  But now all I could picture was another teacher taking a job I KNEW I was super qualified for while I was lost in a stack of resumes because I was too proud to ask for help.  So I made the call.  And I got brought in for an interview and sample lesson.
And I got the job. 

I couldn't be happier.  I know I have this job on merit- I respect the woman who hired me more than I can possibly convey.  So my advice to you is this, no matter what field you're in: use. your. contacts.  People WANT to help you if they're able to. The more people I tell this story to, the more I stories I hear about others who got their jobs the exact same way. Just no one ever talks about it.

Anyway, I can't recommend this book enough if you're in your 20s.  A lot of material the author discussed pertained to me.  A good deal didn’t (mostly relationship stuff).  But there was not ONE issue she addressed that I haven’t heard someone else my age voice.  So if you have a sec, pick it up.  Very quick read, very insightful.  Part guide book, part reality check, part Grandmother Willow from Disney's Pocahontas.  All worthwhile. 

Scrappy Teacher apologizes for how long this post was and offers you this adorable picture of a former student/current family friend in the middle of an awesome lesson on multiple integers as a consolation prize.

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