VA Edtech Journey

…or #vaedtechjourney, as I am known to tag it as on Twitter. The work has begun and been in progress so that next year I can work in Virginia, hopefully doing a very similar job to what I’m doing currently. If not, I will teach, but so far I’m very much focused on a technology type of job.

The first step, of course, is to apply for my Virginia teaching license. At first, it seemed like a lot of paperwork. Before, I hadn’t had to do all of this when applying for my WV teaching license initially because my college’s education department made sure everything was put together and turned in. All I had to really do was give them the check to pay the fee. On top of all of the paperwork, I also had to do a few extra things that Virginia requires and West Virginia does not. I had to register for a CPR/First Aid/AED course, as I hadn’t had my certification since I was in high school. I also had to take a Child Abuse Recognition course.

Slowly I worked through all of the paperwork. The last few things I currently need are a form from the BOE that’s done, but not been picked up, and some of my continuing education transcripts that I have earned. I may not get these, however, as they do not yet put me at Masters + 15 on the pay scale, and won’t make a bit of difference until I have enough hours. My CPR class is scheduled for March 6, and after that, I can turn everything in.

The next thing on my list was to update my resume. Oh boy… I knew this would be an undertaking in and of itself. My resume had not been updated since I first acquired a job in the district, and that was when I first applied to substitute teach at the end of 2008. 8 years is a very long time, but I had only ever worked in my current district, only changing positions as the years went on. Now I was faced with the task of revamping the entire thing. I had to start over because I no longer needed any of the college achievements, clubs, or even my student teaching experience. After some brief searching online, and the help of some posts in the WeAreTeachers Helpline group on Facebook, I had a good idea of what my resume needed to look like. It took a couple of hours, but in the end, I felt that it looked much more professional, and was very much geared to applying for an instructional technology position that I so desired. My biggest hangup was writing the professional development section. I had attended a good many, but more importantly, I had also taught a good many due to my position as a TIS. Instead of listing my important PD that I had attended, I listed the most important PD sessions that I had taught. A big part of being an instructional technology coach is offering professional development sessions, so I wanted to highlight my work in that area.

After that, the next thing on my list is to put together a technology portfolio. Some of the districts I have looked into require it, and others have not mentioned it. I borrowed the template for the portfolio from Prince William County Schools, and started working on it. Some of the things on the list overlapped. So far I’ve been able to complete the sections on my continuing education and the professional development that I have offered. I’m left with doing the sections that showcase student work and lesson plans that I have developed to meet specific standards. This is coming together very slowly, as I am studying the SOLs as I go along. Thankfully, they are very easy to read and understand. They’re also easier to read than West Virginia’s, and seem very much to the point. There’s also the fact that they haven’t changed multiple times in five years, so that’s also good.

All of that leads to me being able to apply for jobs in the state. Up until about a week ago, I hadn’t started applying for anything since my licensure wasn’t even turned in yet. I figured though I might as well go for it because I could mark that I have my out of state license and demonstrate proof. I only had two requirements for jobs I was looking for: it had to be in instructional technology, and I had to be less than 3 hours away from my girlfriend. So far, it’s not been too hard to meet these requirements. Not many counties have posted jobs for next year yet, but of those that have, I have already applied for two jobs in instructional technology. One is in Prince William County district and the other is in Virginia Beach City district. As other districts post their jobs for the coming school year, I’ll be scouring their postings to see if anything in instructional technology is available.

Throughout this whole process, I’ve been very positive, even though next school year is one huge unknown. In some ways it’s scary, but in other ways, it’s not. I’m ready for this adventure, and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got!

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