job hunt

My #vaedtechjourney is Over!

As I sit here writing this, I find myself in a brand new district already starting a brand new school year. I didn’t get the chance to really provide any more updates after that last #vaedtechjourney post, but now I can, and this will be the final update about it as well.

The last time I updated about my journey was in the beginning of May. Oh man was I still pretty optimistic then. I was getting interviews pretty regularly, mostly for ITRT work in VA, but in the end I would never end up selected as the final choice for the district or city I applied to. Quite frankly, it really sucked. I even began heavily applying to districts just as a teacher, but I found out that was apparently even harder, at least in the districts I did apply to. One particular district never netted a single interview at all, even though I applied for over 10 different teaching positions.

Desperation set in, and come June after school was over, I would always attend every interview in person. I figured it would help me have a better chance to snag a position if I could speak to the staff in person and they could see me. The end of June came and I still had no luck, just random interviews every now and then.

Eventually, I got so bummed out that I started applying to other positions in my home district, just so I would be able to be at a different school or doing a different position at least. I did net an interview there, but I wasn’t hired for that position either. I was gearing up to simply accept that I would be in my old district in the same position that they had relegated me to teach.

Immediately after I found out that I did not get the position in my home district, I received a call to come interview with Fluvanna County, VA for an ITRT position. I knew it was probably my last shot, as it was July 6, and my deadline to resign from my contract in my old district was July 15. Like I had done with all of the other recent interviews, I drove 3 hours to complete the interview. I was asked the usual questions, by now having had the chance to really deliver some great answers. At the end I was able to ask questions, and that’s when I really brought in my coding and TIS extra stuff. It seemed to really pique the interest of the staff, and I went home that day feeling good, although uncertain. I had learned that just because I felt good about an interview didn’t usually amount to much for me. I had also been the first applicant interviewed for the day, and was told there were about 5 others being interviewed that day as well. They would have a decision by Friday of that week.

Color me shocked when that very same afternoon I received a phone call with a job offer. I immediately accepted and was very, very giddy. There was so much to do! I had to move and I had to get an apartment and so much more! Plus it was my busy month, with vacation, followed by a conference, followed by a training. I was to start the 28th for new teacher orientation. I knew it was going to be a stressful couple of months for me, but I was just happy to have a job and be able to do the job I loved so well. That day I immediately secured my apartment.

It’s now August and over a month since I accepted my new position. I’m in my new district and part of the Flucos family. I’m going to be doing instructional technology with the middle school and high school. A new state means new standards to learn, and I’m also working with a new level, so that’s going to be a new challenge in itself. However, I’m excited and eager to learn and do my very best for the teachers that I am now working
with. The first year in a new position is always the hardest, but at least it’s a position I am familiar with.

Therefore, I happily declare my #vaedtechjourney to be at an end, for now. I shall retire the hashtag until I need it again in the future, if I ever do.

#vaedtechjourney Update

I have put off doing this update, for I had hoped I would have had something more to say by now. Unfortunately, I haven’t, but thought I should give an update anyway.

As I’ve stated before, I am moving this summer to Virginia. I wish to pursue a career in instructional technology, which I cannot have currently with my current district. Budgets were cut, and I was moved to the classroom again for the upcoming school year. I know that instructional technology is my true passion. Virginia was an easy pick at the time because it was better pay, and there were many places I would like to explore and live.
During that time I also grew closer to my girlfriend, who lives in Virginia, and then at the beginning of this month she proposed to me, and we are to be married in the fall of 2017.

Because I do not like to put all of my eggs in one basket, I haven’t resigned from my intended position for next year, “just in case”. I don’t want to be foolish and resign, only to find myself not receiving any kind of position in VA for next school year. I know this scenario would be unlikely, but really don’t want to chance it.

In the meantime, I have applied to many different counties in Virginia, most within a range of 2 hours or less from Richmond. In some cases, I never heard back from the county at all whether or not I was accepted to be interviewed. Some counties were very good about sending an email when I wasn’t selected for an interview. Though a bit of a sting, I know I can’t win them all, and was glad for the notice so I could mark the position off of my list.

Other times, I was able to receive an interview with the district. I’ve interviewed for one position that I didn’t apply for, and 3 other positions that I did. The first big interview I had for a position I wanted was nearly in the bag. Both my screening and in person interview had gone well, and it would be left up to the staff to leave their impression of
me. I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks, and then I was told that at the last minute an internal applicant had applied and would be interviewed. I knew the process and waited patiently. I received an odd email a few days later that said there was something important with me to discuss. It was as I, and many others suspected- the internal applicant received the position, but I was being offered something else. However, I wasn’t certified for that position, and only wanted due to my technology skills. I declined and cross that district off my list.

After that district, I had two more interviews. Both interviews were for instructional technology positions. The one district wanted me to do the combined job of a TIS and TSS. In other words, help with instructional technology and be the one to help fix technology if things go wrong. The TIS side was a no brainer and easy for me. The TSS side, not so
much. I don’t know how to do what a TSS does, but would be more than happy to learn, which I made clear in my interview. I didn’t have a good feeling after that one though, and yesterday I received the rejection letter by snail mail telling me so. The other district I interviewed with went fantastically. I nailed every bit of my interview and was very pleased with myself afterwards. I still am because I know I did very well on all of the questions asked of me. Unfortunately, I received an email a couple of days ago that said another applicant had been chosen instead. Kudos to them because I know they’ll get to
work with some fantastic people.

This past weekend, I took to searching for jobs again, as it had been a few weeks, and I hoped that other counties would have posted some new positions. I was lucky to find that two counties had instructional technology positions that had not been there before, and sent off applications to them. I then searched jobs again the day I received the rejection email, and applied to four of them. None of these were instructional technology, but near where I wanted to live, and I thought I might be able to use them to get my foot in the door. I figured it would be worth a shot. Finally, yesterday, I sat down and applied to three more jobs, all instructional technology related. As far as I know, I’ve found all the current positions that I can apply for and have.

Today I received an email to set up a screening interview for one of the positions that I applied to over the weekend. I have emailed back, and am just awaiting a set of potential times to complete the interview. I’m happy to get something, and hope that things do go well in the end. Of course, one never knows, which is why I keep at it.

I have never had to play the job game like this before. When I was first hired to teach, I had moved back home after college and begansubbing in the district. I finished up the one school year, and started the next with a long-term position. I was hired in September of that year, and though I ended up receiving a couple of RIF letters, I always had a position
the next year. I’m now at the point in my career where there will always be a place in the district here for me as long as I am teaching here and am doing well. I got lucky in that respect.

I’m now learning that it takes hard work and a lot of luck to get where I want. I’m still not sure where I’ll end up. I’ve been using the hashtag #vaedtechjourney on Twitter to document my job hunt, and it is interesting to look back over my tweets. Even though my work so far hasn’t landed me a job, I’m still positive that I can find something. I have to be. When the time is right, I’ll end up in the position I need to be in. Of course, it is hard to be patient because I’d like to know where I’ll end up this summer and what my future holds. If you’re like me and still waiting to find something, I wish you the best of luck!

Added later: After I wrote this post up, I received another email to set up an interview with a different county. It was for the other position that I had applied for over the weekend. I was very shocked to get an interview for both so quickly. One interview is tomorrow morning, and the other will be Monday morning.