My story is an interesting journey where it allowed me to work in many districts and gain insight into the various curriculums, which then helped me develop a wide-range of strategies that become very useful in my classroom. When I gradated from obtaining my Masters in Education, I went straight into the field that October of 2015. I took over a maternity leave replacement (6th grade: Math 6 and Pre-Algebra) and once that position ended in April 2015, I took on another maternity leave replacement in May 2015 (6th grade: Math 6 & Basic Skills). I was asked to come back that September to finish the leave replacement, but with much guidance provided by the principal (shout out to an amazing principal that retired in 2018 and from whom I learned so much from in two months), I applied elsewhere. With his help, I landed another maternity leave replacement that started in September 2016 (8th Grade: Algebra and Math Workshop). When that ended in February of 2017, I was hired for another leave replacement position to finish out the year (6th Grade Math 6 and 7th Grade Math 7).
So… four districts in two years all at the middle school level, mind you I obtained my Masters in Education focusing on Elementary Education K-6. Long story short, in September of 2017 I was hired for a full-time position at the original district I started in, but different building where I taught 7th grade: Algebra I Part 1 and Pre-Algebra. I resigned in 2022 from that position after earning tenure. Sometimes tenure is used as golden cuffs, and it then becomes difficult to leave; however, I needed to put my health and mental health first.
In 2022, I signed a full-time contract with an independent school where authenticity and genuine passion for teaching has been fostered and encouraged. I am the middle school math teacher and from year to year, the grades and courses I teach can vary: 6th grade Math6, 7th grade Pre-Algebra (two levels*), or 8th grade Algebra (three levels*). *Levels vary regarding challenges, application, pacing, and independence, not concepts.
Every single district had a different schedule set-up.
Over 33 interviews in 30 different districts in 2.5 years
Worked in 5 different districts
With 6 different school schedules
Teaching 7 different curriculums
Using 9 different textbooks
And I don’t regret a bit of it. Yes, it took a while to find a permanent job and even with that, I am still finding my footing (as I said: I am a forever learner). No, I did not give up. Yes, I was picky. Yes, insight into the different districts (even economically) weighed in on this goal.
You’re not only being interviewed for a job, but you are also interviewing them to see if you would want to work there and determine if it is a good fit for you. It goes both ways.
Because of my experience, I started creating resources, mainly for Algebra and Pre-Algebra. Since each of these courses are taught at different grade levels around the world and the foundational concepts do not change, my resources can be used for over a wide-range of grade levels. My hope is to bring the math and non-math minds together to help better educate our future leaders. I mean…I majored in English Literature and like I said, I now teach Math because I obtained licenses in Elementary Education K-6, Middle School Mathematics 6-8, Pre-school through Third grade, Special Education, and Education Technology.
Currently, I am pursuing my Doctorate in Education, Culture, and Society. I passed my Qualifying exams, and passed my Dissertation Proposal. It’s time to begin the actual data collection for this dissertation and shed a light on voices that have been silenced, especially in educational institutions.
You never know where life will take you.