I couldn’t believe it when I got the call. Although, hopeful and eager, I knew the odds of getting my dream job right out of Teachers’ College was not likely. So, when that call came in for a homeroom class of Grade 1 students in a school close to home, I was ecstatic. That first year was full of learning, not only for my students, but for myself as well. As I settled in, my classroom became my second home. As we know, educators often spend more waking hours at school than at home. And, I loved my job, my students, co-workers and community; I landed my dream job and I wasn’t going ANYWHERE.
Or was I…
I still remember going home so upset that dreadful day in early spring when I received a letter from my school board indicating that I was redundant. What does this mean? Redundant? How did this happen? I thought. I was confused with the process and what it all meant. The staffing process can be overwhelming, confusing and a little bit scary for new and even experienced teachers. Gratefully, my Local was there to support me through the process. If you’re working through the staffing process of your board right now and unsure of anything, remember to reach out to your Local and ask questions.
Since that first year, I experienced many other unplanned changes to my job assignment depending on the needs of the school. One year, as a result of being surplus, I took a junior homeroom teacher position with the hopes of getting back into the primary division, preferring Grade 1. Although initially unwelcomed, that change, among others, opened my eyes to the variety of teaching roles within my board.
Intermediate Student Success Teacher, Music, Physical Education, and Dance teacher, and recently providing preparation coverage/planning time to our Special Education, Self-Contained Classrooms are not roles I ever thought I’d do. Truthfully if some of those initially unwelcomed changes early in my career didn’t happen, who knows if I would have taken those opportunities as they came up. When I started my career I had little interest in teaching anything other than primary homeroom. I certainly didn’t want to work outside a traditional classroom setting.
Experience in different teaching roles throughout my career has allowed me to truly grow and learn as an educator. While the changes, especially early in my career, were hard to accept, I am glad I did and now embrace these changes and challenge myself in learning new roles. In fact, in September I will take on yet a different role within my school and look forward to learning and growing with my students.
If you are new to teaching or have been doing the same thing for years, I encourage you to explore other teaching roles and see what is out there – You might surprise yourself!