Friday, August 12, 2016

Too Old, Too Expensive at 37

Too Old, Too Expensive at 37!
photo of moving

I have had a BIG summer!  
My family and I moved across country back to where my husband and I are from.  Or at least the same state that we are from, but a different part of the state than when we grew up.  My husband was away for most of last year working in Alabama and then being transferred to good ole state of Ohio.  
photo of ohio

He had been wanting to be back in Ohio since we moved to Florida 12 years ago.  He wanted to be closer to his family.  I wouldn't leave my job in the middle of the year (I couldn't do that to my students) to move with him to Alabama so he went by himself and tried it out first.  We also didn't want to move our own family until we found a great school because my son was in an accelerated first grade class.  It was great that he did it by himself first because he realized that Alabama just wasn't where he wanted to be. 

Photo of Florida

Then an opportunity came open in Ohio and he jumped at the chance to be back in Ohio.  We had discussed and discussed what to do.  We decided in order for us to all be a family we needed to be together, not states away from each other.  So, when my school year ended at my amazing school that I had been at for 11 years, I packed up my classroom.  Well, technicially I packed and packed and packed up my classroom.  (Who knew how much a person could accumulate throughout a teaching career.)  I was excited for a new adventure but also scared for a new adventure. 
Photo of sad smiley
 Also, emotional leaving everything I had known the last 12 years of my life.  Sad about leaving my friends and my school family.  Sad about knowing where everything is and going to somewhere where I had to learn everything.  

photo of family picture
it was going to be worth it because we all could be together.  We thought I would have no problem finding a teaching position.  We found a house in an amazing district.  One of the top districts in the state.  I knew it would be a great education for my little smarty.  So summer came and we packed up and moved. 
The moving company we hired was HORRIBLE.  Do not EVER hire Interstate Relocation Systems.  They are complete liars and scam artists.  They estimated how much we had by half of what we had.  We ended up having to get another truck and they charged us double the amount they originally quoted.  They packed our things too.  Although it was more like they just threw everything into a box as quick as they could.  They switched the date our truck load was to arrive after asking us numerous times when we wanted it delivered.  So we had to hurry and drive up from Florida to Ohio very quickly than we originally were going to.  We made it to our new house and the next day the big truck arrived.  The crew on the truck was great however NOT ALL OF OUR STUFF WAS ON THE TRUCK!  Yep, that is right.  We didn't get everything.  We were missing pieces from every single room.  We were then told after we paid that all of our stuff wasn't on the truck and that it would be here tomorrow.  That was another lie.  When they didn't show up the next day we started calling the company to see where our stuff was.  They kept giving excuses.  Finally 3 weeks later we got the rest of our stuff.  After unpacking, we learned just how they packed our precious possessions by throwing them into the boxes.  Things got broken, bent, cracked, and were missing. 
Photo of Moving picturesPhoto of Moving pictures
Photo of Moving pictures
 This company is the worst ever!  This made the trip moving horrible.  However, we finally got our things and would move on.  We were never happier after getting all of our items.  When you feel so powerless and then get your stuff, it is an amazing feeling.  Interstate Relocation Systems is HORRIBLE!!  Please do not use them!! Don't believe their lies.

photo of moving truck
I began unpacking and checking all the websites I could find about teaching positions.  I looked numerous times a day and if I thought I could teach it, I would apply.  I actually started looking back in March when we figured out we would be moving but now since I was back in Ohio, with an Ohio address, I thought I may have more luck.  

I began thinking that I must have filled out something wrong on the paperwork.  I wasn't getting one phone call for an interview.  I had heard a rumor that tons of people apply to these jobs.  I began thinking, what could I do to stand out because my resume wasn't standing out for some reason.  (Still not for sure why? 14 years experience, Masters in Reading, National Board Certified, great references).  What else could I do?

Finally at the beginning of August (remember I starting applying in March) I started getting phone calls for interviews.  I had a total of 5 interviews.  
1) Intervention Specialist: I walked into the interview and right out of it because I wasn't qualified to teach in that position.  The position I thought it was, it wasn't.  
2) 3rd grade: They wanted me to teach a lesson to a group of people.  Yes that was a first interview.  Then after researching and coming up with what I thought was a great lesson, they gave me homework.  An introduction letter that I would give if I got the job.

3) A kindergarten: 40 minutes away at a neighboring district.

4) 3rd grade: Right in the town I live in.

5) Kindergarten and/or 3rd grade: 15-20 minutes away.

It has been 12 years since I have had to interview.  I was SO extremely nervous for each one knowing my career depended on it.  I walked away from each one knowing I gave it my all and thought they all went really well.  I was able to answer all the questions they had for me and felt good about my answers.  Some of the interviews were 50 minutes long!  I really thought, why would someone talk to me that long if they weren't interested AND because all the schools are getting ready to begin the year and they don't have time to by just talking.

Then the disappointment, frustration, feeling defeating, and feeling worthless came!
photo of broken heart

1) No Offer but I knew that because I wasn't qualified for this position.

2) They called and said they went with someone else.  I was appreciative because they actually let me know with a phone call and I didn't have to wonder.

3) Still haven't heard from this school.  I am sure they filled the position but I wasn't notified.  I felt this interview went SO well.  I know tons about kindergarten and technology.

4) I received a letter saying they thought I did a great job on my interview and they loved that I had experience and my knowledge, however they went with someone that was more qualified for their school.
(Huh,  someone has more qualifications than me?  That is awesome, however I know that to be false.  The person they hired had been an intern with no other experience.  So they liked my experience but then why didn't they hire me???  A new person over someone with experience?  Do you see why I didn't get it?!

5) I received a phone call after going to a second interview with the assistant superintendent that I didn't get the kindergarten position.  That is what the principal decided to have me and another person go to the super to decide.  I guess that is how it works here.  You meet with the principal and then they send their top two choices to the superintendent.  I had thought my interview with the principal went so well.  Again I felt better with interviewing and felt like I really knew the answers to the questions and really gave him a glimpse of how I taught.  I felt the same way when I interviewed with the assistant superintendent.  I thought it went well and I brought a lot to the position.  With my knowledge of the grade level, my experience within that grade, and my knowledge of incorporating technology, I thought I rocked that interview.
photo of broken heart
Then I got the call.  I didn't get it.  Again?!!  I know I am a good teacher (although after getting turned down and not getting interviews you start questioning yourself) and I can't find a job.  No one wants me.  I don't understand.  I asked him why I didn't get it and he said again they felt like the other person was a better fit.  Talking more to the principal I found out the person who got the position had subbed there.  The principal then offered me a long term subbing job.  I thought it was interesting that I couldn't get my own classroom but I was okay to be a sub in a classroom.  After considering it knowing it would help get me in the door we realized that after paying for daycare I would still owe daycare $80 more than what I was making.  It wasn't financially feasible. 

I have been a teacher for 14 years of my life.  My dream job!  I've had my own classroom since I graduated school.  I have always had a teacher's salary and then to go down to a sub pay is hurtful!

why is it that I can't seem to find a job?

photo of my classroom

School is starting Monday here and I still have nothing.  Some other schools around have already begun.  I have been so upset by this.  I see everyone working on their own classrooms and this is my first year not having my own.  I am beyond frustrated.  I went to college and got my degree to be a teacher!  I have been a teacher for 14 years!!  I have a Master's in Reading and I am National Board Certified and I am typing this blog post as the teachers all around me are on a work day.  I don't understand?  Did I do something wrong?  Why can't I find a job?

I had heard a rumor that Ohio doesn't hire teachers over 5 years experience.  Oh look!!  That is me!!  So far that rumor is completely true!

All the teacher's that got the jobs over me were first year teachers.  They get paid a lot lower than what I should be getting paid.

Photo of money sign

new vs. experience

I understand we were all new at one time.  But I also understand what having experience in this profession does.  Why is experience a bad thing?

Our education system rather pay a lower salary than pay someone with experience.  This is just wrong!!  I'm 37 years old and I'm too old to get a teaching job in Ohio?  I have 14 years experience and that is too much experience?  This is so sad!  It makes me want to move back to Florida who is begging for teachers but I can't.  My family is here.  

I guess all that is left for me to do is keep trying.  I do plan to keep trying to get a job but in the mean time I need to figure out what else I can do so we can afford to live since money is so much more important than our children's education.  Shouldn't our children come first? 

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  1. I had tears after I read your post. I can't imagine how you are feeling right now...but SHARING it on your blog was a great way to get it out. Keep BELIEVING IN YOURSELF! The right thing will come along! Amber

  2. I'm so sorry you're going through this April! New Hampshire is the same way! That's why so many of us are "stuck" in our positions/schools....we won't get hired any where else! It's sad that teaching is like this! So many other professions are LOOKING for experienced people! Stay positive! I know that the right job is out there and you will find it! :o)

  3. That's exactly what happened to me when I moved from Texas to Michigan! I had 12 years experience, a Master's in Reading and couldn't get a job! I subbed for a year in one district and then got called in in the fall for a long term sub position. Luckily, they hired me full time in October because the classes were too large. Sub pay stinks!

  4. So sad. Not sure if you're a Christian, but I firmly believe God has a reason & that our timing is SO OFF compared to His.

    I moved last year and yes I had a job, but it was a TOUGH year.

    Maybe God is allowing you to see what's out there...less pay as a sub is rough, but think of the advantages. You get a window into districts, grade-levels, & teammates/colleagues that you truly walk in blind to when you're hired from an interview.

    Once you know "your home" you can sub there more frequently & establish yourself in that school community. We all know that good subs are hard to find!! I bet experience or not, if you show yourself to be a great sub in a stellar school, they'd nab you up in a second. I'm a big believer in relationships....

    I know it's not ideal or your plan, but I am praying that you find your spot...not just "a job" - but a school family that you can connect & learn & grow in.