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Tales From A First Year Teacher: Will I Ever Get A Job?

Now this is getting a tad ridiculous….It is Thursday, the first day back at school for teachers. Students are due to arrive on Monday and I still don’t have a…

first year teacherNow this is getting a tad ridiculous….It is Thursday, the first day back at school for teachers. Students are due to arrive on Monday and I still don’t have a job!

I did everything they told me to ensure that I would get a placement. I only picked difficult to staff schools north of Perth, and all the way up to Kununurra. Actually, not all difficult to staff schools, as my boyfriend’s request was that we had to live on the coast. I’m pretty lucky to have a partner that will follow me to some isolated town in the middle of nowhere!

Maybe there are just no jobs out there for graduate teachers, but I thought I heard there was going to be a shortage of teachers?

I may as well make myself some lunch and continue watching the soapies; Days of Our Lives will be on soon. This is what 4 years of University has come to, watching day time TV…. It doesn’t seem to have mattered that I worked my butt off, and did really well mind you, first class honours was no small feat.

Finally, the phone is ringing, although I don’t want to get my hopes up, it’s probably just Mum wanting to know if I have heard anything yet.

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it, I have a job! But, they want me to start on Monday….How am I going to organise everything and plan lessons so that I have something to teach next week???

After phoning my boyfriend to share the good news and my Mum, it was time to really start planning the big move. We were on our way to Port Hedland (about 1630km north of Perth).

Some of the things that I need to organise include:

  • Phone the principal of the school to introduce myself;
  • Contact the removalist to organise an uplift of all of our possessions;
  • Arrange to have our car moved;
  • Book flights to Port Hedland;
  • Find out about accommodation; and
  • Plan, plan, plan, plan…..

Lucky my boyfriend had told his work that he would need to give short notice as I was awaiting a placement in a new location. This meant that he gave 1 weeks’ notice and was available to organise for the removal of all of our possessions to Hedland. One less thing for me to worry about!

I booked my flight to leave on Sunday morning. A couple of teachers from the school would greet me and take me to our temporary accommodation – a motel.

I spent all of Friday and Saturday planning what I would do with my students next week. This was tough as the only information I had was that they were a year 4/5 class. I had missed the 2 planning days for the teachers and really felt under pressure.

I decided I didn’t want to plan too far ahead as I didn’t really know the abilities of my students. I fully planned the first 2 days and had a heap of lessons up my sleeve ready to go. I was also allocated excess baggage, which meant I could take more teaching resources with me. My first 2 days look like this: DWP Wk1_T1

I had a teary farewell with my boyfriend and Mum on Sunday morning. This was a huge adventure and I had no idea what to expect. I am very much a city girl through and through and here I am off to live and teach in the country. I would be flying solo for the first week, with my boyfriend due to arrive in a week’s time.

The flight was pretty good and took just over 2 hours. On walking off the plane, the first thing that hit me was the HEAT. Oh my, I don’t think I’ve ever felt it so hot and humid before. I hope everywhere is air conditioned.

As arranged 2 teachers from the school were waiting for me. They looked really nice and friendly, this is a good sign. We also waited for another graduate teacher; at least I won’t be the only newbie in town.

I was informed that one of the other teachers in the school was having a bit of a welcome afternoon tea for all of the new teachers at the school. This was great, but I really wanted to get back to the motel, unpack and get organised for the next day. I met some pretty awesome teachers at the afternoon tea and found out there were 4 new graduate teachers this year.

I finally got back to the motel in the late afternoon. I had no car and no one was heading over to the school tonight, so I had to wait until tomorrow morning to finally get to meet my very own classroom. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening unpacking as best I could and going over my lessons for the next day. I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous before. Somehow I don’t think I’m going to get much sleep tonight.

Finally, the big day has arrived. I actually didn’t sleep too badly and can feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. Lucky I was staying in a motel that provides all my meals, one less thing that I needed to worry about this week.

I had arranged to meet the other teachers at 6am to head over to the school. Now if you know me you will know what a challenge this is for me. I am definitely not a morning person! I suppose that will need to change as school here starts at 8am. That means I probably need to get to school at least by 7am to give me time to do all the things I need for the day.

Arriving at the school, I was pleasantly surprised, this didn’t look too bad. Lots of trees, nice green grass, and the buildings looked okay too. The other newbie teacher that arrived on the plane with me looked just as nervous as I felt. He would be teaching the year 6 class.

I met the principal and one of the other new teachers gave me a bit of a tour around. I found the toilets, staff room, library, teacher resources and the canteen. Then we were off to find my classroom. I had so much to do, I would need to arrange the desks, set up some of my teaching resources, find the photocopier…..I better get a wriggle on.

We kept passing classrooms, the art room and kept on going. I was beginning to wonder where my classroom was. Finally the other teacher said to me, “This is it!”

What the…..are you for real…..this can’t be right can it… this where I’m meant to spend the whole year…..I can feel my whole world crashing down around me…..This wasn’t part of the picture I had painted in my head…..

Stay tuned for the next instalment…. Tales From A First Year Teacher: My First Day As A Real Teacher

Photo Courtesy: Herlitz_pbs

Other Articles in This Series:
Tales From A First Year Teacher: My First Day As A Real Teacher
Tales From A First Year Teacher: Surviving The First Week Of Term
Tales From A First Year Teacher: Adapting To Life In The Pilbara
Tales From A First Year Teacher: Learning Social Skills


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