Monday, March 19, 2012
SLICE #19- AND THE SEARCH IS OVER
It's official! The wait is over! I have a new job!
Starting in August, I will be a literacy coach at a K-8 school in Northeast Denver. I'm excited to have a job, and even more excited about some new challenges and opportunities for growth and learning. First,
the school employs a dual immersion model for its English language learners. Their goal is that students graduate from eighth grade bilingual and bi-literate. This is very different from the transitional model used in most Denver (Colorado?) schools, where students are supposed to transition from Spanish to English in three years. And I'm excited that I will have the opportunity to work on my Spanish. I speak and read some, but definitely have a ways to go before I could be considered fluent.
Secondly, I will be working with three new grade levels (sixth, seventh, and eighth). I cannot wait to share some of the professional books and YA literature I have enjoyed in the past couple of years.
I had my initial interview for this job at the job fair about ten days ago. I thought the job sounded great, but to be really honest, I didn't think I had much of a chance, simply because I'm not bilingual. When the principal called to schedule a second interview, she told me that I was going to need to speak and write Spanish at the interview. "You have a couple of days to practice," she said. That night I dragged out my Spanish books and carted them around for a few days.
More than half of my students are English Language learners, so I practiced with them. They were fascinated by my Spanish "workbook," several of the girls even borrowed it for a couple of recesses and set up Spanish lessons, not to be confused, but closely related to "spinach" lessons advertised on the poster in one corner of our room.
Despite my practice, I wasn't feeling very confident when I left school for the interview. When I told my fourth graders I was leaving while they were at specials, one of my girls said, in total innocence, "Don't forget to take that book with you. Maybe you can look stuff up while you're talking." It didn't help that the highway was totally backed up, and a ride that should have taken 28 minutes (according to map quest) took 55. Thank heaven I had left school plenty early.
The interview went well, and I wrote in Spanish, at least kind of anyway. I still didn't think I would get the job. I knew of at least one other literacy coach that had applied, not only is she a great coach, but she speaks Spanish fluently. I was absolutely thrilled, then, a few hours later, to hear that I had gotten the job, pending a check of references. Today I got the official district email that my transfer has been approved. And I am so, so thankful that my Abba Father has provided a new job. And so, so, so, so, so grateful for all your prayers and kind words. Those have carried me through a couple of rally hard weeks. So thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
There is a kind of bittersweet side to my job search, however. I work with some really, really nice people. And some really good teachers. So far, only four of us have new jobs for next year. There are about ten more folks on my staff that are still looking. I am so glad that my search is over, but I know that those people are in the same place I was in a week ago. And it's no fun. So I'm praying. And writing reference letters. And sending emails. Hoping that they will get good news soon. I'm so glad my search is over…