Sunday, May 20, 2012


Uggg!! I wrote this loooong post about the past 2 weeks, and it would not publish and then I lost all of it!! I am not writing it again so I will put up some pictures and say that I have started substitute work as a teaching assistant until my Qualified Teacher letter comes and that it is not likely that I will get a job for September.

As I've wrapped my brain around this, I've changed my outlook of what my life will look like in September.  Instead of working full-time, I'm excited at the prospect of subbing, working on resources for my everydayPORTFOLIOS business, and exploring this role of wife in our first year of marriage. And I plan on trying more recipes, DIY, and photo ideas from Pinterest (can't complain about that!).

I am very unsure of the direction and purpose of my life, and am not sure why I came here instead of having le Rey join me in Arizona. But I'm sure the reason will reveal itself over time, as I'm positive that le Rey and I are meant to be in England at this time. It is not easy, but then again, when have I every picked 'easy'?

Love you all,

a game of cricket at the park

my street! love my walks home (when it's not raining)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Can't I be an ice cream taster instead?

Hello peeps.  I'm at a crossroads. An in-ter-sec-tion people.

It seems it is about time that I get back to work.

I don't even want to talk about how stupid the teaching agencies have been this time around.  I really cannot believe that my references really take 4-5 weeks. Seriously. I will leave it at that.

Teaching agency #3 (and counting coz they haven't got me any work yet) supposedly cleared me the same day I interviewed with them yesterday. We shall see. I actually signed up with them because they posted some Literacy/Math Intervention jobs for September. Full time. I haven't that much in the UK. They have teaching assistants in this country that usually do that. But that is what I want to do.

Can I just say that as I was pouring through the teaching vacancies online, I felt drawn to.......none of the jobs.

I have never felt so passion-less (is that a word?) for classroom teaching than I do now.

Actually I should say, classroom teaching in England does not sound good to me at all. Classroom teaching in Arizona-this I would do. This, I feel, I know like the back of my hand. 4+ hours of literacy, a bit of math, a sprinkle of sci/ss and other teachers doing pe, art, etc. Yes......I would be up for that. Posting every objective under the sun across wall after wall and all that. Still sounds better than classroom work here. I'll get to that later.

I was reminded of the differences when I was looking at job vacancies. "Interviews will consist of a lesson with a class........followed by a presentation to the board."   another one "Full day interview".

I forgot about all of that. The formality here. Everyone at the schools always seem so cold. The process to get an interview for goodness sake! Call to come 'round to see the school. This wastes at least half day for me since I'm on public transport. I go to the schools and they immediately seem disappointed that I'm American.

"Oh where are you from?"  I detect a hopeful look that I might be from Canada, a country that it's in the top 5 for student achievement.

"Phoenix, Arizona from the States," I say softly.


If you're confused, I have said in past posts (or when I was writing 'notes' on facebook), I have learned that Americans are not popular. Anywhere I go. England, Australia, etc. I hear weekly, if not daily, negative comments about Americans. In passing, on the TV, at church, in conversations, in staff rooms, everywhere. I don't disagree with all of it, but I can see that my nationality precedes me when I walk into a room. But I try to defy the myth that I carry a gun, eat fast food 3 times a day, am arrogant, and can't find England on a map. But I'm getting off topic here. 

After going to see the school, you submit a very formal application, a cover letter about yourself, and hope you get shortlisted (when they pick 5-10 to actually call in for an interview). When I did all this crap in 2008, I did not get shortlisted at all. I went home and got a fantastic job in Phoenix though (it was a great year, wasn't it girls?) One reason I may not have been shortlisted was because I didn't have that QTS that overseas teachers have to get (having qualifications recognized). I have been waiting for the right time to say this, but the government CHANGED THE RULE just a month ago!!! My qualifications are now RECOGNIZED!!!! So this should help me.

But still. You can see my apprehension to going through this whole process, right?  Let's go back to the interview part. When I did my interview for that VERY CHALLENGING year I had, the first time I came over in 2005........that was set up by an agency. They just had me read a story to 60 kids at once while 3 people watched me in the back. No problem. Little did I know that 8 people were leaving that year and that basically they just wanted a warm body in the room.
Anyway. I can sense that interviews are a lot more formal than that, normally. Which fine, I'm all for making sure you know what kind of teacher you're getting. But I don't know this curriculum very well, the style they're looking for, etc. It's not my home country. What can I say? I'm different. Can they look past the fact that I have an accent and do things differently? Is my passion and enthusiasm enough? I don't feel it is. I feel inferior here, unfortunately.

Why do I feel this way, you may be asking? I worked here in 2007. But that was substituting, very different from getting hired on at a school full time. Not to mention, no one here knows me. I miss being in Phoenix where people knew me, saw how hard I worked and offered me jobs left and right!! Over here I am a nobody in education.

Let me get to the part about what working in schools here is like.

First, the state schools don't have specialized teachers for Art, PE, & Music (and of course not Computer Lab and Library). So I have to teach that (I'm reading this back and it all sounds very negative and rant-like....I'm just trying to get it all off my chest-thanks for listening by the way).

Second: in addition to teaching these other subjects, I have to teach Literacy, Math, Science, RE (overview of different religions), Geography, History, Design & Technology (I am not kidding....this includes sewing and designing mini-cars), something like Citizenship, and who knows what else I'm missing. Lessons need to be differentiated for 3-4 levels (I'm all for differentiation.......but that's a lot of subjects to prep for!).

Thirdly: doing assemblies and drama productions. yuck. hate it.


Here is what I slowly figured out. Perhaps it's because the Arizona curriculum is so literacy-heavy these days, I don't know. But I think I like to teach literacy, (and I don't mind math) and that's it. 

I want to bring up low readers and that's what I want to do. But can I find this job here?! There seems to some, but they are in north London and that is too far away!

What do you think? Hold out for a literacy position, and just sub in the fall if I don't get a contract?

On another topic.........can I say how much I love being a housewife? And how much I love my husband? He is so good to me! I can't believe how I just want to hang out with him all the time!! Love him!

I know I was super sarcastic in a previous post.......but I really like cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking and decorating. I have even surprised myself! But I do need to get out more. This weather makes me want to stay inside and not come out! I need some heat, sunshine and hiking in the Arizona mountains! When can I come and visit?

Not too close to August.........I may be tempted to take a teaching job : )