Saturday, March 23, 2013

Creating an Online Resumé

I graduated from college in May 2012. The job market was and is still down. However, I graduated with blind optimism that I would get a job and it would be easy. I was overly involved in extra-curricular activities at college (mainly because I can't sit still for longer than 10 minutes). Had a great student-teaching experience where I developed a positive relationship with my cooperating teacher, my grade level, and the assistant principal. I held multiple jobs working with children including substitute teaching. I volunteered regularly. With a resumé packed like that, how hard could it be to get a teaching position?

Well apparently, quite hard. As I was still student teaching, I applied to Teach For America and made it through the the in-person interviews. I withdrew my application after getting cold feet about being sent to a random place to teach. After graduation, I applied to around 50 schools from Maryland (my home state), throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, and even Hawaii, just for fun. 

Senior year, we had a seminar which was to help us create a resumé. So, I had a resumé created, but it clearly wasn't working for me. I decided in this day and age that I should create some sort of online resumé. So, I did what everyone does, googled teaching resumé websites. I combined all of the ideas and created:

Creating my website actually made my life easier. Since most districts are now using online application systems. This allowed principals to go directly to everything they needed to see, without downloading anything to their computers. 

On my webpage, I included:

  • My resumé (Duh)
  • My Educational Platform - just a basic set of beliefs on education
  • Evaluations from my cooperating teacher and university supervisor during student teaching
  • Letters of recommendation from my AP, University Supervisor, and Cooperating Teacher
  • Lesson Plans 
  • And a separate section for leadership roles I held during college (I added this because I didn't include all of them on my resumé)

After I started this webpage, I began seeing principals at interviews having it up on their iPads or even printed out in front of them. One principal I had interviewed with, forwarded my information to my now principal and only had to send a website, instead of a stack of paper.

Not only was it a time saver for me, my website clearly made the process more efficient for principals. 47 applications, 2 job fairs, 3 phone interviews, 5 personal interviews, 4 follow-up interviews, and 1 very awkward Skype interview later and I am a 5th grade teacher. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Stations Problems: Can we work together?! Can we talk?!

I guess the point of having a blog is to actually post things. Hopefully, I'll get better at this and update more. :)

Anywho, our schedule is set up strangely so that we have an awkward time of 35-40 minutes at the end of the day. We've played around constantly with what we're actually going to do during this time. We decided to play off of Daily 5 and create stations for each subject (Science, Social Studies, Writing, Read to Self, and Math). Students go to one station per day and therefore, visit each station once per week.

We've mostly focused on group/collaborative learning activities with a few (writing mostly) independent activities. The students have been doing really well with making sure they're working. However, I came upon the problem of students getting confused from station to station. Students had a hard time remembering which ones they should work together for and which to work individually (even though there were instructions in each folder - another battle for another day).

To solve my problem, I naturally went to Pinterest ( I saw many of the voice-o-meters available. None of them quite worked for me. So I combined a few of the ideas and came up with:

0 - No voice
1 - Questioning voice - Ask a question to a group member only when necessary
2 - Partner voice - 2-3 group members working together
3 - Team voice - whole group working together

From now on, each station will be ranked. Students will know exactly what is expected of them. Hopefully, all will continue to run smoothly.

In the wise words of Ellen, "Be kind to one another"

PS Thanks to for helping me draw Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid!