Over the weekend I mustered up the courage to go to a teacher job fair. This involved filling out long online applications and sending out resumes. So I put on my best teacher outfit(past the knee skirt, hose, heels, nice top, and sweater). I get to the event early of course and there are tons of people waiting. I am in one line and I am told that if we have not registered, that we need to step out of line and do that. I register. This involves giving the person a copy of my resume(3rd copy), and filling out a name sticker. I get back into the first line and head into the event.
Once inside, I scan the tables and get into a line. We are then told that if we have not had an HR screening, that we need to go back out into the lobby and do that. I oblige again and have to sit in a game of musical chairs without the music to wait to talk to an HR representative. Finally, I meet with an HR representative who I consider to be very abrasive. I have to give him a copy of my resume(4th copy). He pretty much snubs his nose at my resume and cannot seem to match the words that are coming out of my mouth with my resume. He asks me if I have any questions and I say yes, “What are you looking for in a prospective teacher?”. He is flustered and ushers me away.
I go back inside to the job fair area and I wait in line for the same school that I was originally at. The event is supposed to be held from 8am-noon. Noon rolls around and an announcement is made that the job fair is now over and that we can stop by tables and drop off our resumes. I go to one table and do just that(5th copy). I proceed to the Special Education table to do the same when the representative mentions that they are no longer taking resumes. I stop by the certified substitute table where the representative asks for a copy of my resume(the 6th one). Then mentions that my application will only be considered when I have more than one reference letter(at that moment I only had one). She then gives me some sort of talk about Plan A and Plan B. I just nodded my head and said “You do realize that you now have six copies of my resume right?”
Now, you may be asking why am I comparing this to the Twilight Zone. Well, back in 2005 when I was first certified, I went through the same events(with the same people and the same HR representatives). So that means that even though the demand for teachers has increased over the past ten years, the way the system operates, and how school districts function has not changed. The same people standing in line with me were the same people I stood in line with ten years ago. The principals were the same. The HR representatives were the same. The end result is the same. The only difference is that in 2005, that job fair was larger because it featured a table for every school while this job fair only had a table for maybe twelve schools(elementary-high school).
So, I wasted almost five hours of my day having people not even treat me as a human being let alone someone with value. I can understand why people would look at my resume funny because it is filled with non school employment but the only reason for that is because I have been unable to find a teaching job for the past five years. This is not because of lack of trying. When I was much younger, bright eyed, and bushy tailed, I literally applied to every school district up and down I-35. I applied online, I applied in person, I applied through email. I would often get a first interview but I would never get a second interview. So, since my bills and life didn’t magically disappear during that time, I had to find other sources of work. I totally get now that I will probably not ever teach again but I can’t say that is for lack of trying and a lack of passion for kids, I would say it is because schools and school districts operate in one way and if you aren’t married to someone high up in the district or to someone on the board, or related to someone, you really don’t have a chance. You can also say it is because I am overqualified. The only reason why I have multiple certifications is because back when I first became certified, the other areas were in demand. Now, I don’t think school districts even care if people are certified or not.