In light of recent events, I have spent an inordinate amount of time on job boards and recruiting websites and all that. I have an interview set for next Thursday for a job I actually want, too. I feel a little better knowing that's coming.
On the other hand, I had a screening interview today for another job that I might actually want (the commute is a challenge) and was faced with having to discuss why I'm even looking for a job right now. I wasn't exactly prepared for the question, although I should have been.
So I was completely honest and probably talked myself out of that job, even though I won't be teaching math. The math scores did it, apparently, but why anyone was surprised about those math scores, I'll never know. They were completely consistent with the work my students did all year, in spite of my best efforts. It is not possible for an average student to learn math without actually doing math, and the vast majority of my students treated homework as if it were optional. Which is why most of them failed math the entire year.
So I was asked, what did I do about it? I offered tutoring multiple days a week. I found online tools so they could bring their math facts up to where they needed to be. I found other free, online resources and assigned adaptive practice to address specific skills gaps. I gave out countless worksheets and packets to do the same. Grades did come up, but when you are starting in the 20-30% range (or lower), even an increase of 20-30% is still not going to get you to passing. So I said most of that, to what effect, I have no idea. The call ended with the recruiter letting me know they would contact me if I was still a candidate after they had talked to other qualified candidates.
Then I worked on an application for another school district which asked, have you ever had a contract not renewed? And I had to answer "yes", which led to another "Please explain if you had to answer 'yes' to any of these questions," most of which were horrible things like being arrested. That was a drag, and made me feel as if I'm un-employable, which I should most assuredly not be.
My thoughts take dark turns and I ponder things like, did getting my master's degree make me unemployable? Am I too expensive now? Will I ever find a place where I feel like I fit in?
The MIT degree supposedly helps, and it does open some doors, but overall I've got more flak about it than I have positive comments. "Wow, you must be really smart," isn't always a compliment, especially when it's followed by the unspoken question, "What are you doing here?"
I want my job to make a contribution that's more than economic. I want to make a difference in people's lives. I believe I can still do that, I just have to find the right place.