Thank you all, VERY much, for your input about my cover letter. I made several of the changes you suggested – you were all exactly right about what needed fixing and I’m grateful for so many fresh eyes – and put together a package that I sent electronically this evening to my first prospective new employer, Small Local College.
I’ll keep you all painfully updated.
In a strange bit of synergy, I had emailed the delightful woman who was my cooperating teacher during my internship. She was a high school teacher of mine and was, really, my inspiration for becoming an English teacher myself. I did exceedingly well under her supervision and, as my internship progressed, we became friends.
She lives right down the road from us, and I think of her every time I pass by the intersection of her street and the main road I take to get to Small Coastal City. After thinking “Gee, I wonder how CT is doing” for the hundredth time, I finally got off my ass and sent her a “hi, I’ve been thinking of you and would you let me take you to dinner sometime soon?” email a little over a week ago.
She emailed me back on Monday and told me that she’d been thinking of me, too, and almost came by to see me on Friday when she’d heard on our local NPR station that TCC was closing. She then launched into a pitch to get me to apply for a position at my old high school, something I’d done – and been rather unceremoniously turned down for – when my internship was complete a few years ago.
CT assured me that the political climate at my former high school had changed quite a bit; that the pompous (and really highly under-qualified) assistant principal who denied me the job was no longer the supervisor of the English department and that they’ve now got quite a dynamic and interesting curriculum coordinator there. She did say that she wasn’t sure of the department head (“I’m never sure of Rosanna” was her direct quote), but that she was eager to get my name into people’s ears.
Though I will apply and interview, if for nothing else than the experience of it, I’m not sure how I feel about this as an opportunity. I likely wouldn’t take a position if it were offered to me, though turning down a chance to work again with CT would be a hard thing to do. Truth be told, it’d be hard to turn down a full time salary, too; paltry though teacher money is, a full time high school teacher makes more than an adjunct professor does.
Honestly, I really don’t think I’m suited to the environment of public high school. My admittedly limited experience in high schools showed me, with a startling clarity that resonates with me to this day, that the political and social climate of the teachers’ lounge is far more than I can handle. I have zero tolerance for backstabbing, cliques, or petty competition. I don’t want to hear gossip, I don’t want to be talked about behind my back, and I don’t want to scrabble with other teachers for whatever meagre attention the administrators are willing to parse out. I’m also not sure I could deal professionally with clueless or arrogant parents who expect their children to do nothing and still earn good grades.
I have a license to teach in public schools in my state. I plan to keep that license current for as long as I can manage because I want to keep that particular door propped open – even if just a crack – because I never know when I may need a full time job. Still, listening to my friends who teach in public schools is enough to remind me of how little energy I’d be willing to expend to keep my game face on and, hopefully, keep my job. Besides, Mr. Chili has made it perfectly clear that, for as much as he knows I’d try, I couldn’t leave work at work. He doesn’t want to live with me while I’m trying to live with all the bullshit that happens in a typical high school, and I can’t say that I blame him. If Mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
Still, I’ll send my CV and a cover letter along with CT and see what happens. The experience of an interview, and the idea of keeping my name and face in the minds of people who make hiring decisions, can’t be a bad thing. I’m really hoping that my application to SLC gets some attention, though; right now, staying in the college level really is my ideal scenario.