Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's Been A Busy Past 6 Months

6 months! It's been 6 months since I have posted. Almost 7. I am seriously disappointed with myself! To be fair, for the first 5 months I had good reason to not get to it; I was student teaching. But things have kind of slowed down at least a little bit for the past few months! I guess if you are so busy you cannot breathe for 4 months you forget about your blog completely. Well, that's just dumb. I will do better! Well: here's a summary of the past few months to make up for it.

Student Teaching

Student teaching CONSUMED my life for 4 whole months. My last post said I was going to student teach a Hunter Junior High School. I did; and I learned a ton.
1. I had an awesome cooperating teacher. Her name was Mrs. Grossaint and she has been teaching for more than 30 years. I was her first student teacher, but I think I  gave her a good impression. Most student teachers get thrown in and left to learn how to swim by themselves. I can see the value in that, and I was prepared to do so. Mrs. Grossaint, though, was very protective of her classes. She works hard as a teacher, and she wasn't willing to just let a stranger  mess that up. She eventually came to trust me.
2. I taught 3 honors biology classes; They were very moody, but I learned a lot about teaching from them. I learned that worksheets are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it really helps cement some things. Still, I like to limit how many worksheets  I give students.
I also taught 3 7th grade classes, one of which was GT. They were a lot of fun. They were still really excited to learn. I learned a lot about behavior management from the 7th graders. STRUCTURE STRUCTURE STRUCTURE! They were fun,but they really tired me out. I liked working with the older students more... they understand sarcasm. :D
3. I never have imagined how much behind the scene work teaching requires. Grading and such, but ESPECIALLY planning. Making PowerPoints can take up to 6 hours sometimes. I think I made really good PowerPoints, though. I got so some nights I had to totally ignore Charlie in order to get everything done. That was just depressing. Luckily, he wasn't quite mobile yet so he hung out a lot in the Baby Einstein jumper and I worked right next to him.
I really did love student teaching, and now I am sure that teaching is what I do.

It was a good time to decide, too, since I GRADUATED!!!

April 20th 2012, I graduated. Biology Composite Teaching Major. Oh, it feels good to be DONE! Except I'm not. My Master's Degree is pretty much a must, but I am at least taking a few years off!

Brine Shrimp Project Closure

I forgot to mention that my Brine Shrimp Research is finally done. I even presented at NCUR (an undergraduate research thing). It felt good, even if nothing comes from it. It was like one giant science far.

Job Hunting

Even before I graduated I had started the job search. My first little bump was from Mrs. Grossaint, who really wanted me to teach in Granite School District (which is the one I wanted as well). She convinced me to go to a job fair at BYU for some interviews. She also told me that I needed some girlier clothes because when she first met me she thought I was a 12 year old boy, then she thought I was a lesbian, until I told her I was married and had a child. (Now, keep in mind that I love this woman, but she is very BLUNT, she meant it to help me. I think in the end her advice helped). So, I got some new clothes (after HOURS of searching for something that I would actually wear, I hate shopping for dress clothes).
It turns out that the BYU fair was a waste of time. All of the interview slots were filled up with BYU students. So all I did was wander around getting How to Apply pamphlets from various districts. It was very disheartening, but I got some good information. I don't know that it was worth walking form one endof the BYU campus to the other in shoes that really hurt my feet, but hey, who knows.
From there I  had some interviews. Many interviews. 
My first interview was with Morgan Middle School. I wasn't really planning on accepting there, but I was thinking of it as a practice interview. I'm glad I went, it helped boost my confidence, because they offered me the job. I turned it down.
I also was offered a job at Mt. Jordan Middle School, but that was Canyons school district and Granite hadn't even started interviewing yet and I wanted to wait and see what else I could get.
Well, I had a few more interviews. Sunset Ridge Middle school, Hillcrest Junior High, and T.H. Bell Middle School. I was starting to get worried that Granite wouldn't start interviews and that I'd be burning bridges if I turned down offers. I voiced this concern to Mrs. Grossaint and the crazy  lady actually called Bonneville Junior High and told the principal to get on the ball and interview. Well, he did, but I didn't get that job offer. 
Then I interviewed at Herriman High School and I was all set to want to teach there. I didn't get that job ffer either.
I had seen a opening at Granger High School, but the posting said it was a year position, which wouldn't be what I want. I applied anyway, maybe the interview would shed some light on the whole year thing. I didn't get my hopes up yet. I was starting to get worried, though, because the job offers had stopped. While we were in D.C (more on that later) Wasatch Junior High School called and tried setting up an interview. We ended up doing a phone interview the afternoon we got back. Apparently that went REALLY well, because I was a finalist with them. They were going to decide by having us teach a lesson, a Teach-Off! Totally awesome. 
Before the teach-off, I interviewed at Granger. The Principal said that the reason the posting was only for a year was because the position would be paid for by a grant and they couldn't gauntness the money any longer than a year, but that he was definitely planning on it being longer, especially because they would be in the new school in another year. Oh MAN! I was so excited! But it kind of felt like I blew the interview. It was a strange interview, and we talked a lot about me taking over the stage crew, which I admitted I had no training with that. So,I felt I had flubbed the interview for my dream job. :(
I was preparing to teach my lesson at Wasatch when I decided to ask one of my teacher friends to kind of sniff things out at Granger for me, so I knew if I could just accept at Wasatch if it was a lost cause. She said she would do that.
I taught the lesson and it was perfect. So perfect that they pretty much offered me the job on the spot. I did tell them I would want a few days to think about it because I was waiting on one other place to give me an idea on if I would get that job (Granger). They were fine with that, but they really pushed their school, they really wanted me. I was happy to be that wanted, really happy, but I didn't really want to teach at a junior high, and it would have been 8th grade science (honors classes). 8th grade is more physical science than life science, so it wasn't really my thing as much as Granger's Biology would have been. And it was GRANGER!  My high school, my dream job.
Well, my teacher friend had sniffed things out and she said that the principal didn't seem very interested in me, that he even said that I'd really like Wasatch Junior High (apparently she told him my situation). 
So, I was just about to pick up the phone to call Wasatch and accept when Mrs. Grossaint called. Apparently Granger's Principal had just gotten off the phone with her and she really talked me up. I told her I was very excited about that because it meant that I wasn't written off at Granger. She seemed really optimistic. So, I waited until the next day (Friday) to call Granger, I had to let Wasatch know what my decision was on Monday, so I needed some idea of what they were thinking. Well, the Principal offered me a second interview. He knew I had to let Wasatch know by Monday afternoon so we scheduled the interview for Monday morning and told me he'd let me know by Monday at noon.
Well, the 2nd interview went well enough. Then I had to run over to Hunter Junior to substitute. I told 5th period that I was expecting an important phone call and they agreed to be awesome while I was on the phone, and they were. When the principal called he offered me the job!!! AWESOME MOMENT!
So, yeah! I will teach Biology at Granger next year! So happy! (Substitute Teaching is not fun by the way).


Charlie was only a few months old last time I wrote. Now he's 10 months old and is HUGE. He hadn't started rolling yet and now he's crawling and almost walking. He's grown so much. He's also a mommy's boy, he cries if I am in the room and not holding him. He's a crazy babbler. He's 29 inches tall! BIG BOY! More on Charlie in Charlie's blog will come within a few days. 

Washington D.C.

Jay's parents took us all to Washington D.C. at the end of April. It was awesome! Jay's Great Aunt was having a memorial at Arlington Cemetery. That was my favorite part, it was so beautiful there, and the ceremony was really cool.(Even though Charlie was "talking" the whole time, it didn't seem to bug anyone, though the preacher guy mentioned him).
It was really cool flying in a plane (so pretty) and getting that far east. It was hard navigating without the mountains, but I did pretty well. I should have updated my blog after we went, because now everything is kind of dim in my memory. 
We went to the Holocaust Museum, that was really nice, I learned a lot about WWII. Also, my advice to everyone one, walk around the Mall at night. It was so very pretty.
We wanted to see the White House during the day, and we did, but we got moved away quickly because of a bomb threat.
We also went to Mt. Vernon. That was fun too, Washington was awesome.


Finally, after pestering Jay for years I have my Jeep! It was my Graduation, Mother's Day, Birthday, Christmas Present. It's a 2012 jeep unlimited Sahara Forest Green. Beautiful! Lovely, everything I dreamed it would be and more. :D :D :D