Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Attending a teacher job fair is like...

a cross between fishing, Disneyland and speed dating.

Last week I flew into Austin to attend a regional job fair. The reasons for going to all that trouble are simple: we would consider moving back to Austin and vicinity, and, unlike in California, there aren't 20,000 people competing for jobs in education. Although I could be wrong about that. I knew that over 800 people attended this job fair the previous year, and when I drove up to the building and saw that people were parking in the empty field across the street, I figured that that number was about double for this year. Nothing says "fair" like parking in a muddy field and praying that you won't need to elicit the help of Bubba and his half ton truck to pull you out of the mud at the end of the day.

I arrived at a quarter until 10 - fifteen minutes before the job fair began - only to find that I had to stand in a line that stretched from the front door all the way to the parking lot. When I finally got inside, I had to stand in more lines. Lines that circled half the room. Lines that took 30 minutes to get to the front. And then when I got to the front, I had a seconds to cast my expertise and virtues into the glassy eyed administrator or human resources person who made a few notes and placed my resume into one of several stacks of resumes each about ream of paper thick. It was daunting.

I overheard a girl say she flew in from Bend, Oregon, so I'm guessing there were many other people who, like me, flew in from out of town just to stand in line after line after line for the minute possibility that we might impress someone in 30 seconds or less.

All in all, I applied for jobs in about 8 different school districts. No bites yet, but I'll keep dangling my line in here and there regardless.

Friday, June 11, 2010

You know the old adage...

"if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." I've been trying to live that for the past three months since my husband and I were both laid off (well, if I'm going to be completely honest, my husband was "let go"). Ironically, we both were put on notice the same week in March and our jobs ended the same week in May. Go figure. We've been job hunting since March, but no luck so far. I attended a job fair yesterday, so I'm hoping to get some bites there. Next week we move out of our rental home because we don't have an income to sustain that rental rate. Who am I kidding. We don't have an income! So while technically we will be homeless (at least in the eyes of the law), we have a place to stay with friends and family until we both find work.

Funny - never in a million years did I think I would find myself in this place. As a matter of fact, when I earned my Masters in Ed. all those years ago, I distinctly remember my husband and I saying to each other in an effort to justify the cost, "teaching is a great career - they will always need teachers!" Turns out they don't need teachers after all. At least not in California.