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In the wake of all the craziness around our economic climate, many folks in education are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. And without a job.
This is not the time to sit around and wait for something to happen. This is the time to MAKE something happen.
Here are some ideas:
- Planning and Preparation - This includes Lesson Plans you've created, evidence of assessments you've created that are aligned with state standards (both summative and formative!), statements and reflections about instructional design and your knowledge of content and resources.
- The Classroom Environment you create - Evidence may include your student management/procedures plan, photos of the layout of your classroom with a statement about why you set it up that way, statements about how you create respect and rapport with your students, and how you manage student behavior.
- Instruction and Assessment - You need to provide examples of student work (with names whited out) with feedback about what next steps should be, how you support questioning techniques in your classroom and how you help students arrive at connections or bring collective experiences together, how you provide opportunities for multiple groupings and collaborative/peer interactions, and statements about how you are flexible and adaptable to many different situations both with students and with those you work with.
- Professional Responsibilities - You should provide evidence that you have participated in professional development, with statements about how that PD informed or transformed your instructional practice. You should provide evidence of parent communication that is beyond report cards. You should provide evidence that you make contributions to your school and the district in which you work and that you are a reflective practitioner. (Meaning that you think about lessons, students, opportunities, your whole teaching experience, and make plans for transforming your practice on a regular basis.)
Make sure you are on the sub lists of all the schools in your area. A day of pay is better than a day of being a coach potato wallowing in wishes. Subbing also gives you an opportunity to network in other school systems, and get valuable experience about different school dynamics and diverse student populations.
Go back to school or add additional certificate areas. The more educational experience you have and the more certificates you have, the more valuable you are. If you can survive in several niches, versus being pigeonholed in one area/grade level, you make it easier for a district to keep you in the event of layoffs. The FAFSA website can give you information about getting an educational loan at a low interest rate from the government: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/# (This is where I got MY loan for my Master's Degree at Buffalo State College. The process was relatively quick...I'm still paying on it, but was able to refinance it later at an even lower rate than what I started with!)