I’ve been a teacher for seven years. Damn, that actually makes me feel a little old. I am past the three and five-year humps everyone claims plagues the teaching profession, and I decided a long time ago that I would be in this for the long haul. It is kind of weird to think of myself as a veteran in this field when, in many ways, I still don’t always feel like a competent adult, but I guess that life doesn’t come with a magical moment when you finally feel like you’ve got it all together.
Anyway, a couple of years ago I applied to the virtual school in my state. This school offers online classes to middle school and high school students. Students take online classes for a myriad of reasons; some are home-schooled, others want to get ahead, and others have failed courses and need to make them up. In fact, most high schools in my state require students to take at least one online class during their high school years, and most schools have built virtual school labs where students go for one class period to take their class online.
I never imagined that getting hired by this virtual school (VS) would be hard. I know that sounds odd, but I have been offered a job on every single teaching interview I have ever been on, so not hearing from them right away was rather shocking to me. I began to realize that getting a job with the virtual school was something a lot of people wanted because they assumed the job was easy, and so the interview process was quite extensive. From the time I initially applied for the adjunct (part-time) position to the time I officially got hired in early May, I had gone through several phone interviews, and online test, an in-person group interview, a personal virtual interview, and a two-day in-person training.
After all of that, the training continued every night (virtually) for the next two weeks. It was intense. I was trying to finish out my regular school year, while at the same time learning this new job. It turns out that summer is the busiest time for VS because students like to take classes when they don’t have regular school to worry about. I got ten students my first week working for the school, and now nearly two months later, I have a little over fifty. It has gotten easier, but that first month was completely overwhelming.