May 17, 2010
Northwest connections, experience help graduate land teaching job
MARYVILLE, Mo. - While many school districts are cutting their budgets and enforcing hiring freezes to overcome the nation's poor recession, Northwest alumna Emily Hart found this spring that the hands-on experience she received as a college student made her a valuable teaching candidate to one area school district.
Hart graduated in December with a degree in elementary education. In February, she was hired to teach third grade at Lindbergh Elementary School in the St. Joseph School District.
"Northwest taught me many skills that have really been critical to my classroom success," Hart said. "I was well-prepared to enter the real world of teaching! I am having great success in the St. Joseph School District, and I love teaching!"
Hart had begun applying for jobs in the Kansas City area immediately after her graduation and spent time subbing in various districts. She admitted that after a month and no permanent teaching position, she started to get discouraged and considered looking for full-time work outside of the teaching field.
But in late January, Hart received a phone call from the St. Joseph School District, which wanted to interview her. Hart hadn't applied for a teaching position in the St. Joseph District, but it had received grant funding for its Title Mentor Program, which pairs experienced teachers with new hires in title schools. The school district was seeking to hire December graduates who could begin teaching immediately.
If hired, Hart learned, she would be placed in a classroom with a mentor teacher and be paid as a full-time teacher while gaining experience in the schools and the St. Joseph district. She also would be granted a teaching contract for the next school year.
Comforted along the way by many people she knew from her days at Northwest, Hart interviewed with the St. Joseph superintendent and four school principals. Later that week, she was one of three individuals hired by the district.
Hart credits her mentors at Northwest for recommending her to the St. Joseph School District and helping her acquire the teaching position there.
"Now I am lucky enough to not only have a job for next year, but I also have had a position since February," Hart said. "I would say that one month between graduating and getting a teaching job is not bad at all!
"Not only do I feel that Northwest prepared me for this teaching position, and for being in a classroom, but I also feel they prepared me for the interview."
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