First — I am going to try to keep this log focused on my experiences as a fledgling teacher.

So, how did I get here? I practiced law for 20+ years, and it almost killed me. When I quit practicing law, I floundered for a bit, trying to find a way to support myself without going insane. My little soap and toiletries business, Serenesense, wasn’t ready to support me. So I went back to my girl-geek roots, got some Federal aid for unemployed types and took some courses in programming. That helped; a friend got me a job as a web producer for a large business magazine publisher. It paid the bills (almost) and got me out of the house, but it certainly didn’t nourish my soul.

Then, problems developed at work. The entire culture was “GenX”, and speed and flash was valued way above quality and accuracy. (And I was the oldest person on the floor by about 20 years, which didn’t help. I think the only person older than me in the whole web subsidiary was the President.) There were some serious misunderstandings, and I began to feel ill-used, so I went looking for something else. I was looking for tech jobs but, on the New York Times classifieds site, I found an ad for the New York City Teaching Fellows, a program designed to get experienced people into the New York City public schools by giving them an alternate route to get necessary certifications.

It sounded tailor-made for me, so I applied and was granted an interview. Part of the interview is the presentation of a five-minute lesson to the interviewers and other candidates. I have the credentials to teach high school English, so I planned initially on a lesson on sonnet forms. But, as I searched the web from materials for the lesson, I found that teachers have really taken to the web as a way to communicate and share. There are mind-boggling lesson plan resources available and, as I looked through them, I became enchanted with the idea of teaching elementary school. Of being able to teach kids everything, the whole gamut of ideas and phenomenon, instead of teaching Julius Caesar four times a day for twelve years. So my interview lesson was on the structure of newspaper lead paragraphs, and how to use “the 5 Ws” to guide research.

To my surprise, I was accepted to the program in early December. (“Surprise” because I thought my answers to questions about the state of the school system made my interviewer uncomfortable.) This week, I received my enrollment package from the Board of Education. Placement fairs will take place in April and May. I start training on June 17, and new teachers report to their schools on September 3. I’m unspeakably excited.