Categorized | Alaska

Day 1 Recap of the ATP Job Fair in Anchorage

Day 1 Recap of the ATP Job Fair in Anchorage

So the job fair just finished up. I am sitting in the hotel lobby waiting to head to the airport in a few hours and people are leaving left and right. There were quite a few people here for the fair, both with school districts and those seeking employment. I even got to meet some great people. So here is a recap of my experiences.

Day 1 of Job Fair:

The fair started early at 8am on Friday. It was already humming when I got there a few minutes past eight. I had a plan in mind of the districts I wanted to speak to after spending the past few months doing research. Of the 35 or so districts here only a few had openings for social studies teachers. This was a bit discouraging but I knew it coming in. The day before the fair my first choice of district posted a high school social studies position which gave me a bit more hope.

I started off at District A (I don’t want to reveal names but I’m not sure why because I had great experiences with all of them). I just walked up and handed my resume to the first person to great me and went into a little bit about my history. We chatted just for a minute or two and he asked if I would like to sit down for an interview. I of course said yes and off I went to a large round table in the middle of the fair with two employees from the district.

Both were very polite and lovely to speak to. The job in question was a social studies and CTE position. So in addition to social studies I would be teaching a bit of wood working and shop. This did not phase me in the least because I had really come to like the district. While we were doing the interview the teacher I was interviewing to replace actually sat down at the next table and they introduced me to him.

I found out later on in the lobby that he was looking for a job on the road system at one of the bigger districts. We chatted for awhile and he had nothing but good things to say about both the people, the school, and the district. This was very encouraging and I was quite excited when they quickly moved to check my references.

I had come up weary of not being able to find a job and already right off the bat it was going well. My next interview was with one of the big five on the road districts. Most people say you need at least three years in the bush to get on with one of the road schools. So I went into the interview just more so for the practice. I felt it went okay but not great. It was a speed dating type interview where you had five minutes with five different people. I did not care for that.

My next interview was with another district that I was high on. They had a middle school job opening. So I headed up to the suite where they were holding their interviews and felt it went really well. It is still early in the process but I guess I didn’t wow them and never heard back, although I guess it is still a possibility.

A lot of the districts came to hire and they let you know that. My final interview was the best I feel and it was with the district I had the most interest in. For 85% of the interview it was just me and one other gentleman. He had mentioned some of the board members were in town attending some of the interviews and toward the end one of them came by and sat down with us. It was nice to hear from her as well since she has lived in the district her whole life and I was able to ask her some questions as well.

Well that was it for me on day one. I headed back up to my room to work on my paper for class that was due today. The new to Alaska reception was that night but I knew I needed to work on my paper so I had decided to skip it even though I know it would have been a great networking opportunity.

Well as I am sitting in my hotel room working on my paper, I get a text message from one of my references letting me know he just spoke to two districts. Shortly after this I get a call. It was from my first choice, Lower Yukon, and they were offering me a position. He told me to come back by in the morning and we would sign the paperwork.

I was excited but hated waiting until the morning. I wanted it signed and done. Needless to say I got nothing done on my paper the rest of the night. Instead I spent the next few hours looking at the district and the site where I thought I was going, Mountain Village. I called my parents and spoke to them for a good while and only told close family and friends because I was still worried something would happen overnight. This is kinda a big deal for me if you can’t tell.

Anyway that is where it stood after day one. From being nervous that I wouldn’t find a job to feeling nervous something would happen overnight and they would take back the offer.

I highly recommend anyone who is seeking employment to get to one of the job fairs. There is a wealth of knowledge there and everyone was extremely kind and helpful. Day two was short but still exciting for me, so I will make a post about that tomorrow.

I will leave you with a picture of where I am moving. Don’t worry I will be following it up with more information in the days to come.

Mountain Village

About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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