In May, my buddy Jamal shared his experience as a December 2010 college graduate who hit a couple road blocks on the way to his goal: becoming a certified music teacher…with an actual job teaching music. He had to work at Target to pay to retake his teacher certification tests, and once he passed, had a tough time finding job openings. It was the middle of the school year, after all.
Well, The Post College Life is elated to report that Jamal is now Mr. Jamal, Music Teacher Extraordinaire to children pre-k through 5th grade!!!!
The kiddies filed into class last week, so I hopped on Skype to ask Jamal how things are going so far. “I grew up in a month — isn’t that crazy,” he says. He was hired in late June and moved a couple hours away to his new school district in August. Just like that, he’s in a new city, new apartment, and has a full-time job with benefits, ya digg! “Everything happens for a reason,” he says. “You know you get cut off insurance at 26, right…” Now that’s perfect timing. Can I git an Amen??
As the teaching gods would have it, Jamal went to college with his co-teacher! That definitely makes their teaching dynamic strong early in the game. The hardest thing about teaching so far? Being stern with the students. “I made a few kids cry and I didn’t like that,” he says. “But it’s the beginning of the year and with being new teacher it’s really important.”
We all know kids caint keep a grudge that long though, right? Despite Mr. Jamal serving as classroom disciplinarian, the chirrens are already forming bonds with him. “They call me Mr. Cool Cat and I get hugs in the hallways, so I guess I’m doing something right,” he says. Mr. Cool Cat. HOW FREAKIN’ CUTE IS THAT?!?!?!?!
He also has to rethink how he’ll instruct the students to sing (imagine a room of 1st graders growling to match his deep Man Voice), but overall, his first days on the job went smoothly.
Jamal says getting his career underway is a breath of fresh air and a weight off his shoulders. “This is still the honeymoon phase,” he says. “Most people say the beginning is really rough, but I didn’t feel like I wasn’t prepared. Having a co-teacher really helps and the administration is really supportive. I feel like a competent teacher.”
Mr. Jamal, I’m so happy for you. Wishing you smooth school year!