In spite of my frustrating first year, there is a lot of positive stuff happening as I plan for the future.
First, my students started a petition to bring me back. It won't get anywhere, but it's really touching that I have students who care enough to do something like this. Unfortunately, only high regents scores could save my job, and even these guys admit that probably won't happen.
It helps that I'm not being fired. This is simply a one year contract that's expiring.
A friend is completing her first year at a small school that she loves, and she's put in a good word for me with the superintendent. She said that he's excited to hear from me, so that's a good, solid lead. It's a long commute, but it's rare to hear a teacher who actually loves their district and the administration, so a commute would be a small sacrifice. And it may help me that they have no male English teachers there now.
I also found that I have 4 people--including a principal--who want to write letters of recommendation for me. That will say a lot to other districts as I apply for new jobs.
So all is not lost. I have a solid resume, solid references, and a solid year of experience behind me. I'm not too worried about the future right now.