About two years ago I made the mistake of trying to help a neighbor. I was a substitute teacher in her child's class. Her child had been having a hard time acclimating to the new school and despite meeting with administrators her mom was frustrated and wondering how to help her child. One day, after our kids got on the bus, she asked me about her child and what I observed in the class. I shared with her behaviors I observed while in the classroom- sticking strictly to her child and things that anyone in the room could have noticed. My heart was in the right place. However, the school district submitted a "confidential" critical review of my actions that day- citing unprofessionalism and breach of confidentiality. I only know of the review because the substitute agency called me to let me know it had been filed. I was strongly encouraged not to contact the school about it, and to act as though nothing happened. Interestingly enough, the district allowed me to continue substituting, even filling in for a month in a particular class. Prior to this incident, I had applied for positions with this district and never received interest from them. Needless to say, I didn't receive interest from them afterward the either. Fast forward a few months, and an administrator I was friendly with (at different school from where the incident occurred) called me to tell me the district would never hire me because of what happened. It was as close as I got to a conversation with district leaders. Two months later, the district offered me a long-term substitute position, which I declined.
My question is... how do I move past this. It's been over two years and it still bothers me. I live in a very small county and everyone knows everyone else. For a variety of reasons I cannot travel more than 30 minutes from my home. How can I rebrand myself? How can I find closure?
As an aside... I have applied at every district within a 30-minute radius and never receive a response. I imagine that one of a few things is happening: 1. I am overqualified. 2. My application cannot get through the applicant tracking system. 3. Word has gotten around about my indiscretion.