Friday, December 09, 2005

juggling for work

I got called back for an interview, one of the "chosen 200." It was a debacle. They told me to arrive between 10 and 12, so I got there at 11. I got interviewed at 2. The room (at Holy Cross College) had three groups: elementary, administration, and secondary. I chose a seat in the secondary section and a woman next to me told me I had to sit at the end of the line. For three hours we sat in the seats and each time the first in line got called forward for an interview (in plain sight of the whole crowd) we all moved forward a seat. A little rotation. It was bizarre. I did two New York Times crossword puzzles (only completely got one), went outside twice for a smoke, paced, drank water, had several lengthy conversations with strangers, one of whom turned out to be my neighbor just one block down Marigny. That was pretty cool. Anyway, by the time I had my turn my clothes were rumpled, my shirt untucked, my resume bent at the corners and a little dirty on the bottom from being on the floor, and my mind dull. The hard-faced interviewers were the two secondary principals and their assistant principals. One was the man who screened me last week. The first question they asked was this: principals and assistant principals in the new charter system will have additional duties besides administrative. What leadership role will you play in the school to help pick up the slack? Actually, the question wasn't even that clear. I paraphrase. So there I sat, dumb, unable to remember what administrators actually do, and you're not going to believe this (I tell you, my mind was dull) I said aloud, I can't remember what administrators actually do. That did not go over well at all. Before I could even stumble around with an inane answer to the question I sat there, silent. I really could not remember what administrators do. I said something stupid, like help by holding after school detentions. One of the interviewers asked me if I'd be willing to commit to that and I said I'd have to think about it. They were not impressed. And then the second question was, how do I handle discipline in my classroom? And I reminded them that my last school was Douglass. They weren't really listening actually. So I said that when I have a problem with a student that the next day, before I allow the student in the room, I have a talk with him in the hall and require that he promise to do as I say, sit where I say, or he cannot come in the room. The interviewers said, what if he won't promise? And I said I won't let him in. And they said, then where would he go? And I said I don't know and I don't care. They were dumbfounded, even laughed at me. In retrospect I wish I'd asked the question, would YOU let someone in your room who has no intention of behaving? I mean, duh. But I also told them that no one has ever refused me before, which is true, and it always works for me, which is also true. But they were still laughing. And I reminded them once again, I TAUGHT AT FREDERICK DOUGLASS HIGH SCHOOL. And then I said, that answer about me attempting to exact a promise from the student wasn't the right answer was it? And they laughed again and shook their heads no.
I'm too old to lie or to make myself be what they want.
I left there not interested in teaching for the ACSA. And I decided that if they called me for a job (haha!) I'd refuse it. They didn't call.
Which is a very good thing for another reason. The day after the "interview," Lusher School called me in for an interview. They're a magnet/charter school focused on the arts. And that interview went great. I think that if they do indeed find that they have a position available they'll hire me.
Today Douglass teachers are allowed into school to get our things. That sad experience will be my next blog.
Melanie

4 Comments:

Blogger Nancy McKeand said...

Funny how much you can learn from an interview! I hope the Lusher job comes through. Or rather, that there is a job there for you. It would be a much better fit.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I hope that job works out for you. I had an interview a few years ago that was awful - I wasn't prepared for it, and I didn't really want the job anyway. They didn't offer it either.

Good luck - I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the people interviewing you suck, chances are the job will too.

Need I say more?

I'll cross my fingers for Lusher.

And you can think good thoughts for me--today I had my physical and Wednesday I get fingerprinted so I can sub (after I scrounge up $50 for a sub certificate). Subbing was so much easier in South Carolina, all you had to have was a HS diploma, no TB, and a pulse. Illinois is much pickier, but pays more.

Charla

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

The not letting a student into your classroom until they promised thing - yeah... You did that at Mandeville too. Demographics don't mean anything in terms of how you tough love your kids! You should have said you chase kids out of your room and make sure they are okay enough to come back the next day too. I wonder how they would have responded to that??!!

There isn't a day that I don't think about you or Douglass or your kids scattered around the USA... *hugs*

9:41 PM  

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