Like many people in education I’ve been through a few interviews — for myself it’s probably somewhere north of 30. It sounds like a lot and I suppose that it is a lot. However, sometimes there were multiple interviews for the same job — positions like Science Department Head where I needed to interview in several different schools, or in the case of my current position as Superintendent I had 4 rounds of interviews.
And if I look from the other side of the interview table when I worked in Human Resources, district leadership and school administration I’m sure that I must have interviewed at least 300-400 people.
Be Yourself — It’s the Person You Already Know the Best
So, all being said, I’ve been in a ton of interviews. I can’t even accurately estimate the number of resumes that I’ve read — it must be over 2000.
And over my past 30 years in education I’ve noticed a few things that I think can make a big difference when someone is applying for a job. I thought that you might be interested in hearing some of them.
As I get older I see more grey. Ya, ya, ya … the hair jokes .. I get it. Nice!
What I’m talking about are my observations that we don’t live in a binary world of ‘Yes or No’ , ‘Black or White’. We just don’t typically live in “All or Nothing” scenarios. Our world is a series of sliding position points along a continuum. It isn’t static, measured once and labeled. It is a complex, multi-dimensional, constantly evolving space.
Need proof? OK. Some examples that are right off the top of my head include:
Practice MAY make perfect
- Physical aptitude in sports
- Cooking prowess
- Home repair abilities
- Computer use
- Essay writing
The point being, we have some ability or knowledge in lots of areas — some are just more developed than others. And in many cases increased practice results in improvement.
So our world is a patchwork of grey! Different shades of ‘greyness’ which indicate our varying abilities.
Do-Overs — Every September!
It’s what makes education so much fun.
If something didn’t quite work out this school year there’s always next year. Our profession is kind of unique that way. I’ve always liked the fact that we get to press ‘reset’. As teachers, administrators and support staff we get do-overs all the time.
We also have an education system that supports repeat opportunities for students. I’d like to take a close look at WHY we should remember to have that mindset of providing do-overs for our students.
School is a safe place — as educators we take enormous pride in creating spaces that are emotionally safe for everyone regardless of their story or history. For some of our students the stark reality is that we may be the ONLY place in their world where they feel the most connected to an adult. A place where some may form their only trusting, compassionate relationships with a caring adult.