A New Year Begins – Along With Some Anxiety

Autumn in Victoria, BC

September is such a magical time of the year.

Autumn is the season of cooler weather, crisp leaves on the ground and corn on the cob — all worth looking forward to for sure. But, for me and others in public education, September is also our New Year. It’s a time of starting again, the excitement of seeing the kids back in classrooms, maybe some fun new equipment in the school and the optimism of tackling new challenges with some energy in one’s personal tank.

It’s really a great time of year.

As I enter my 34th year in public education that excitement is still there — freshly polished floors, big ideas on our learning agenda and a bunch of exciting new projects to tackle.

Yet, similar to last fall there is still a feeling of anxiety amongst many in our community. COVID continues to provide a significant distraction for many and a challenge for us as we focus on teaching and learning.

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The Job Interview – Do’s and Don’ts

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.

interview dog

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.

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Life is All About the Grey … But Does That Apply to Character?

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:

  • musical ability.jpg

    Practice MAY make perfect

    Musical ability

  • 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.

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