Friday, January 27, 2006

After Weeks of (seemingly) No Movement...

...things are FLYING now.

I had a meeting with the principal this morning. I think it went well, and it seems I was right - I just got a call from one of the assistant principals telling me to expect a call from someone in the administrative office this afternoon. There is a bunch of paperwork-type stuff that I'll need to do, including being fingerprinted (again), and I'm really hoping to be able to start in the school on Monday (that is, of course, if the Nor'easter the Weather Channel people are talking about goes somewhere else).

It was a very interesting interview this morning, and I think I got a taste of what it would be like to actually interview for a job. The question I was worried about answering never came up, but I was asked things about my grading and discipline philosophy and how confident I am in talking to parents. I spoke about my comfort and confidence in the classroom and was honest about the things I feel I still need work in.

Then he asked if this was a "career change" for me.

That stopped me short.

I mean, I understand that I'm not 22 anymore. I also understand that a lot of the people that he interviews for teaching jobs ARE 22, fresh out of college with a new bachelor's degree.

Still, the question caught me off guard.

I don't think of myself as being "old": I'm 37 and proud of it. Yes, I'm coming to this particular party a little late, but told him that I got married right out of college and immediately started a family. I also made a strong point of saying that I'd spent the last eight years raising my girls and that there was nothing more important that I could have done with that time. Once I could, I went back to school to earn my Master's degree, which brings me here fifteen years later than most of the other people looking for teaching jobs.

I'm hoping that my "maturity" works in my favor when I AM looking for work, though. I have a lot of experience, maybe not in the workplace, but certainly in the real world of teaching and learning. I have a good grasp on classroom management and the idea of discipline as a framework for behaviour rather than a system of punishment. I barely survived my teenage years, and am not so old that I've forgotten how hard it was; I have something to offer to teens to help them make it through. I have the confidence of a mother who's raising two thoughtful, responsible girls and understand that my job, both as a parent and a teacher, is to teach my kids to learn how to get along in the world on their own.

I think about this stuff, I CARE about this stuff - it's more to me than just a job.


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