Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Interviews

Today I had the opportunity to interview for some internal transfer positions within my school district. The process has changed since I transferred to my current school. It used to all happen behind the scenes (you bid on jobs, ranked the jobs by preference and then were awarded based upon certification and/or seniority). These days they do the interviews with a short demo lesson. A few years ago, to be totally honest, I thought that was weird....why do I need to interview for a job I already do?!

But I was young(er) and dumb then. Now that I've gone through the majority of a leadership program, I absolutely appreciate this process. First because it really allows principals to try to select an internal candidate that is a good fit for the position they need to fill but also because the way the transfers worked before, neither the candidate nor the principal really had any idea about each other. What if you bid into a school and got along with no one?? That could be horrible. At least this way you have an opportunity to meet the principal and ask and answer questions. 

Today I had an opportunity to interview for a 4th grade ESL position and a 4th/5th split position. The latter is not an ESL position but it is in an ESL school. They are also 1:1 ipads and my first choice. 

Full disclosure: I think I am a terrible interviewer. I have never really had to interview for a teaching job before. I got my first job as a teacher through a recommendation and an email! I was a long term sub. It was supposed to be a 4 week long assignment, basically from the Monday after Thanksgiving to winter break. It lasted the rest of the year. :) The following fall I did another long-term job and then had a pseudo interview for my first contract job...but the principal later told me I was hired before I walked in the door, it was all a formality.

Thus to go into a real interview like this was intimidating, even for me with 11 years of teaching. Fortunately I shared my nerves with the first interview team and they put me at ease. They asked me some good questions and then I presented a demo lesson (I used this lesson - I found the story with the book on youtube and then we did the close read and interactive notebook part).

My first choice school was my second interview and I think it went really well. I really liked the principal a lot, and I think she liked me. She seemed to. She was very affirming and they asked me several good follow up questions too. I don't know if it was because I had already had one interview (and the questions weren't identical for both), but I was so much more at ease. I'm kind of glad my first choice school was the second interview. I basically had a practice run first :) 

I would LOVE to be a part of that school. First of all because they are 1:1 ipads which would be a dream come true, second because there is so much I could do being back to what I know best (I've taught 4th grade most of my career). There are so many programs I have used before or am using now that they use at that school too. I have to admit the longer we talked, the more drawn I was to this position. It doesn't mean I will get it, but I am hopeful because I think this is the type of school where I could really shine....shine in a way I feel I can't do where I currently am.

There was no information on how long it would take them to tell us whether or not we are awarded one of the positions we interviewed for, but I'm hoping it won't be too long. I truly think transferring to this school would reignite my creativity and passion in a way that I haven't felt in several years. I would also have a large team (three 4th grade colleagues and three 5th grade colleagues). A real team is such an appeal to me since I really haven't had one in many years.

I'm excited and hopeful and nervous all at once. I'm praying that this is the one for me. I really think just talking with the principal and how at ease she made me feel, I would fit in very well with her and the staff at her school.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

As the World Turns (Upcoming Changes)

Just so you know, I am not talking about the daytime soap opera :)

I did some cleaning up on the blog today. I reverted almost 90% of my blog posts to "draft" status. I went from 1059 published posts down to 135. I kept pretty much everything from last school year to now along with my most popular posts (like Words Their Way--which has an unbelievable 83,000+ views!-- and Navigating Reading Street) active so you will still be able to see those.

Why did I decide to do this? Partly because some of my earliest posts were written by someone I no longer identify with. I have changed and grown so much over the life of this blog and while I didn't delete anything I have written, I have just chosen to keep them just for myself. There is enough negativity in the world and my 6-7 year old rantings do not need to add to that :)

Another reason is because I am planning to make some changes. I have been with my current school for 7 years. I went to school there as a kid, I student taught there. I have a ton of history and memories with the neighborhood and the families. I LOVE my students--even the challenging ones!--but I have been increasingly unhappy there and it is time for me to move on. I'm not sure what "moving on" will mean but I have applied for an internal transfer and several principal jobs.

Yes, I did just say I applied for a principal job. If you had asked me a month ago if I wanted to be a principal, I would have scoffed and given you a resounding NO as an answer.

Alas, I wonder if this is why I am so increasingly restless. Maybe I need to sit on the other side of the table. Maybe I need to have a broader perspective in the educational field to truly appreciate the path I am trying to take. I don't really know. It could be as simple as changing schools. That might be all I need. Again, I really don't know. I just know that I am not happy where I am and life is too short to be unhappy. With that said, I know how important and impactful a digital footprint can be and thus, I have elected to hide posts I do not believe represent me appropriately with where I am currently in my professional career. 

I have always been forthright, honest and vulnerable on this blog, even when I was more or less anonymous. Since I no longer am and I have people all over the country I am connected with, I do not want my former self to be aligned with who I feel I am today. I am SO not the same person I was when I began this blog nearly 7 years ago. I have changed so much personally and professionally and I didn't feel it was in my best interest to hold on to that former self that started this blog.