So here I sit and wait till the end of the week. Am I one of the three lucky ones who will return next week to do a lesson with live children? Will my written response before the interview, and my cover letter be enough to get me through to the next round? My Mom said, "Just let it go." So this is a part of that process. Writing about it is how I let it go. I will write one personal "redo" of a question that is at the heart of what makes me a great candidate.
Question: "Think about your most challenging student, what did you learn from that experience, what would you do differently."
The hardest child for me to deal with when I was teaching repeatedly did the same things to aggravate or frustrate classmates and me throughout the year. There was no sense that she understood or could keep from alienating herself from the other kids in class. There was no feeling that time out or consequences helped her to change her behaviors. It was frustrating for me then.
What I have learned is no child wants to do poorly. "Children will do well if they can." (ala Ross Greene) And I firmly believe this and with this lense it becomes easier as a teacher, as a parent, to set aside personal frustrations and dig in to helping the child with whatever underlying problem may be the real root of the issue. With this lense, I realize that thinking a child is "willfull" or "manipulative", thinking the parenting is poor, those things do not help the child who needs to be taught skills to succeed. Assumptions teach no one anything. It is only when we set aside our assumptions and look deeply at the child, and the child's set of skills that we may help them learn what they need.