The Interview

I know that interviews are a neccessary part of the job hunting process, and the fact that I was one of ten to get an interview feels like a great accomplishment in itself.  I know that schools get lots of applications for jobs these days.  I  felt confident about what is in my head these days concerning teaching and children.  yet just as always when on the spot, I freeze, my voice barely works, and it becomes so hard to express what I know.  I think I actually got a few ideas acrossed, but it was painful.  I don't even mean painful for me, but surely it was painful for the kind faced interviewers to watch and listen while I pulled tidbits out through the bottleneck that occurs in my brain.

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."

My Redo:

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.


Anonymous said...

"What I have learned is no child wants to do poorly. "Children will do well if they can." (ala Ross Greene)"

Wow! I think that this is my life lesson! I am not a teacher, but as a mother, I felt so confounded by my son's behavior.

When I first read those words a few years ago they were a revelation. I cling to them now, and remind myself when I feel overwhelmed.

You are so right, unexpected behavior is a request to be taught differently. As a mother, I examine off behavior and try to put together a new plan.

Amy Boyden said...

It is revelational isn't it? Like a psychologist I spoke with a while ago verified, our children need parenting and teaching that is sometimes contrary to popular beliefs and if we let society and our own stuck in the muck ideas get in the way it will become even harder to parent and harder to reach and teach our kids. Thanks for reading and responding :)