I had my interview, and it was quite the experience. I had no idea what to expect. All of my interviews thus far have been with principals, the head of departments or personnel directors. I might talk to several people but only one at a time.
This one started off with me writing an essay consisting of two questions. The first asked what I would do the first month on the job, and the second question asked how I would support EBD teachers. I'm not going to retype my answers here, except to say that my 2 prior entries did figure into it. And thank goodness they did allow me to type my entries, because my handwriting is atrocious!
I arrived a bit early (as recommended in all interview literature) and discovered that Big Boss was running the interview process. She then had me fill out the written portion of the test as described above. After writing up my essay, I gave it to the secretary and then waited another few minutes. I met what appeared to be another candidate for the job. The young lady had been teaching for 5 or so years with this last year self-contained EBD. It sounded to me like she might be looking to get herself promoted out of that position!
I was next ushered into the conference room, and sat before Big Boss and 4 other people for a panel interview. Since Big Boss was at the top of my reference list, I felt comfortable enough interviewing in front of her. The panel consisted of 3 assistant principals (2 middle schools and one elementary school) and one EBD teacher. They had before them a multiple-page questionnaire and each took turns asking questions. I have no idea how long this lasted, but there were at least 20 questions. This interview bore a striking resemblance to what I would envision an oral exam to be like. They asked me what an FBA was, what a BIP was and what a rough outline of a training session for paras, bus drivers or teachers might look like in behavior management. The panel took turns asking questions and I answered them all. Fortunately, I had spent some time thinking about most of these issues. I think I did pretty well, but I'll know in a week how well I did. When asked what questions I had, I asked Big Boss what the size and scope she saw for this position.
"Big." She said, "It's going to be huge. It's exciting because it is new, but the first thing will be to find a process of defining this thing down in manageable terms."
That reflected a lot of my thinking. Or worrying, more like. I really do have a rising tide of emotion about all of this. Of course, if I don't get the position that solves that. I can stay being a teacher and continue with my already-full-plate of behavior issues. And there is a considerable amount of appeal in that outcome as I'm already comfortable with it and find it enjoyable much of the time. I worry that this new position might be too much for one person. Or just too much for me. And giving up my whole identity as a teacher. A fairly odd teacher of extremely exceptional students, but I was still a teacher. Giving that up is no easy thing. I have enjoyed being a teacher blogger and being read by other teacher bloggers. Will I continue to have time to blog? And if not about the daily drama, what will I write about?
I'll continue to flesh all this out as things develop.
Two other updates:
– I attended N's funeral last weekend, and the small church was PACKED! This was my first real experience at an old-fashioned southern black funeral. Corretta Scott King had nothing on this little girl. It was loud and proud all the way, and I'm sure you could hear the singing miles down the road. The community really and truly helped support this family through a very difficult time. It will take me some time to get used to not going out there and working with her 3x a week.
– My ESY student, Darius, is doing very well in his daycare setting. In fact, he does better than most of his peers, behaviorally. So I go 2x a week, do stuff with him and the rest of the 4 year-olds and basically have fun. I don't really have much to work with as far as data collection. I suppose I could do something on number of words spoken during 5 minute intervals. But basically he seems to be social and interacts with his peers and seems to be generally well-liked by them. Keeping him there was definitely the right move, but the ESY is of questionable value compared to what he is already getting.