Sunday, June 14, 2009

The interview.

Tomorrow is my very first interview for the first job possibility since I graduated in May. It is for an online academy, and I am being considered for the position of high school Language Arts teacher.

Normally, I would have turned down such an offer because I am not an education major nor did I seriously want to teach for the rest of my life, but considering that I am currently unemployed and would rather do something along the lines of English rather than go to work at a menial, low-paying job that any high school graduate can do, I decided to go for it. In addition, I told myself in the past that if I ever became a teacher I would want to teach high school, alone, simply because I find that age and period in life to be not just difficult but utterly important in the shaping of one's future, and I do not want the next generation to grow up without a love of reading and writing.

I briefly scanned the academy's website to do "research" before I go to my interview, and unfortunately, I'm a little daunted. I thought I would be able to plan out my own curriculum, but the school already has every unit for every grade planned. I suppose this is fine; it is, after all, less work on my end. However, the reason I'm daunted is because of the curriculum. There's a lot to take in, subjects that cover the entire span of the English language (excepting a few important elements that I would add if I could, such as the basics of linguistics and Classical literature). There's so much to take in that I am unsure if I can handle all of that, especially the areas I never did very well in, like criticism and poetry.

If I want this job, how do I act competent in these areas that I know I'm lacking?

Even if I hope to impress my interviewer, I will still have to work very hard to stay on top of things, one step ahead of my students. I know I can do that; it'd almost be like I'm back in school again, researching and preparing for any questions or help the students may need. However, the thought as of right now is just overwhelming.

Teaching is definitely harder than most people give it credit for, especially considering the fact that if you don't have the answer to a student's question or if you can't help with a problem, you most likely feel like you're failing them. If you admit your ignorance humbly and recommend that you both look for the answer together and compile your knowledge so you can both benefit from the research, the bright students will agree with your suggestion (and may even consider you a phenomenal teacher), but the uncaring students may label you as stupid and an unworthy excuse of a teacher.

Maybe that's what I should focus on in the interview tomorrow when I don't actually know how to do something or know the answer to a question: I'll admit my ignorance humbly and acknowledge that I have some growing to do in that area, but that I am indeed willing to learn. Maybe my interviewer will, like the bright students, take my gumption as a good sign and at least consider me for the position. Maybe my interviewer won't appreciate my lack of competence in these areas that I clearly should have been prepared for in applying for such a job.



  1. good luck! i hope it went well - you're steps ahead of me in that you've actually been given an interview! :)

  2. Hey! Isn't it crazy how life works?
    Don't know if you're aware, but I've been teaching AP Biology at a high school in PA. I don't have a teaching license either.

    I read a quote once, something a long the lines of "The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you learned this afternoon." I've found it to be very true. Would love to hear about the interview went.


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