Monday, May 30, 2016

The "how many things could I do wrong" Interview that was Oh-So Right!

Two years ago I was ready for a change and decided to participate in the transfer process in my school district. I was nervous.... 1) because I would be leaving my comfort zone of 6 years and 2) because this meant interviews! Interviews make me extremely nervous!! (I even get nervous if I am helping to interview someone else!)
I decided the best way to deal with this nerve-racking experience would be to just get all interviews over with as quick as possible. So I scheduled 4 interviews in 1 day (3 elementary schools and 1 middle school)..... Well.... I actually thought I had scheduled 3 interviews on one day and 1 the day before. 
I thought my first interview was on a Monday afternoon at a middle school. (By the way, I was talked into this interview because I wasn't sure if I was ready to move from elementary to middle school just yet. My former co-counselor and I used to joke about how we weren't "cool enough" to work in middle school.... of course...I've learned over the past 2 years that NO ONE is cool enough to work in middle school...according to middle schoolers). I showed up early in my cute blazer with resume in hand, but apparently I was a day early! Yep! I showed up on the wrong day for my interview! Amazing first impression, right? (Of course, my first thought was...."great! now I have to find another blazer to wear, now that they've seen this one!" --- so silly.)
So.... NOW I had 4 interviews in 1 day on Tuesday. 
I drove back and forth across my county all day, taking breaks at home to let dogs out, have lunch, freshen makeup, etc. My interviews varied....... one with 1 person, one with 6 people, one lasting an hour, one lasting 15 minutes, one with a tour and introduction to the staff! 
By the time 4:15 pm rolled around for my final interview, I was a little tired and perhaps a little more relaxed and more myself. 
The hour long interview included me swearing I was "not that flaky" and could actually show up on the correct day and time for most things as well as me answering "I don't know" to not one but TWO questions during my interview! (Not sure what I was thinking except that I really did not have an answers to those questions). I may have also mentioned my blazer dilemma. And... I was very upfront about counseling duties, the ASCA national model and RAMP. Like I said.... I think I was a little tired and more relaxed, so I was myself!
But the interview also included me sharing my purpose and passion to connect with students and to connect students with their education after my experience in the department of corrections. The principal then shared with me the focus of the school: C.L.R. = Connections, Literacy, and Rigor. 
Connections! This school blatantly focused on making connections with their students! 
I knew as I walked out the door from my interview that this was the right place for me. Even though I may have botched the interview and I had never worked middle school before, and possibly was not  even close to being "cool enough"to work in with middle schoolers, I knew this was the right fit for me.
One minute later I had a voicemail from the principal offering me the job and the next fall began our journey of "tending the farm" as we connected with our kiddos. 

(My current principal and I are working on a presentation about "tending the farm" and I will post more about this school connectedness initiative on this blog a little later.)

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