Sunday, May 16, 2010

Application Time!

I'm not sure what is worse: this line from a local school district:

"We received over 400 applications and only hired 10 new teachers."

...or the dreaded "Tell us about yourself" introduction letter?

I was never good at self-evaluations at work, either too critical or too much the braggart -- but "I really didn't do much of anything" won't get one a raise, and "This place would collapse into rubble without me" doesn't endear one to immediate supervisors.  Now I need to tell principals why they should hire me to work in one of their classrooms, and I'm out on the tightrope, balancing between the feeling that I have no idea what I'm doing and announcing myself as the second coming of Socrates.

So why should a principal hire me?  Let me count the ways...

  1. I enjoy kids.  They amaze me when they learn, inspire me when they create, crack me up just by walking in the door and saying good morning.
  2. I love learning.  Through reading, hearing, watching, doing -- even trying to do but messing things up can be some learning. I love learning about new things I've never heard of before and learning something new about things I thought I knew all about.  I love sharing the "Wow, that was cool!" moment with others when we learn together.
  3. I think it is very important to set a good example, to walk the walk after (and sometimes during) talking the talk -- teachers/parents/adults should do the same things we tell children they should do, such as read a book, get out in the fresh air, visit a museum, make friends with a bully, sit up straight...
  4. I enjoy what I do.  If we have to work or do a task, might as well do it with a smile, do it well, do it right the first time.  It sounds corny, but I cannot wait to have a job I am really going to look forward to going to each morning!
  5. I know how to listen to and talk with a wide variety of people, even unhappy ones.  I was in retail sales for 20 years and have heard every complaint, excuse, and con in the book.  I will be able to efficiently communicate and cooperate with parents and co-workers, and be able to calmly handle any difficulties that might arise.
  6. Speaking of years, I have lived a few more than most rookie teachers, which means not only do I have a bit of that distinguished, professorial gray, but I'm definitely in this job for life.  I plan on spending at least the next 30 years (just enough to pay off the student loans!) as a teacher.  It is who I am, it is what I want to do.


TeachEnEspanol said...

May I add, "I work to improve myself every day by doing things like choosing to write about and reflect on my experiences, reading children's books so that I can more accurately teach and relate to future students, and actively communicate with other educators in order to improve and share my skills." :)

Joel said...

Gracias Maestra, excellent point!