I know I stammered and bumbled through too many questions, gave vague answers instead of definitive, academic term filled answers. Probably showed myself the door by mentioning my lack of classroom experience. I blanked on the "Do you have any questions for us?" -- and then of course thought of several before I was across the parking lot.
One question was the ol' standby "Describe yourself with one word" -- or was it 3 words? One word 3 different ways? No, it was 3 1-word descriptions. Anyway, not wanting to appear too self-centered with excessive contemplation, I blurted out the first three popping to mind:
Here. Tall. Trekkie.
So if they gave me a mulligan, possibly all 12 ears were momentarily ringing, and they asked me to kindly repeat my answer, I would probably go with completely different answers...
- Competitive: I want to be the best. Yes, I want to beat you, but the focus is beating me, constantly getting better, setting high standards, not settling for "that's all I can do" -- I want my class to be the cleanest and best looking, my students the smartest, most eager, respectful, polite, my family the happiest and proudest. And I want you to be the best as well, I want to work with the best, play against the best, measure up against the best.
- Excited: I get excited when lessons go well, thrilled when kids "get it" and learning happens, electrified when students want to learn; I get energized when I get to go to work, when I get to learn something, when I get to teach!
- Appreciative: It's not a perfect world; in fact it can be a scary, hopeless place if we dwell on all that does or can go wrong. But instead I appreciate each day I have with my sons, my wife, my friends and family. I appreciate the physical miracles of my body and the world around me, and the amazing gifts of thought, art, music, creativity, compassion, love.
- Right: not right as in the "I am always..." I repeatedly tell my sons, but the Right as in there is a right way to do things, to do everything. The right way is doing your best, thinking of others first, learning something, improving something, doing it right the first time but if not finding the right way and doing it again. The right way does not include shortcuts, cheating, or selfishness.
- Studious: I like to be prepared, I like to get as much resource material as possible, look at all angles, research the right and best way to do something -- whether I get the job of Defensive Line Coach or 4th grade Teacher, no matter if the assignment is native California flora, jump roping, or 3-digit division, I'm going to read about it, google it, watch a video on it, scour the Library shelves for it, and make my lesson plan the best it can be. Then I'm going to make it better for the next time.