Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Would you apply for your own job each year if you had to?

       A couple times a year, Ohio University-Zanesville hosts a mock interview session for their graduating education major interns. The program directors invite local school principals to the University, after school hours, to conduct thirty-minute interviews. Interns submit their resume's ahead of time and a feedback evaluation form is provided at the conclusion of the interview. Each intern gets a chance to practice three or four times. Afterwards, interns and principals are treated to a dinner which includes an informal question and answer session where interns have the opportunity to ask the things that are important to them as they search for their first assignment.
     I always enjoy meeting and talking to the interns as it helps me to keep things in perspective. I am always reminded of the many different experiences they are being exposed to as they complete their field work. Some of them may have just a glimpse of a certain educational topic while another may have a very deep understanding, depending on the grade level and topic of their cooperating teacher. It sometimes becomes apparent that not all intern placements are equal. Some schools are in different places with state initiatives, and some are committed to doing their own local thing.
    I always try to accommodate an intern placement in our building when I can, but it is not always an easy thing to do. Teachers are accountable for the growth of every child they come into contact with and it is a daunting task. I am encouraged though with the trend of some universities to move from the traditional student teaching placement experience to the "start teaching on your first day" co-teacher internship type model. I have heard it said that new teachers will be able to say to perspective employers "this is what I did in my classroom during my training" instead of saying "this is what I would do in a classroom."

    Almost every intern I talked to would most likely accept any offer proffered from any of the local schools without giving much thought about whether their new "family" would fit in with what they believe or were trained to do. They will count on their enthusiasm and freshness to make up for their lack of experiences.

    For the new interns, I recommend reading this short article found on the Connected Principals blog site to get an insight on what you may be getting into.
For my own staff, I sent this same article because I am curious: If THEY had to re-apply every year for their own job, would they do it?