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Monday, March 24, 2008

Why it is important to listen closely and think before you act.

The other day I turned on my cell phone after school. The screen flashed "New message!" so I dialed my voice mail.

Verizon Voice: "You have one new message. To play your messages press 1."
Me: (In my head - "Okay!" I press 1.)
Voice mail: Hello. This is Skjfksldj Ljlksdjfd from School District Number 12. We would like to set up a screening interview with you for early next week. Please call us back today to set up a phone interview. Our number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Me: (In my head - "Oh, yipppie! I don't remember the name or phone number, so I need to listen to the message again.")
Verizon Voice: "End of message. To delete your message press 7. To save you message press 5..."
Me: (In my head - "Save!" I press 7.)
Verizon Voice: "Message deleted."
Me: Nooooooo!!!!

After a short freak-out, I became thankful that I at least remembered which school district called me. I called back the HR department of District 12, and awkwardly explained that, "Someone called me and left a message asking me to set up a screening interview. But I accidentally deleted the message instead of saving it, and I don't remember who it was or what number I was supposed to call." This, of course, is a fabulous way to prove to a school district that I am smart, organized, and should be in charge of 25-30 of their children for 6.5 hours a day. After being connected to the appropriate person, I unprofessionally babbled my way through setting up an over-the-phone screening interview.

Now, I know that a screening interview means that I will just be interviewed for the district at large, I guess to see if any of the schools want to look at me more closely. But, what is asked in a screening interview? I don't have an over-the-internet portfolio, so I can't show that. (Though I suppose I should make one.) Will the person just be asking me interview questions? ("Describe an effective teacher." "Tell me about a success/failure you have had with students." "How would you manage a classroom?") Will something else be happening? I didn't have one of these for my current job.

Also, I bought the cheapest cell phone at the cell phone store. And the really poor reception I receive is a direct result of that. I'm trying to decide if I should mention that I get poor reception at the start of my call, so that the person understands why I may be frequently asking her to repeat what she says, or why my responses may be delayed as I try to decipher her garbled voice.

I wish that a different school/district had asked for an interview before this one. I actually want the job I applied for at this district, whereas at some of the others districts to which I applied, I would like the job, but working there wouldn't be much different than working elsewhere. I wish I had a "trial" interview to screw up on a bit before this one, that I actually want to succeed at.

I'll do my best. And prepare by answering the list of 30 practice interview questions I have. Oh, and also by reading over old notes I have from education professors reassuring me that I'm smart and knowledgeable and competent enough to be a teacher.


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