Monday, April 7, 2014

Second Interviews

Hey Friends!

 How are you?  I've been crazy!  It's been a busy 24 hours.

Thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers!  I really love all the support you have given me while I venture out to be a grown up girl.

Today I had my second interview at a school I would love to work at!  I have my fingers crossed for a demo lesson!  I will find out in a few weeks!  LONGEST.WEEKS.OF.MY.LIFE.

So today as I was driving to my interview a few random thoughts went through my head.  Nothing rational like I'll forget the guided reading process, close reading, guided math, etc.  Nothing like I will curse up a storm or call everyone by their first name and be disrespectful.  No, nothing rational.  Here are my actual fears while driving to the interview:

  • I will forget how to speak.  Yep, suddenly 22 years of speaking will just be gone.  I'll remember none of it.  I will lose the voluntary act of moving my vocal chords and be just like Ariel...voiceless.
  • I'll forget how to read my GPS and get lost.  Again, it's reading--something I have done for 19 years.  (Hands in the air for learning to read in pre-k)  Also, Ava Grace (my GPS' name) speaks to me in her own rude little way ensuring that I stay on course.  
  • I will fall down in my heels.  I trip often...only in sneakers though.  Never heels.  
  • In said fall my dress will fly up over my head.  This has never happened...knock on wood...and I don't know why I fear this.  My dress is stiff enough to not do this.
  • A cat will appear.  Yup a cat will just appear inside the cinderblock walls that are an administrator's office.  Rational Er, real rational.  I fear cats more than anything and everything and if one showed up at my interview I would die.  Curl up into a ball/fetal position and die.  
  • A booger will fly out of my nose and hit my interviewer.  I always have this fear when I'm talking to someone close.  I've never been a booger projector but this has happened to me.  Hi, my name's Erin and I've been boogered.  (Hi, Erin)
  • My breath will smell like garlic.  I don't really eat garlic in the morning.  
  • What if I have to pee?  I have a bladder the size of a pea.  Pun intended.  I calculate my water intake meticulously to make sure that this won't happen.  Hi, my name is Erin and I'm Type-A.  (Hi, Erin)

These are the things I fear.  Are they rational?  Absolutely not!  You'll be happy to know that I didn't booger anyone today!  Snaps for Erin.  

My tips for interviewing are this:

  • Wear what you feel comfortable in.  I do not feel comfortable in a suit.  I feel stuffy and blah.  I don't wanna be blah.  I do my best when surrounded by jewel tones! (If you didn't get the FRIENDS reference, go watch The One With Rachel's Baby Shower ASAP!) when I feel confident in my outfit.  
  • No one will read your portfolio.  I slave over my portfolio.  I update it, I add pictures, I rearrange it, but NO ONE CARES!  Nobody checks it!  
  • Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself...come on Mikey's making snow angels!  Just Friends.  They can see through your "persona".  They called you because they liked your black and white piece of paper, so why wouldn't they love you in all your true human colors?!  
  • It's okay to be nervous!  I was a ball of nerves today because I knew this interview had a lot more riding on it.  When I first met this district I was so green!  I was too green to be worried.  This time I knew the interview would be more in depth and would go beyond the basic, generic questions.  
  • Research your booty off!  Know everything about the district.  Know demographics, NJ State school report card, principals/administrators/superintendent(s), SES, curriculum, etc.  Know it all!  
  • Fake it 'til you make it.  This may seem flip floppy since I just said to be yourself, but sometimes you don't feel super confident.  You need to fake it.  Channel your inner Beyonce and rock the house!
  • Run questions to yourself the week before your interview.  Ask yourself questions you think they will ask you.  Talk to yourself and try out different answers.  Practice speaking so you sound eloquent.
  • Pretend that you are on Ellen.   I'm dead serious.  I pretend that I am being interviewed by my life idol Ellen DeGeneres.  She's funny, charismatic, and wants you to feel comfortable.  I try to channel my inner  Ellen guest.  I use humor, quotes, emotion, connections, and I act like a human.
  • Bring your humanside with you.  No one wants a robot to teach their students.  There's a reason robots are for engineers...not children.  Be funny, be self-depricating, admit if you don't know something.
  • Don't be an expert on something you are not.  Today one of the interviewers asked what I knew about a specific reading program.  She said, "Just tell me what you know.  I don't expect you to be an expert."  That felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest.  They don't expect you to know everything about everything.  You're new!  Cut yourself some slack!  Say what you know and then feel free to ask questions about it.  
  • Ask questions!  Districts love to talk about themselves.  Ask them about their curriculum, ask what their ideal reading block would look like, ask what type of professional development they do, ask anything relevant.  It shows interest.  One interviewer said, "Do you have any questions for us?"  I said no and he said,  "You asked us good questions last time, I remember."  They remembered my questions!
  • Be honest!  I was asked if I am interviewing in other districts and I said yes.  They want to know that other schools want you.  Don't be rude about it, but be honest.  
  • Compliment the district.  I felt super comfortable around these people and I told them that.  I told them that I loved how comfortable they made me feel.  I got a great vibe from them, one I did not feel from other school districts.  This was something I shared with them and they seemed to really appreciate it.

My Interview Outfit
Dress: LOFT
Shoes: Nine West
Sweater: LOFT

P.S. I didn't get caught taking a selfie in the lav with Jaclyn though.   Speaking of Jaclyn...Happy 23rd Love! 

Good luck to all my friends who are interviewing!  We got this!




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