Sunday, May 2, 2010

Who wants to be a teacher... "I do!"

Yesterday, Killeen Independent School district administrators held their annual job fair at Harker Heights High School. I was part of the interview team from our elementary school. Due to the transient nature of the military, many of our staff members leave each year. Between that and our projected growth for the coming school year, we will be adding 1 section to most grade levels. I have been on interview teams before, but they have always taken place on campus; so, working the job fair was a new experience for me. When I arrived at the school campus, the parking lot was practically filled. I ended up parking near the rear of the building, and walking around to the front entrance. I was astounded to see that the line of anxious job seekers wrapped around the building!  I later heard that there were nearly 2500 applicants that day.
The process of the job fair was relatively straight forward. Job seekers would enter the building, sign in and fill out a name tag with their certification & name, then present themselves at the tables set up by each campus in the cafeteria. There, we stationed screeners who would field the prospective candidates and accept resumes. If the conversation led our screeners to believe that the job seeker would be a good fit for our campus, they were scheduled an interview. I was on the interview team, located in a classroom adjacent to the cafeteria.  We had candidates coming in every 15 minutes, so the process was pretty fast. During the 5 hours that I was there, we interviewed nearly 20 people for both teaching positions and librarian. The majority of job seekers weren't eager and idealistic college graduates; but, older individuals who had either lost their jobs because of the slow economy, or were retired from the military and gone through an alternative certification program. Of course, they all said that they "always knew teaching was what they really wanted to do". But once we began the interview process, the truth came through.  I was saddened by the desperation that could be seen in their faces and the nervous anxiousness in their voices as they extolled their virtues and tried desperately to convince us that they were perfect for the job. Ultimately, our goal as educators was to find those people who truly view teaching as a calling.  Many people find out that teaching isn't what they expected it to be.  
At the end of the day when I returned home, I was so thankful for the experience.  It helped me to see that, even though I grumble about wanting to retire, I am doing what I was meant to do. I know that I love the little ones that have passed through the door of my classroom each year, and am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to share a small portion of their lives. To anyone who might read this blog, if you ever consider teaching as a profession, do it because you love children and it is indeed your true calling.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I wish my kids had a teacher like you:)