When you’re trying to project confidence but on the inside you’re screaming

Had a job interview today.

A two hour job interview today. Not, like, interviews with multiple people in a row that totaled up to two hours. One interview, with one person, that lasted two hours.

I was interviewing for two different jobs– math at two different grade levels, basically, so it’s not like the questions were going to be different and that’s why the interview ran long– but I got the feeling that the principal was definitely zeroing in on one grade instead of the other by the end of the interview. Which is fine. I’ve been teaching middle school long enough that grade levels don’t really matter all that much to me any longer, although I do have a preference for one curriculum over the other, for whatever that might be worth. I gotta feel like if you sit down with me for two damn hours then you’re probably pretty serious about bringing me into your building; a red flag at any point could have ended the interview a whole hell of a lot sooner.

And here’s the thing, right? If you’ve been around here for a while, or if you’ve read Searching for Malumba, you know good and damn well that if you ask me questions about education you’re gonna get answers. I’m better at talking coherently about classroom praxis and education in general than I am at almost everything else. Which means that I interview really goddamn well for teaching jobs, and the number of teaching jobs where I’ve made it to the interview stage and not been offered a job is frankly pretty damn small.

At any rate, I think it’s probably reasonable to believe that I’m gonna get offered a job at this school in a couple of days. Not guaranteed, certainly, because shit happens, but I think it’s reasonable, especially since I was applying for two different jobs. Which will mean that I’ll be back in the classroom this fall.

Which I have … mixed feelings about, as you well might imagine, if you’ve been around here for a while. And those mixed feelings made honestly answering questions like why are you applying for this job a bit more … I dunno, fraught than they might be? Because I really do have mixed feelings about the idea of leaving my current position. It’s just that after being placed irregularly into a classroom over the last half of last year, at least until ILEARN hit and then my life went to hell, I’m pretty goddamn certain that I’m gonna be teaching this year on at least a part-time basis whether I want to or not, and I’m absolutely going to get asked to write lesson plans for classes I’m not teaching, and, well …

Here’s the thing: something has to change, one way or another, because of reasons having really nothing at all to do with me or the job I actually did. I know where I’m at right now is probably not tenable, so there are a bunch of available moves that represent improvement over my current situation, and one of these two jobs would do that. And … that’s basically how my answer went? That, honestly, returning to classroom teaching wasn’t ideal to me, but that if that was what was going to happen anyway (and I think it will,) I would rather be in control of the where and the when and the what than where I think I’m gonna be if I don’t make some changes.

And, well, the principal talked to me for another hour and forty minutes, so it must have been an acceptable answer, I guess.

We’ll see how it goes.

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