Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mistakes You Can't Afford!

Ever since I first began teaching more than 40 years ago I have always lived by one simple philosophy: “The best teachers are those who have as much to learn as they do to teach.”  Simply stated, good teachers are good learners.  Don’t think for a minute…or even a second…that just because you’re about to get your college degree you know everything there is to know about teaching.  I don’t…and you certainly don’t!  Come into an interview thinking you have all the answers to all of education’s challenges and you will soon find yourself on the outside of the school looking in.  Here’s the reality – I’m not an expert and neither are you.  I certainly have more experience than you, but I still have a lot I’d like to learn.  So should you.  Your learning doesn’t end with graduation – guess what, it’s just beginning.  Let a principal know that learning is a lifelong mission (rather than a completed task) for you and you’ll score major points in an interview.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mistakes You Can't Afford!

Negative attitude
Listening to someone with a negative attitude is always a drain – emotionally, psychologically, and personally.  The same holds true for someone who is always badmouthing other people (“Well, of course, I got a “B” in the Teaching Elementary Science course; my professor was a total idiot!”).  Principals don’t hire “bad attitudes” – they want people with a positive outlook, a good sense of humor, a sunny disposition, and an engaging personality.  They want to hire teachers who will be good role models for students.  Negative people are not part of that dynamic.

     Be a gracious guest.  If the interviewer is late for the interview, shrug it off.  If the interviewer answers the phone several times during the interview, just let it be.  If people stick their head into the room several times during the interview, don’t let it rattle you.  If you show any signs of irritation or over-reaction over these little “slights,” you’ll never get a job offer.