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The Long Story about the J-O-B Part Two

May 29, 2013

When we got the instructions for our interviews, it was stressful.  All three of us wanted to talk about it, and we couldn’t.  We had to figure out how to teach the same thing, with basically the same stuff.  I got all my stuff from them!  (As well as from others in my department, and they got their stuff from those same people!)  So, I was so glad I was taking both classes.  It was something I read in the class that they weren’t taking that made me try something new in my class.  I was supposed to do a teaching demonstration on finding the main idea in paragraphs.  I was right at that point in the semester when I could try out what I wanted to do with my students.  I decided to try a K-W-L for main idea.  The first thing I did was ask my students to write down everything the Knew about main idea, then I recorded their ideas on the board under K.  Then I read them a short paragraph that had only random disconnected sentences and asked them what the main idea was.  We discussed their ideas and I finally explained that there was no main idea in that paragraph, and why.  Then, I asked them to write down everything they Wanted to learn about main idea, and I recorded those ideas under the W.  Next, they previewed their textbook chapters that covered main idea.  I asked them what they Learned about main idea just from previewing the chapter and recorded their ideas under the L.  Next I told them that I was going to share what I knew about main idea.  That is when I went through my powerpoint.  I had done K-W-Ls in elementary school, but I had never done it in my college courses because I didn’t want to treat my students like third graders.  This lesson was a great success.  I recorded all of the student responses and decided to talk to my friend (who teaches English) about this as a possibility for my teaching demonstration.  We had lunch and hashed it out.  From that lunch I thought that I could include an article (research!) as part of my rationale for using this method.  And instead of teaching this lesson verbatim, I decided to share my student’s responses with the interview committee.  I still had them go through some of the motions, tightened up some of the methods to include think-pair-share and a good CAT assessment.  I felt better not pretending that the interview committee didn’t know exactly how to teach Main Idea, and yet I shared my teaching with them.

The other part of my interview was the questions, and at my school they give you a half hour with the questions before the interview begins.  This was so nice.  I wrote down all of my answers and I had access to my computer so I could look up and print off what I needed to answer those questions thoroughly.  I have never had the opportunity to do that before, and I really think that it makes a difference.  That part of the interview was easy and the interview committee were all friends.  The three UFTs from my department, one professor who is my friend and teaches ESL and the Dean of my division.  The were friendly and I was relaxed.  I knew that I needed to be myself.  And I was.  You know when you are waiting outside the room and your interview begins at 11:00, and it is creeping toward 11…and you don’t know what to do?  Do you walk in at 11:00 so they know you weren’t late?  Do you wait outside until they come to get you?  I decided to walk in, I wanted them to know I was on time and ready.  I watched my phone.  At exactly 11:00 I opened the door and said, “Am I supposed to come in, or…?”  Before I was done with that question, the dean said, “Can you just give us three minutes?”  And I said, “Well, then your late…” And everyone started laughing.  When he came out to get me, he said, “Why are you waiting out here, we should have started by now!” And that was perfect.  It set me at ease and I stayed semi-calm.  Teaching demonstrations are nerve-wracking, but I was among friends.  I gave each member of the interview committee a file folder with my lesson plan, my resume, and the paper version of my powerpoint and then I emailed them the article about K-W-L and my powerpoint so they could see the transitions.  I felt great about how it went.  And I wasn’t nervous after it was done, because I knew I wasn’t getting the job anyway.  I was just DONE with the whole job application thing!

My two friends were nervous.  We talked about the interview after we were all done.  Then we just had to wait.

To Be Continued…

  1. May 29, 2013 4:12 pm

    You’ve got me in suspense! It sounds really hard to apply with your friends and colleagues. I’m so happy for you though. And can’t wait to hear the rest!

    I’m DONE. The dissertation is in. Posting again later today. Inspired to rejoin the blogging world in a whole new way!

    • May 30, 2013 12:54 pm

      It is such a long story. I was going to do it in one post, but oh, geez. Way too long.

      I am so happy for you that your dissertation is DONE! I know that it is belated, but what was your research on, and what are your findings?

      I can’t wait until you post! I have missed your words!

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