Well, friends, I did something today I couldn't have imagined myself doing just a month ago. I interviewed for a new job. This school year things were rough and many of my teammates left for a variety of reasons. I seized on the opportunity to apply for a math teacher specialist position in my county knowing that it would be easier on me emotionally to change schools when so many of my friends were doing the same thing. There were positions at both high schools in the county and the middle school I don't currently work at.
My interview was scheduled at 11:30. I was a bundle of nerves waiting around all morning for 11:30. I live about 0.2 mile from the board of ed, so I didn't even really have to factor in drive time! I arrived about 15 minutes early (just in case?) and was taken back to do my writing prompt right away. Martha explained, "They just want to see that you can communicate." My thought: They hired me 7 years ago so I certainly hope I can communicate! With that completed, I went back to the waiting room for a few minutes. The receptionist, bless her, was making small talk with her the whole time. Totally took my mind off the waiting factor. :)
The math supervisor came out to get me for the interview. I had 6 interviewers- the supervisor, 3 principals, an incoming AP and an outgoing AP. They had just 5 questions for me pertaining to how I plan a lesson, how I would plan PD, and how I would use assessment data. I did that thing where I talked entirely too fast and left out 3/4 of what I had rehearsed in my brain. Ugh.
They asked me for questions and I tried to nail down what expectations each building principal had for me. Essentially, they all want an instructional coach who is in classrooms daily, observing lessons, modeling good teaching, and working with teachers to improve their practices. Yes! That's exactly what I want to do. The most interesting follow up question was about how I would build rapport with the teachers. (This will be a key hurdle; many of the teachers I'll be working with are well past 20 years of teaching. Their own children are around my age.)
My supervisor walked me out of the interview room. "You did a good job," she said. "I'll be calling you at the beginning of next week. Congratulations." My immediate thought was that she probably should not be congratulating me yet! The interview panel still had to decide.
I left the interview at 12:15. I came home, called my parents briefly to give them the run down, and headed out to the grocery store for a few items. At 1:40 while I was unpacking the groceries, the phone started ringing. The head of HR was on the phone to offer me the job at the high school that my school feeds into. It was such a whirlwind; I had only left the interview room about 90 minutes earlier! I accepted.
I've learned so much and made wonderful friendships with my colleagues at LMS. I'm honestly sad to leave them. However, given all of the changes that have happened at LMS over the past year, I felt like I was in a place where I could make the transition to a new position. I am excited for the new opportunity but sad to leave behind good friends and the stability of actually teaching the same courses again for the 3rd year in a row! I cannot wait to implement positive changes to help my former students while they are high school students.
So, MTBoS, I need your help. Could you please answer these questions?
1. If you are a teacher, what support would you welcome from an instructional coach?
2. How would you suggest a teacher specialist make inroads with teachers who are not eager to try new instructional practices or to share what they are doing?