So… For all of us here at GRS, it seems to be interview season because in the next few days, all of us are interviewing for full-time positions. Wow. In all the madness it does sometimes elude me that the next step is a job and that for the first time in 17 or so years, school is not in the immediate future. Well, I mean it is, but it won’t be me sitting in one of many desks. It will be me standing and delivering and being Mr. Han in Mr. Han’s classroom. Once again, wow.
As we are preparing for interviews and such, I figure it’s a good time to post some resources on the Haberman Protocol. In short, it is the framework a lot of urban school districts use to select their teachers based on 10 dimensions. This is more or less stuff we already knew, but it is now distilled into distinct categories. We may not all be teaching in urban districts, but the framework still hold true for a good teacher, regardless of situation.
As I read these I see some of the ones I really haven’t thought about. One of them in particular is teacher burnout (covered by fallibility and “survives in a bureaucracy) , mainly because it is something that we don’t discuss too often, and why should we; there is little sense in discussing burning out of a profession we are not officially in and are currently working to attain. It would be like quitting a team before you even try out. With that said, we have seen first hand that teaching is a difficult profession. It tests our limits, gives us a lot to ponder and do at all times of the day and week, and despite our great accomplishments we focus on our failure. Both “fallibility” and “survives in a bureaucracy” address the point that great teachers are able to balance their work and find support from the people and things around them. In reading this I am reminded how lucky I am to have the cohort with me on this journey. Hearing their stories and being able to share mine makes this a trial to share and therefore feels lighter.
Now how can this come across as an interview question when it isn’t directly about teaching practices you ask? Well ponder the interview question of, “So what are some things you do outside of teaching?” A good answer shows that you have some positive outlets to offset the inevitable strains of the job. Simultaneously it shows that you are a balanced individual who can bring real life and a real viewpoint to the students. For example, my answer would be that I cook, bake and play rugby (to offset the cooking and baking). They have many parallels to teaching, such as an attention to detail, a passion for the craft, and an intrinsic desire to improve for yourself and others. Additionally, by openly sharing my passions, I go from being “Mr Han, the living environment teacher,” to “Mr. Han, the science teacher who plays that version of football with no pads.” In all professions, employers are looking for well-rounded individuals and in one that demands interaction that well-roundedness and that human element is key.
I’m off for now, doing my best to nurse a pounding headache which I hope is merely caffeine-based and not something more sinister.
Good luck to you all in your interviews. You will do great. You have so much to offer through your caring, your patience, your kindness, and your desire to look at your own practice and say “this went well, but let’s try this part of the lesson a different way.” I aspire to the teaching qualities that some of you already have. We will do great!