Educator Interviewee Answers ‘Who’s Your Hero and Why?’

After almost ten years of teaching in the public school classroom, I think I am in need for a change. I’ve managed to tenure in the school where I was first employed and have worked well with my neighbor teacher and team colleague. She is planning to retire after next school year, however, and I am not ready for the change.

When I first started, she told me jokingly, that I could not leave the school until after she retired. We got along very well.

It is challenging to find good co-workers to clique with sharing similar classroom management and having the same teaching philosophy. Along with this upcoming math team vacancy position, our house counselor plans on retiring too after next Christmas. There’s going to be a lot of change, and I’ve been spoiled to have had worked with great colleagues that I am unsure how I will respond. I really don’t want to let go of these already established relationships. I also fear working with less competent educators. An unfair judgment? Sure, but oh well.

On the other hand, another member of my core team – the history teacher really sucks. Basically, even the students complain about his lack of classroom management. This is criticism from thirteen year olds!

Last Friday, I was invited to interview candidates for the replacement history teacher, who received a less than marginal review and may get booted from his position because of his probationary status at the end of the school year. Awkward. I sat in on his re-interview. The principal basically told him that it was his time to speak for himself and showcase for us what he could do better next school year. Ugh. It’s hard to keep a straight face, listening to him speak highly of himself, trying to keep his job, and looking to me like I am on his side.

After that interview, I sat in on another one. This woman was gung-ho, eager to please and had a huge heart. I asked my share of questions, and we would work well with each other, complimenting English Language Arts and History. But the shocker came in the last question that was asked. The principal asks, “Who is your hero and why?” Lame, interview question, but oh so revealing.

The interviewee was speechless for several minutes. Then she broke down, sobbing. Woah. I fumbled for tissue paper to hand to her, and awkwardly waited with everyone else in the room for her to get a hold of herself.

Her answer was heartfelt, touching and emotional. She spoke of her mother, and her being part of the boat people that came over from Vietnam. This interviewee was obviously passionate about teaching, only having taught for a year so far, but the genuine spirit and eagerness to reach her students and provide for their learning experiences was apparent.

I wanted to give her the job, right there and then, but we have a few more interviews to go through this week.

It reminded me of my reason for having gone into teaching in the first place, why I stuck with this profession for so long, and why I probably won’t give up on it anytime soon despite the many different challenges of the job. It is after all, still a job.

Are you happy with your current employment or are you looking for something better to come along?