Friday, April 5, 2013

Year 3: Week 27 - The Other Side Of The Table

 . . .  This was the first time that I had ever been a part of an interview process from the other side of the table. When I first got the invitation to be part of this committee, I was a little shocked. I’m still working through the transition from being a rookie teacher to be more established professional at this school and overall in my career.

I think it’s been to my benefit that I think of myself less as an established teacher. It keeps me from walking too tall in the hallways or having too much confidence in myself. At the same time it’s been important for me to accept where I am in my career. When people ask my for advice, the “why are you asking me? I don’t really have that much experience,” – response doesn’t really come across well.

In the past three years I’ve become much more comfortable with my place in this school. Even in my first year many people asked me for my perspective. This was odd at first but it made sense that people wanted a fresh viewpoint and as the years have gone on I’ve become much more comfortable expressing my thoughts.

Now people come to me not only for new ideas but also to know how things work in this school. Initially this really seemed weird but I had the knowledge and even with only being at this school for three years, it seemed that I was in a good place to provide guidance.

The committees I have been on have been eye-opening and humbling. It’s not so much that I feel like I’m the dumbest person in the room, more it’s that I’m simply in awe of the insights and the conversational prowess of people I’m honored to call my peers. I’m so grateful to be in conversations where there is so much for me to learn and also be in a situation where people seem genuinely interested in what I have to offer.

At first, it didn’t seem like I had much to bring to the table but I’ve realized that I don’t necessarily need to be able to draw from some academic well. It’s more about relating my experiences and my teachers I represent. While this approach is sometimes easier, often it’s extremely challenging putting into words the thoughts and feelings of others.

Nothing about being on the interview committee was easy. Asking question to these candidates, discussing our reactions after he or she left, drawing information from teachers I represented and bringing these thoughts back to the committee took a great deal of attention and care. But it was worth it.

I’ve learned so much about our school as people have described their own hopes and visions for the school as they talk about what they are looking for in a new head. This has also been a great bonding time with the people in the committee as I have a new level of respect for every person on that team. Like anything else in life, there’s nothing like the feeling of giving back to a place that has given so much to me.

You hope that you have the opportunity to give back to the community that has allowed you to flourish professionally and personally. I never thought that in three short years I’d already be at that point.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve.


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