Friday, May 11, 2007

A Fair-y Tale

There are certain signs in the education world that indicate the academic year is coming to an end. It’s similar to, say, birds flying south tell us that winter is near. Or, when Halloween candy goes on sale, then we know it’s, well, June.

Now, as I said there are multiple signs for this time of year. You’ve got the kid who has been riding an average of 32 want to know how he can bring his grade up. This is also the time of year when teachers are squeezing every last blank spot off old scantrons. If you’ve got class sets of tests right now numbered 8-14, 26-32, 4 and 7-9, then you know what I’m talking about.

This is also the time of year when the citywide job fair for teaching positions. If you remember, we lost a teacher in January . It was somewhat funny then, but as time has passed—not so much, especially, since we could have easily solved that problem by now.

With me being one of the teachers filling this vacancy, I gladly volunteered to go with our department head to the job fair and aid in weeding through candidates. So with lesson plans for the sub on my desk, off we went to the local convention center.

There was nothing different from this fair from other ones I’ve been to. All the districts were there, in alphabetical order. That always bothered me because I was paranoid that Aarons ISD was getting all the best teachers, before they could make it back to the S’s. I wonder if Zimmer ISD gets anxious about that?

Also, the Teach for America booth was there, and like always, barren. They might as well call that thing Teach for a Leper Colony. Hey, I’m not mocking them. It’s a noble pursuit. I just call them as I see them.

Hopefully, we’ll end up with someone decent, with everyone we saw. There were certainly some ideal candidates. Of course, we could end up with one of the yahoos who were cramming free pens into a free tote bag, like invaders were a block away.

As I was sitting there through all the Q&A though, I couldn’t help but think that we need a better evaluation process for these candidates—something that reflects the rigors of this job more accurately. Maybe we could use something NASA-esque.

“Now, what was the last book you read? Don’t mind us were just going to strap you to this rocket sled to see how many G’s you can take before you black out.”

“Good, now what do you think is your greatest weakness as a teacher? No, don’t stop treading water and keep the weight plate close to your chest. Closer!”

At the very least, we could squeeze a Rorschach test in. Lord knows every teacher needs one.

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