Instead of being lazy on a Saturday morning, sipping my coffee while reading the paper & greeting a day full of hours to spend on my own pleasurable projects, I spent this morning doing mock interviews with prospective teachers. They have finished two-thirds of an alternative licensing program in which I participate as an advisor to a teacher & the intern assigned to him or her. This morning, along with all their own obligations, most in the program also gave up their Saturday mornings to practice one of the important aspects of job-hunting, the interview. Each one spent 20 minutes with me, answering my questions, then asking their own, & discussing what I know of the expectations of an interview from a school's point of view. We then reviewed their resumes, looking for ways to be noticed within the many resumes sent to schools, looking for ways to 'grab' someone's attention.
When I read that we are losing the best & the brightest of this new generation to other careers, I stew about the coming years in schools-public or private, worry about my grandchildren's education, & mull over the state of teaching as a career itself. This morning I had some of my concerns blown away.
The new teachers I spoke to inspired me. The things they said showed me that good hands are coming to take on the difficult tasks of education. These teachers clearly are already inspired to work hard to do well for their students, & as they are interns (read 'student teachers'), the inspiration comes as a shared responsibility. Their mentor teachers are the ones who are the teachers in charge; the interns have limited power in the groups. Even so, they still demonstrated care & concern for students, for the achievements they aided & for the relationships that were being made, even if only for a little while. I was impressed by their broad knowledge & ability to articulate some of the "why's" & "how's" of teaching lessons.
By the end of the morning, I was happy to have given up the Saturday leisure. It will be a memory to hold me when I read of all the controversies that are lately occurring in education. I will know a new force of educators is on the way, who will carry on the tasks of what is important - to teach children, to foster learning, to love the job no matter what.