Friday morning before heading to my interview, I found out that I had passed Capstone! That means that all I have left to finish my Master's is passing the one class I am taking right now. Yahoo!
I'm not really too sure about how the interview went. One way or the other I should know by Monday.
The things that make me question whether or not it went well:
1. It took only 30 minutes. I've heard of many school librarian interviews lasting several hours or more.
2. I was not introduced to anyone. This right there was a big indicator to me. Of course it could just be that they don't want to do introductions until a final decision has been made ...
3. Towards the end of the interview I had to ask him (the principal) if he wanted to see my references. This could just be forgetfulness, or it could more likely be a bad sign.
4. I wasn't asked to fill out any paperwork. However, he did say at one point that the background check, etc., would be filled out upon hire. Seemed kind of strange to me, but maybe that is the way they do it.
Things I did right/went well:
1. I was prepared with a list of questions to ask - thankfully it was a rather long list, because I ended up crossing out 3/4 of them.
2. I was prepared with a list of suggested databases and technologies/websites. I think that this actually impressed him - especially when he recognized one of the items as something one of his teachers was doing.
3. When he asked me about what I saw the role of the librarian in the school, I told him that I saw the librarian's role as being one of the instructional leaders. He liked that answer. (I'd read that answer Fri morning researching librarian questions!)
4. I think he also really like my question regarding how he felt about having a volunteer program for the library - both parents and students.
5. Something else I think he really liked was my idea/suggestion of having the high-school students create a weekly school news podcast.
6. I sent a thank you email as soon as I got out to my car.
7. I spent about two-hours of my drive down practicing questions with my Dad and also my Grandma. My dad has served on numerous school boards, and my grandma taught K-college and served as a librarian.
Things that need major improving:
1. One of the first questions he asked me was "Tell me a little about yourself in relation to experience for this job." I started out strong, stating that I had 8 years of teaching experience, and that I had learned a list of things with my library mentor. But then I floundered - visibly. I need to have a prepared and practiced statement for this type of question. (How I missed being prepared for this type of question??!!!) This is where I think I really lost him.
2. WAY too many um's and uh's.
3. In trying to let him know that I had read through the school's website pretty throughly, I said the following "I noticed that you have a 70% Hispanic population." After saying that, I realized that I had no idea where I was going with that statement, and that it probably gave him the idea I was a bigot. Esp. when followed with the following question (the only one left on my list!!)
4. My following question after #3 was, "I noticed that you have an ISS Supervisor and a Dean of Discipline. What is the discipline policy here?"
5. I looked down at my list of questions WAY too often. It was partly because of trying to find questions which had not already been answered, but it was also because my mind was starting to draw blanks.
Two possible positive indicators:
1. He showed me the salary schedule of his own volition.
2. He handed me his business card.
If you're wondering if this is a job I'd like to do? The answer is an unequivocal YES!! Essentially this is a charter school founded in 2006. As of this year, they are now a K - 12 school (so I could still do storytime!!!) They do not currently have a library -- of any sort. A nearby military/army whatever base recently closed, and is donating over 16,000 items from its now defunct library. Plus, the school got a boatload of Title 1 funds for the purposes of developing a school library.
So, if I get this job, on April 4 I would start the process of going through all these materials, setting up an automation system, and putting together a temporary (3 - 5 years) library. If I were still to be there a few years later, I would then have the chance to help plan/design a brand new library space!
Oh, and here is something else I really liked -- his answer to my discipline question. He told me that they go by a code of conduct which is adhered to quite firmly. The main reasons kids get disciplined/detention is due to tardiness and uniform violations. Very minor, minor issues. Music to my ears.
And while I would be more than happy to do this job for free since I do have to eat and all, let me say that the starting salary for a teacher with a BS and NO experience is MORE than what I earned my 8th year of teaching. So, needless to say, I would very easily be able to rebuild my savings, eventually replace my car, and start dreaming of a house again.
Almost forgot - he mentioned that he'd need the librarian to continue working through the summer, both to finish the setup of the library, but also to support the summer school program. And that this would be over and above the regualr contract days. (Contract days I think are ten more than what the classroom teachers have ~195). So even more so, I would be able to make my coffers flush again!
The road trip was fairly uneventful - at least the first 350 miles of it or so...
One thing which I will be eternally grateful to my ex-stepdad for is what he did for me this trip. Thursday morning I mentioned to him how the car charger had NOT worked when I went to Houston last week, and how my phone had just about died before getting to my destination. He did a little puttering around, and ended up letting me take his inverter. This thing you plug into the cig lighter, and then you plug your normal wall plug into it. It was a total lifesaver. In many ways.
Friday afternoon I was cruising along and contemplating how long it would take to be able to replace my car if I got this job. Literally seconds later my steering wheel starts jimmying and shimmying, and then a small popping noise, and finally I'm having to keep both hands on to control the car. Providentally (I strongly believe - if you could see the roads around where I was driving, miles and miles between exits) this happened *just* as I was about to pass a rest stop! I pulled in, and had to drive for 100 feet or so to get inside the rest area.
My right passenger side tire was completely shredded. So, after checking to make sure I still had my spare tire (I've had several go missing over the years ...) I called Geico to send out someone to change my tire. 40 minutes later I was heading down the road with my hazzard lights on. My attempts to use the frontage road as much as possible caused what should have taken maybe 30 minutes to find a place to get a new tire, take more than 90 minutes! I was seriously tired and felt like falling apart at one point. Then *finally* I see a Walmart with a tire center! (I'd stopped at three other places - all only had truck tires.)
Three observations I made in my stops along the way:
1. The first gas station I stopped at was kind of a smaller mom and pop type place and was manned by a good ol' boy Texan with a cowboy hat. When I explained to him that I was looking for a place to buy a tire, his first question was one of concern for me. Then once I told him I was fine, and I had a spare tire on, he told me of a place that might have tires.
Outside of this gas station there were two small dachshunds running in and out of the cars. I have no idea who they belonged to. I hope they don't get run over - if they did, the driver might not even know it!
2. At the second gas station (one of those Travel places) a clean cut All American man was the cashier. When I asked him about where I might find a tire, he acted very annoyed and curtly told me there was maybe one beyond the McDonalds.
3. At the tire shop, an older Hispanic man was at the counter. As soon as I told him what I needed he let me know that they mostly only had tires for trucks, but maybe a few for passenger cars. He then went out to my car and got the measurements. They of course didn't have the tire I needed. He did tell me that there was a Discount Tire right off the highway in about 20 miles. I never did find the Discount Tire because I saw the Walmart first - but those 20 miles became more like 50 thanks to three different times having the frontage road veer off into another roadway, or go into a turnaround.
4. I had my oil changed on Thursday, and asked the guys to take a look at my car - but especially my tires, due to the impending road trip. I was assured that they were just fine. When the guy at Walmart looked at my shredded tire, he showed me that I had NO tread left whatsoever. Um ... wow!
I can't remember if I mentioned this on here already or not, but on Thursday morning I got a reply *finally* from the oil and gas company. It said that I sounded like a "great candidate" and that they want to interview me. I replied right away, but still have not heard back. I imagine that Friday was their day off. (every other Friday they take off, work 9 hour days the rest of the time)
Oh and there may be a third possibility too - with my mom - but this is already way too long, so I'll save it for another post.
Capstone!! Interview, Road Trip