Oh. I Forgot About This Part

You know, when one is making a list of all the ways they will need to adjust after a big move, several quickly jump to mind. Getting to know the people, adjustment in the schools, climate change, general cultural adjustment, etc. One that might not come to one as quickly, however, is one that today I'll call "Proving and Establishing Yourself to Potential Employers". This of course involves that sometimes-lengthy process of going through that metamorphosis from an unknown, faceless person looking for a job, to becoming known as a person capable and skilled at one's profession. (That of course is only if one is actually capable and skilled, but for this point, let's just assume that one is.)

I had forgotten about that part of adjustment. But yesterday I suddenly remembered it. This happened when I finally was able to talk to a real live person in one of the school districts here that I have applied to be a substitute teacher in. I put in my application in June, and then received a response from them in September, stating that they were not interested in interviewing me. And yesterday, after numerous unanswered emails and unreturned messages, I found out why.

It seems that this district uses something called the TeacherInsight Assessment for everyone who applies to teach in their district. Here is a blurb copied from their website describing the test:

Q1:What is the TeacherInsight?

The TeacherInsight is an automated online interview used by many school districts to help them identify the best potential teachers. If you ever had a personal interview for a job, the interviewer asked a variety of questions to get to know you better and determine if you would be a good fit for the job. Gallup’s TeacherInsight is much the same, but with several advantages. TeacherInsight is fair because all applicants are asked exactly the same questions and they are evaluated exactly the same way. The questions have been thoroughly researched and tested to be sure they identify potentially superior teachers. The TeacherInsight interview development study, completed in January 2002, demonstrated content, construct, and criterion-related validity as well as fairness across Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) classifications of race, gender, and age. Subsequent analysis of candidate scores indicates similar results and interview fairness across groups. TeacherInsight does not replace personal interviews, but by efficiently identifying the best potential teachers, district representatives are able to spend more time with these promising candidates and conduct more productive personal interviews.

I highlighted the key parts for you, just in case you didn't want to read it (and who would, really). In short, it's an online test to determine if you have the characteristics and beliefs to be a good teacher or not. If you do not score high enough, you do not get an interview for the position. Or any other position in that school district, for that matter. You can, however, retake the test in 12 months to try again.

As you might have guessed, I apparently do not have what it takes to be a good teacher. Despite my years of education, my varied teaching experience and solid evaluations, my surely-adequate intelligence, and a folder full of good references, I am not the teacher I thought I was, and therefore I can not teach for this school district.

Obviously, this is a very disenheartening and humiliating development. I obviously have some kind of flaw in taking these kind of tests, as you might remember failing one of these character-type tests for a craft store years ago. (I would link you to this embarrassing confession, but I have no idea in what post I previously mentioned it. Plus, trust me, it's enough for me just to mention it again here. Oh, wait. I found it, and it's so interesting where it was that I have to link to it. Of course, I mentioned it in this post I wrote about taking the TeacherInsight test for this school district...)

Of course, I do seem to have the ability to do very well on challenging academic cross-cultural language tests by only studying on my own, but I suppose that's not what's really important in the teaching world.

Okay, I'm getting worked up here. I'm feeling the need to go and pull out my "Whatever" mug.

Yes, I'm mad and embarrassed and stunned by it all, but I'm also really missing the state of being known as someone who yes, really does know what they are doing in a classroom. It's not very fun being a faceless applicant, especially when you have to work so hard to even earn an interview in the first place.

That's all I have to say about that. I'm off to go and to drink some coffee.

Bob  – (10 November 2009 at 15:32)  

I'm just glad I got into a school system in a state and in a time, when how you did on your interview with a principal (assuming your grades were good and your references were nice about you) and not how you did on a test like that. I'm so contrary and rebellious that I'd probably never get an interview. Mom (Dad showed me the entry, so I'm listed as him.)

Sarah  – (10 November 2009 at 17:02)  

I'm very glad your mom has not, in fact, grown a beard like that, or you would have a whole other set of genetic problems to look forward to!

Okay, I try to never point it out to you, but you are living in California. For the rest of the country, that is all that has to be said about that. Do not let the automatrons discourage you. Seriously? Let's revisit the shorts with and without pockets issue. Those people should not be educating people, yet somehow are managing to do so because they made it by the test.

I am so sorry you are walking this road. What a mess.

Ann  – (11 November 2009 at 16:50)  

Five things:
1. This news is a bummer, and I'm sorry.
2. I failed one of those tests too!
3. There is no third thing.
4. When do we start embracing the humility that comes with middle age?
5. Yay for us...more decorating blogs! Shouldn't you be sniffing pain, in like, a bathroom or something?!

Ann  – (12 November 2009 at 06:37)  

"sniffing paint"
I meant to say sniffing painT in a bathroom...which is much funnier than sniffing paiN...

Anonymous –   – (13 November 2009 at 09:24)  

Hmmm...I'm very sorry you're having such a hard time with this. It makes no sense, of course, which is what is so frustrating and confusing about it all.

I do feel the need, though, after some other post comments, to say I love California. This particular situation, however, is very frustrating.

Julie  – (13 November 2009 at 11:07)  

Anonymous...I am actually really enjoying California, as would my non-California friends if they lived here. I just like to think that they miss me so much now that I've moved away that they're projecting their negative emotion onto the state! :)

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