Sunday, April 3, 2016

Interviewing My Replacement

Hello! Hello!! Hello!!! Hello!!!!
Can't even begin to tell all of you how much I missed writing my blog! My back surgery went well. According to people, like the doctor, my husband and anyone who has had back surgery, this was pretty serious stuff. I chose to be in the land of denial about the whole thing and now I am on the slow road to recovery.

One aspect I couldn't deny is that I would be out for 12 weeks from the date of the surgery or until the last 4 days of school.  My mantra: It could have been worst.....

 These would be before pictures.

Anyway since it's not productive to whine (according to my husband), I thought I would blog about the interview process to fill the mini contract made by my absence.  And since I seriously have no idea about using photos to tell that story, I thought I would show photos of my art room and how it has evolved in the 10 years I've been there.

 These are some after pictures.

According to my principal there were 7 candidates to interview. And it was okay with him for me to sit in on them. Of the 7,  I was only available to be there for 3.  He even let me come up with some of the questions. And truthfully after sitting in on those interviews with him, I felt confident that missing the other 4 would not be a problem as we appeared to "both be on the same page."

Here is a list of my questions:

1-What influenced your decision to become an art teacher?

2-Tell me about a lesson you did with students that was not successful ? Were you able to tweak (adjust) it so it worked?

3-Which is more important to you process or product? Why?

4-Talk me through one of your lessons. Students are lined up outside your door. Now what happens?

5-Do you have experience as a substitute teacher?

6-If given the opportunity to do the mini contract would you want lesson plans to follow or do you have your own that you are looking forward to doing?

7-Do you consider yourself to be organized? Please give me some examples.

These are pictures of my centers before the renovation.

Now some questions my principal didn't use, I think that was based on the answers for questions that were already answered.  Having interviewed many, many times in my life, it was very interesting to me to be on the other side. Okay, I wrote the questions, there are NO right or wrong answers. Bottom line is that I want my questions answered like I would answer them. So what that means is- the person needs to be a good fit. To be a good fit is to have similar values. Certain questions will determine if the candidate is a good choice or not. Also, since this was for a mini contract, the interview was short.

My temporary art room during renovation.

The wrong answer, to me, for question #1 was "I couldn't get a graphic arts position so I thought I'd teach."  Being an art teacher shouldn't be a consolation prize, it should be a passion.

Question #2-tells me that the candidate is flexible and able to be in the moment and make it work.

#3- I got asked this question and was curious how others might answer it. My answer to this one is it needs to be both, as children need to learn the process to do a product.

Questions 4, 5, and 6 lets me know if they would be able to jump right in and start teaching.

 And #7, because I really hope the art room won't be a disaster when I return.

My new art room. 

Everyone interviews at some point in their career. How you answer in an interview needs to be about you, and what is important to you. Also how well you know your subject area and how up to date you are on the standards. Your answer needs to fit into the environment where you are interviewing. So if it's not a good fit, that's not on you-it's just what it is. AND be confident a good fit is right around the corner. And if you don't get the job, there is nothing wrong in politely asking why.

Here I am with my wonderful replacement: Maureen Breed.

What experiences have you had when you needed to be out for a while?

Thanks for reading!!!!


  1. This is a great post for long-term subs! I was out twice for maternity leaves. One time I had the time to find my replacement. The leave went great and the kids had a blast. The second time I was placed on bed rest earlier than expected. I didn't have as positive an experience. Question #1 would have surely avoided that sub, even with my then principal interviewing!

  2. Excellent post! Welcome back to blog world! Hope you are healing and doing well!

  3. I was out for 9 weeks for hip replacement surgery.. It went great. I was glad to be back.