Friday, 9 March 2012

Being Yourself


Today was nuts.

Without going into too much detail, halfway through last week, I decided to put myself forward for a job that had come up at my school. I fancied a change and a challenge (because obviously, my life as it stands is a walk in the park...). Trouble is, said job was totally outside my department and area of experience and expertise.

Nevertheless, I stormed ahead, all guns blazing and today was the interview day. I had to: teach a lesson to a very specific group of students; complete an 'in-tray' activity and written exercise; and go through a forty minute interview with the head teacher, the head of that department and a governor. I seemed to lurch from one disaster to another, culminating in the dreaded interview.

Now, historically I am rubbish at interviews. Despite being quite confident with words and never being short of any, something happens in an interview situation and I behave like a complete numpty. In fact, the best advice I was ever given about interviews came from the head teacher I used to work for, who wisely advised: "Katy, don't be yourself."

Sadly, these words were not at the front of my mind this afternoon. As the post was something I had never done before, I struggled with about three or four of the questions, and simply had to say, "I don't know," to at least one (my butt cheeks are clenching at the thought). Perhaps worse than this, when put under pressure/in stressful situations, I resort to default mode: 'comedy'. My closing line in the interview was: "Right, I must go now as my son is with two colleagues in a park somewhere. I probably should go and find him."

As it happens, as my interview ran over nursery collection time, lovely lift-share ladies had collected Dexter from nursery and were entertaining him with the books and fish tank in the school library. Love those girls.

I cried all the way home as I felt totally embarrassed, exposed and totally incompetent. Needless to say, I didn't get the job. I am absolutely fine with this. Now I am getting over the whole mortifying experience (just), I realise that my sense of humour and 'comedy demeanour' is what my students probably enjoy about my lessons; it's just not that appropriate for formal interview situations.

Today's #366 photo captures Dexter at tea-time today - food all down his cardigan and in his hair: simply being his wonderful self.

I was reading an article in a parenting magazine recently; I occasionally splash out on them as I feel I should at least attempt to keep up-to-speed on what the heck I'm supposed to be doing. The article was called 'Little ray of sunshine: the power of positivity - how to foster your child's optimistic side'. The sub-headings in the article are as follows: 'Be aware of your expectations'; 'Let your child make mistakes'; 'Allow your child to feel bad'; 'Don't give your child false praise'; 'Give constructive criticism'; 'Molehills are just molehills'; 'Keep smiling and having fun!'; 'Examine your own behaviour'; 'Find what your child is good at'. One of the key lines from the article was emboldened in the middle of the text: 'Optimists view setbacks as temporary hiccups in an otherwise happy life.'

In the wake of my excruciating day, these words cheered me up and made me feel better - as did two glasses of chilled white and an early night.

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