I went to an interview today. I was certain they would love me as much as I love me, but they did not.
Lori Curley: The principal looked like Donald Trump except he was not as handsome, if you catch my drift. It was a warm day, and the dress shirt that he decided to wear sans undershirt was sticking to his chest. His forehead was also sticky, or greasy from his comb-over. He had obviously pursued this career to get even with people. He gave me nothing -- not one smile, not one "hmmm." I explained my approach-to-teaching thesis and he started calling me "creative."
Then his sidekick, a blonde woman in her early thirties who introduced herself so quickly I could not catch her name, joined in and called me "creative." They called me "creative" so many times I started to understand that "creative" meant something else -- "You are not one of us," "You need to get back in the box," "You must never work here."
Then they gave me a student essay to grade and a blank piece of paper on which to create a "lesson plan" for "The Old Man and the Sea." I foolishly accepted the challenge -- and failed. I am too creative. I will never work there. I drove home to my kids and helped them with homework. They are sure to fail, too. "Beowulf" using steroids does not fit the curriculum.
I have seven years of experience teaching college freshmen. Freshmen in college are nothing more than high school graduates plus four months. They represent the high school curriculum lock, stock, and barrel. That is all they have, all they know. And I have seen the results of the "rigorous" curriculum endorsed and protected by the sweaty principal and his sidekick: The girl who could tell me nothing -- absolutely nothing -- about World War II, and the boy who thought Kerry's last name was Edwards.
|Lori Curley, champion mother of two middle-school teenagers, resides in South Orange, NJ. She holds a Masters in Education and has been teaching writing at the college level for 7 years. But can she find a job as a high school English teacher? Or will she pull her hair out first?|