A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Monday, July 29, 2013

Two days before the interview

On Wednesday, I will meet with Dr. P, after which, he will decide whether to move me along to the next stage of the hiring process. On Sunday, I dropped by my mom and dad's house in Arlington partly to get away from any distractions at home, but mainly because had I not done so, Mom would have badgered me on the phone, leaving message after message about what I was doing to prepare, since I probably would not have answered the phone. As a result, Dad would have called until I finally relented and decided to pick up the phone. I don't like talking on the phone. Talking on the phone is something I avoid. The lack of visual cues and lack of proximity of telephone calls lead to misunderstandings and unwanted drama. Plus, so many of my questions remain unanswered, and I don't like speaking unless I have something worthwhile to say. When I want to communicate, I prefer being there in the flesh. Blogging is something I typically do after the fact, after things I have been wrestling with become clear to me.

By being there in the flesh, I was able to clear up the doubts I was expressing about my mom's claim that she was finding specific schools job openings posted online, which had only seemed to enrage her. I had been unable to find postings of specific schools, and been dismissive about their availability. It turns out that I was wrong, Mom was right. She drilled down further into the search than I did in my typically impatient approach to job hunting.

In preparation for Wednesday, I went down into my parent's basement to fine tune my philosophy, body language, and overall level of confidence about going before a panel with my entire future on the line. Before getting on my computer to craft specific responses, I reflected on two things that I thought might help guide my thinking.

Having listened on Thursday and Friday to David McCullough's 1776, and pondered while trimming a holly on qualities of George Washington which contributed to his destiny altering victories at Dorchester Heights and the crossing of the Delaware, resourcefulness and principled leadership, Sunday in my parent's basement I continued to read and take notes on Jim Rohn's The Five Major Pieces To the Life Puzzle.
The lines which had originally hooked me as I listened to The Art of Exceptional Living while working out at the gym were Rohn's observations about success and failure.
"The secret of failure: a few errors in judgment repeated every day. 
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day."
That's why I bought the book. After a 10 years journey in education, I reflected, the major reason for my surprising results at Dr. P's school was an increase in my level of self-discipline.

Next, I reviewed a document entitled, "What an MYP Classroom Should Look Like." With that, I was able to focus on what the panel evaluators at Dr. P's school might ask. Then, I began using NovaMind to map my responses to the 10 Standards of a Middle Years Program (MYP), by which my class would be evaluated, and Dr. P's school will be evaluated next year for International Baccalaureate (IB) certification. Here's an example of a NovaMind mindmap for one of the 10 standards that I made today. Fun!

Tomorrow, I will shine shoes, iron a few shirts, and lift weights. Then, I will get to work on MYP Standard 10, which relates to the IB Learner Profile. So that I am not "putting all my eggs in one basket," I will also invest some time using what I learned from my mom about specific openings at specific schools and send out resumes.

As I continue to prepare to honor my 100 year old Obachan in San Francisco, and reflect with a chuckle on a the telephone call she made long ago, immediately after Joe Montana and her beloved 49ers dismantled the Washington Redskins in the playoffs, how she crowed, "Revenge is sweet," as I prepare for sleep, the last thing I will read will be one of Rohn's conclusions:
In the final analysis, it is not what happens that determines the quality of our lives, but what we choose to do when we have struggled to set the sail and then discover, after all of our efforts, that the wind has changed direction.
So much for increased self-discipline. 12:02 in the morning and still not in bed. Much to work on.