Why Do I Answer Questions? I Do It For the Kids.


From time to time, I get questions from college students. Fitchburg State. Home of the Falcons.

Sometimes these questions come from teachers obtaining their masters’ degrees.

Other times they are sent to me by scary hitchhikers who seem to have an uncanny sense of where I live.

The latest.

1. How do you view the Common Core Standards in relation to the ’4 Kinds of Smart?’

Educators are probably going to hate Common Core.  I say this because as educators we are bred to hate everything new.

I remember when I started my career, a veteran teacher cornered me for 45 minutes to tell me how the world would end if teachers were forced to use whiteboards instead of chalkboards.

Update on world ending:  It didn’t.

My hope is Common Core levels the playing field. 

Students, no matter where they were born, deserve the same quality of education.  The system will never be completely fair, but we have to try to get it as close as we can.

I have big hopes for Common Core, but remember… I’m also standing in a very short line of educators who like NCLB.

I do hope this country begins to realize we must offer different types of education to satisfy the needs of different types of learners.

2. Discovery Education Science Techbook, covered in your April blog, seemed to underwhelm you. However, Pearson publishing, with funding from the Gates Foundation, is launching online curriculum that perfectly aligns with the Common Core Standards. The lion’s share of Gates foundation money is being invested in technology-based instruction and assessment. The new Teacher Evaluation (value added) system that pairs teacher performance with student test scores is already underway in most states and is aptly aimed at dissolving tenure. Most states now operate a K-12 virtual school. What do you believe is the long-range, underlying plan for education?

They don’t have a plan.

But the more they throw darts at the wall, the more likely they are to stumble upon a plan.

Discovery’s Techbook wasn’t terrible.  It just didn’t meet my high hopes.

Getting rid of tenure is a good thing.  Getting rid of teachers’ unions may turn out to be a bad thing.

I think we are in the beginning stages of the death of the public school as we know it.  What the system will look like in 20 years, I have no idea. But, I’m hoping it pays superintendents well.

3. What do you think of Professional Learning Communities? Is this valuable collaboration, or a process-oriented waste of time?

A little from Column A… a little from Column B.

It can be a valuable collaboration and it can also be a process in which I update thousands of people on the sleeping habits of Buddy the Dog.

I have over 6,000 Twitter followers (@principalspage).  I can almost gaurantee you they’ve learned nothing from me.

4. Are you worried about America’s world-standing in Education? Do you think education in the USA is being dragged down? And if so, by what?

No.  We are fine.

America thrives on drama.  In the education world, that means we are obsessed with our ranking in the world.

If I’m wrong, pick a country you want your child to go to high school.

And then go.

I mean it.  Get out.

Get a box.  Get your stuff.  And beat it.

We are America.  We should stop apologizing for not being perfect in every single facet of life.  We do our best and sometimes that just has to be good enough.

We should be proud.

We have DISH and Direct TV, Five Guys, gas stations every 12 feet, pizza delivered right to our homes, and the NFL.

We owe no apologies.

Last time I checked, a lot more people were moving to America than away from America.

4. As a marathon runner and would-be professional baseball player, what are your thoughts on health and education?

I wish.  Half-marathon. 

I have the shirt to prove it.

We have to transition from teaching games in school to teaching good health habits.

I like to think occassionally the government does something productive.  An example is getting 99% of the people not to smoke in my lifetime.

Now, I think we need to focus on healthy lifestyles for kids.

This will have to be done by the entire country.  I think First Lady Obama is starting to push us in the right direction.

But we can do it.  We’ve tackled smoking, factory working conditions, seatbelts in cars, and not drinking during preganancy.  All in the last 50 years.

5. If you could be King of Education in America, what would you do?

The list:

Make it a federal crime for burning popcorn in the teacher’s lounge.

Go back in time and use all of the ARRA money to install air conditioning in schools that don’t have it.

Year round school.

Drop the idea of grade levels based on age.  They should be based on ability.

Mandatory 2 years of service to our country after high school.  Might be military.  Could be working in a state park or soup kitchen.  Do something to make the world a better place.

Start girls in kindergarten at age 6, boys at age 7.

Grade promotion based on testing.  Test at grade 3, 6, 8, 10, and 12.  Stop with the "some people don’t test well".  They seem to do fine on their drivers license test.

Drop all state and federal testing until they figure out how to do it online and have it graded immediately.  We can travel to the moon and back, but we can’t figure out a way to grade a multiple choice ACT test?

Make it a federal crime, punishable by death, if you mess up my order at the drive through.

I have more, but I’m just getting angry typing this list.

Actually that’s a lie.  I’m just hungry.

The drive through comment made me realize I haven’t had dinner.

Go Falcons! (that’s where they questions came from… I hope you get an A Kris!)

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My School Tested for a TV Pilot.


This blog has given me a lot of unexpected benefits.Sadly, I Remember TV's Like This.

Free trips.  Fame for Buddy the Dog.  A cool nickname for the Evil Spawn.

The occasional free t-shirt (maybe the greatest benefit of all).

But this week may have been the oddest experience of all and I have this mediocre blog to thank for it (or blame).

My school interviewed for a TV show.

Yes, a TV reality show.

This goes against everything I hold sacred and pure.

I am the last remaining person in America who does not want to be on television.

I’ve never understood why people feel the need to be on tv.  I find the need for fame a little disturbing.

People (especially young adults) seem willing to do anything and everything to get themselves on television.

I don’t get it, but realize I’m probably in the minority.

But as luck (good and bad) would have it, people seem to stumble upon me when they Google for educators.

A production company did just that a couple of weeks ago.

They contacted me and asked if we would be interested to going through some pre-interviews with the possibility of being on a reality show about high schools.

My first thought… of course not.  What type of idiot wants to be on tv?

But then I thought, what the heck.  Maybe this is my entry into movies. 

Or maybe even better.  Maybe, just maybe, my dream of remaking Three’s Company will actually happen (if you are under 40… click the link).

So several members of our staff were interviewed by producers.

And it was odd.

Really odd.

There is no chance they will be making a tv show about us.

Why?

I think we are way too normal.  And we are far from normal.

But "reality" tv is exactly what I expected.  I don’t think it is "real" at all.

I think they want people who they can mold in to characters.

They are looking for big personalities that can be encouraged to be even bigger on tv.

I’m okay with that.  I’m just not that.  And my school isn’t that.

I still think there is a tv show about schools that needs to be made.

But it’s not about fights.  Or gangs.  Or wacky teachers.

It’s about good students.  And committed teachers.  And all the good things that happen in schools every day in small towns all across this country.

It would be about kids and families who are doing the right thing in a world that gets more complicated by the day.

I would watch this.  But once again, I realize I’m in the minority.

One benefit to not getting a TV Pilot… I now consider myself an out of work actor.  So if you need me, I will be waiting tables at Applebees’s.

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After Hiring Comes Firing.


There is no greater responsibility for a school administrator than hiring teachers.

Well, there is the HUGE responsibility of opening juice boxes, but I’m not counting this one (the average civillian just doesn’t understand the complexity of this issue).fired1

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, interviewing and choosing staff members who will be in your building for the next 35 years is a big responsibility.

The biggest.

Except for the ability to open a small cardboard box containing apple juice and jamming a 2 inch straw into it without losing an appendage (I’m telling you it’s harder than it looks).

Here is what I know about the hiring process.

The position comes open.  It’s advertised.  Then 849 people you barely know become your best friend.

They email.  They call.  They drop by.  They will corner you in the grocery store.

They wave an uncomfortably friendly wave as they drive by your house for the 40th time.

They hang out in the bushes just outside your bedroom window (I wish I was making this up).

And they all want the same thing.

They want you to hire their niece.

Or son.

Or neighbor.

Or the kid who sat 17 rows in front of them in church ten years ago (being a good sheep in the Christmas play does not guarantee you will be a good Chemistry teacher… I’m just sayin’).

Everyone wants to help someone they know get a job.

And there’s nothing wrong with this (personally, I really don’t mind… and this isn’t sarcasm… as far as you know).

Unless.

Unless, you hire this person and they turn out to be bad.

Really bad.

I mean bad like you have to duck when you  walk by their classroom bad (don’t laugh… we’ve all had to do it).

Hiring people makes you popular.

Until you have to fire them.

Then you become a terrible terrible person who fired a really nice kid.

A good kid from town.

From a good family.

Who just needed a chance.  Then a second chance.  And probably a 50th chance.

You will know this is true because when the firing takes place a concert-like crowd of people will show up at the school board meeting to express their disgust for you.

Which means it’s easy to hire a townie.  But it’s hard to fire one.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire locally.  It’s just means they should have had a larger role than Sheep #4 in the Christmas play.

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Hiring a Teacher to a 35 Year Contract Makes Me Nervous.


stains

As a school administrator I have lots of challenges.

Which tie to wear.

How to keep lunch off my tie.

Getting the stain off my tie after lunch.

It never ends.

Tomorrow is another day and I will need another tie (today’s has something on it). 

And if history tells us anything, it’s very likely I’ll be eating lunch.

It’s a vicious cycle.

But you will be glad to know this isn’t my biggest challenge.

There’s one thing that makes me more nervous than eating spaghetti in the cafeteria wearing a white tie while sitting between two 5th graders with sharp elbows and attention problems.

It’s hiring people.

Any time you have an opening within your staff, it’s an opportunity for your school to get better.

This isn’t to say whoever is leaving the position is bad, but as an administrator, the goal is to find someone who is at least a little better.

Because if you think about it, none of us are looking to take a giant step backward (if you are… you might be in the wrong profession).

But this is where it gets tricky.

Interviewing isn’t a science, it’s an art.

Which is a nice way of saying, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t (feel free to quote me on this).

This isn’t what makes me nervous.  I know I’m not going to hit a home run on every new hire (I think I just invented a baseball analogy).

The mediocre hires don’t worry me as much as the pretty good hires. 

This is because a brand new pretty good teacher may be employed by the district for the next 35 years (a mediocre one hopefully won’t).

35 years.

That’s three and a half decades.

That’s 8.75 Presidents.

Or think of it this way.  In 35 years, I will be 73 (if I’m lucky).

Even more disturbing, 35 years ago it was 1976.  I was in the 4th grade (for the first and only time… as far as you know).

This means a teacher who was hired during my 4th grade year is still teaching.

Meanwhile the world has changed ever so slightly (you’ve probably heard of the internet… since you are on it right now).

But have they?

I would say most have changed, but the ability to be progressive in your career is a hard thing to project in a 30 minute interview.

To sum up, a new teacher who is hired this year could be with the school district for a very long time (check my math… but I’m guessing until approximately 2046).

And that makes me nervous.

Not nervous enough to skip lunch, but nervous.

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Interview With Chambanamoms.com.


I don’t do interviews.It's a Real Website Written By Real Moms.

I’m the Howard Hughes of school administrators.

Of course, without the money or the pilot’s license.

And the OCD.

Actually, the real reason I don’t do more press is because I have a condition.

It’s not something I like to talk about.  Especially on weekends.

It’s called a job.

And it gets in the way of my other life.

The one where I stay home with  Buddy the Dog and blog for approximately 12 minutes each day.

This is my dream.

This is Buddy’s dream.

This should be your dream (because quite frankly, if it’s good enough for Buddy, it’s good enough for you).

I really want a full-time job that’s neither full-time nor a job.

And blogging fits that bill just about perfectly.

I don’t really know any other bloggers, but I’m assuming they are very good golfers.

If I had a job that didn’t require me to work, I could get my handicap down and still have plenty of time for other stuff.  Like interviews (I’m not sure, but this might require people asking to speak to me… details, details).

Since I have to work to pay for Buddy’s enormous appetite, I don’t have time for all the extra things that real bloggers do.

Like…

… actually, I don’t know what real bloggers do.

Again, I’ve never met one.

I’ve always assumed they brainstormed, did some research, read a lot, and other writing type of stuff.

This was all  true until about a week ago.

That’s when I agreed to be interviewed (weak moment).  I’m not sure what came over me, but I returned an email from Chambanamoms.com.  Evidently, they had gotten so desperate for material they needed to interview me.

It makes my stomach gurgle just thinking about it (on second thought, this could be the Mexican food I ate last night). 

I still don’t have a clue why I answered the email because I can’t think of anyone I would like less to talk about than me.

Just the thought makes me want to shove a letter opener right in the back of my worst enemy (no need to hurt myself, after all).

For reasons I can’t explain, I agreed to speak to this young lady. 

And you know what?

It was as painful as I imagined.  Sure she acted interested, but I was on to her from the very beginning (me=boring).

I don’t care how many questions someone asks, I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing with this blogging thing.

To her credit, she wrote a very nice article (amazing what someone who got A’s in English class can do).  She also took less than a horrible picture of me (this takes TALENT and lots of it… most of my school pictures have been destroyed at the request of the Kindergarten teachers… something about me frightening the children).

But none of this interested me.

What did was the fact that she is me.  Except she’s female.

And has a journalism degree.

And probably a bunch of other stuff, but I don’t want to get weird on you (too late???…. sorry).

She’s started her own website and blog.

In the four years I’ve been blogging, I’ve never run across anyone who does this (by the way, my blogging anniversary was this week… thanks for the cards…).

During this time, I’ve typed my goofy thoughts on my little computer at my kitchen table all by myself (except for my faithful sidekick Buddy).

So while I found the interview awkward and uncomfortable, talking to her was terribly fascinating (if I could just have been involved without being involved).

She does what I do, but better.

She has a staff.  A business plan.  Goals.  Web people.  Advertisers. 

And she goes to blog conferences and meets other people like us.

I didn’t even know there were people like us, let alone Blog Conferences.

So the interview was worth it.  Simply because it’s nice to know there are real people out there who are trying to accomplish the exact same thing as me.

Which is…

… actually, I have no idea what they are trying to accomplish.

But my plan is crystal clear.

I’m just a school administrator who is trying to find a high-paying job that requires little or no work with absolutely no supervision and doesn’t involve interacting with other humans.  And good benefits.

It’s the American Dream.

Or maybe it’s just my dream.

Check out Chambanamoms.com.  Personally, I’m hooked on the Househunting Mom.

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Interviewing Makes Me Smarter.


In my profession, I get the opportunity to interview a lot of people.

This could mean a couple of things.

One, people hate me with such a passion that after a very short period of being around me on a daily basis, they quit.

Or two (and my much prefered theory), while I’m not a genius (this is constantly reinforced by the people who live in my house) I’ve been able to hire good/great people who sometimes have opportunities to take other/better jobs.

Either way, I get to interview lots and lots of people.Truth Be Told... I Wasn't That SMART to Begin With.

On a slow year, I would say I have 5 openings in various positions.

That means I interview about 25-40 different candidates every 12 months.

In a more hectic time, this number could easily triple.

And that’s a lot of interviews.

This brings me to a new theory.

Interviewing isn’t a science.

It’s an art (no, this isn’t my theory… someone already had this brainstorm…).

When interviewing you find yourself looking for certain things:  a good work ethic, passion, leadership, an ability to get along with others, organization, forward-thinking, etc.

These are what we call no-brainers (welcome to behind the curtain of school administration).

When you think about it, no one is looking for:  a bad work ethic,  little or no passion, an inability to lead, someone who can’t get along with others, disorganization, and backward-thinking.

My theory (which isn’t completely crazy… despite the thoughts of these same people who eat my food and are entertained by the 1,000 TV stations I provide them) is there’s one attribute you have to look for
in all interview candidates.

They must be smarter than you.Yes, this theory finds its genius in its simplicity (as do all good theories).

Don’t just hire smart people, hire smarter people.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  The key to success:  be the dumbest person in the room.

Even more interesting (to me) than what happens at the conclusion of an interview is what happens during an interview.

The smart ones make me smarter (not that difficult of an accomplishment, but an accomplishment nonetheless).

And this is the part of the interview process I really enjoy.

It’s an opportunity to talk to people who have knowledge and experiences I don’t.

Even though I can’t hire every person I interview, it always works out for me.

Because while they may not get the job, I always get smarter.

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The Electronic Resume.


Are resumes dead? 

If your answer is NO, you can stop reading (thanks for stopping by and please tip your waitress).  If you said YES, am I under any obligation to notify the next of kin?

You can probably guess I think paper resumes have outlived their usefulness.

You can also probably guess that I’m not comfortable delivering the unfortunate news of death (but that’s a whole different blog).resume

Email (along with texting for you crazy kids) is replacing snail mail.  Land lines are being put out of commission by cell phones (how I miss the rotary phone and the party line).  Newspapers are getting crushed by the internet.  And the Kindle seems to be every librarian’s worst nightmare.

Since technology seems to be changing every facet of our lives, why should resumes be any different?

Maybe it’s time to lighten my mailman’s load.

Maybe it’s time to stop killing so many trees.

Maybe it’s time to stop wasting money on stamps.

Maybe it’s time to shift the focus from fancy resume paper and cool fonts to what a candidate has really accomplished.

Maybe the new resume should be electronic.

Maybe it should be a personal website, wiki, blog, a series of podcasts, or even a summary of a candidate’s online presence.

Maybe this could be a mandatory class in every college education program.  Just think, we could produce graduates who understand technology and how it can be used in schools to benefit students (a novel concept I know, but call me a dreamer).

I haven’t worked out the details (don’t worry, they are just details), but resumes should be more than a phone number, an address (snail mail… it’s dead people, move on), an odd sounding objective statement, embellished job history, and three references.

While the classic resume drives me crazy, nothing angers me more than the three references at the bottom of the page (yes, I said one page… don’t even think I can wade through 5 pages of your resume… I’m just not that into you).

Who’s idea was the whole reference thing?

When did this become the standard end-of-the resume space filler?

When did we convince ourselves that it was so important to ask potential employees to name three people who think they are great?

I get it, your pastor loves you.

Your pastor loves everyone.  That’s why they are in the pastor business.

Your pastor might even like me (okay, that’s just crazy talk but you get my point).

Do we actually believe people who are desperate to find a job will list references who think they are lazy, incompetent, and don’t deserve to make a living wage?

I know resumes are simply a way to narrow down a group of candidates into a manageable number of interviews, but how great would it be if you could just get online and learn a candidate’s personal history.

To me, knowing someone’s technology ability is far more important then if they were on their high school swim team or a member of swing choir.

I can Google a person’s name and find drunken inappropriate pictures of them, but I can’t access their technology skills online.

It just doesn’t seem fair.

Or very 2010.

As an added bonus, electronic resumes mean less paper cuts.  And I don’t care who you are, that’s always a good thing.

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Interviews Are Like a Game Show.


It’s getting closer to that special time of the school year.

No, not summer (because that is beyond special… and there are days when I feel it will never get here).

It’s almost Interview Season.

Teachers retire, quit, or move on to bigger and better things.It's Gene Rayburn from the Match Game.

This also means I will have a dull headache for the next 6 months.  It’s the exact same feeling I get when I eat too much sugar.

Openings to fill.  Resumes to sort through by the hundreds (please stop telling me there’s a teacher shortage).  And reference checks to be made.

Work, work, work.

Which isn’t a bad thing.  Actually it’s job security.

Even so, Interview Season = Dull Headache just Cookies in the Lounge = Dull Headache.

I enjoy meeting new teachers during interviews.

They are so young.  So enthusiastic.  So upbeat and positive.  So desperate for a job that pays them actual money.

There’s just so many of them.

After about interview #47, I start to show my age.

I get confused and disoriented.

There comes a time when I can’t remember if I’ve asked a question or even for the candidate’s name.

Who am I kidding?  At a certain point I can’t remember my own name (sadly this happens way before interview #47).

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind interviewing (see:  job security).  I just wish I had a special huge red button to push the second I know it’s not going to work out.

Sort of a “Thanks for playing our game… now GET OUT!” button.

This isn’t true.  Or nice.

What I need is a giant lever to pull.

If this sounds unduly harsh, it’s because it is.

In my defense, interviews are like first dates.  You know within 2 minutes if it’s a match.

I don’t want to embarrass the person interviewing, I just want to pull the lever and have them fall into a giant abyss (just to prove I’m not mean, I want the abyss to be deep enough that I don’t hear their crying and screaming as they fight for a final breathe… because there’s no need to make things worse).

Think about it.  Within 120 seconds you know if you want to hire this person, but yet you feel like it’s only fair to spend at least 30 minutes interviewing them.

Actually, now that I think about it this may be worse than pulling the lever.

Maybe, interviews should be shorter.

Maybe, it’s a disservice to drag them out when they aren’t going well.

Maybe, I would be doing everyone a favor by pulling the lever.

Or maybe not.

Interviews remind me of a game show.

Think about it.  A school gets 100 resumes.

We pick out 5 to play the game.

They are then brought up on stage (the interview) and asked a series of secret questions.

No one knows the correct answer, so the candidates do their best to guess what the school/interviewer wants to hear.

At the end of the game a winner is chosen and the losers (not really “losers”) have no idea why they didn’t win.

It’s a game show without the lovely parting gifts.

People are so excited to get chosen to play the game and so disappointed when they don’t win.

No job.  No car.  No boat.  No vacation package.

It’s a game show without any of the good parts.

And of course, I don’t have a lovely sidekick, a bad suit, big hair, or a long microphone.

Alex, I would like “Student Discipline” for $100.

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Why Do Schools Always Hire the Opposite of What They Just Had?


Summer is here.

If I could sing I would. If I could dance I would.

Since my only marginal talent is rambling ill-conceived blogs, I am going to stick with what I know.

School is out which means it is time to find some new teachers. Which reminds me, interviewing is exhausting.

The process seems simple enough.

Step 1: advertise the open position.

Step 2: get 12 bazillion resumes on 87 different shades of white paper (who knew there were so many shades of white??).

Step 3: open the applications while constantly wondering… how much do these people spend on fancy paper, envelopes, and fancy folders?

This question always leads me to the same conclusion. The applicants really should have put as much time and effort into their college classes as they did applying for this position.

Step 4: schedule the interviews by emailing. No phone calls. It’s 2009.

Tag is fun. Phone tag is not.

I can remember when I was looking for my first job and the time and effort it took to check the answering machine 8,000 times a day.

When schools didn’t call back, I assumed the phone was broken. Turns out the phone was working just fine, the schools just didn’t want me.

There was a time when I was afraid to go out in the backyard because I might miss a call. If I did venture out, I almost always heard the phone ring (in my head) and would run back into the house to find…

… a phone that hadn’t rang and wasn’t broken. It was exhausting not getting hired.

Email seems simpler and less painful.

Which is why candidates shouldn’t hide their email address on their resume. It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” with some of these people.

Put your email address on the front page of your resume in at least a 12 point font. I am begging you. I am old, which means the only thing that is worse than my eyesight is my patience.

I can barely find my car in the school parking lot. how do you expect me to find your email address if it is hidden on page 3 right next to the fact that you were in show choir your sophomore year of high school?

If I need a psychic, police dog, or a magnifying glass to locate your email address, I am not going to lie to you… the odds of you getting an interview aren’t good.

But I am venting (actually it feels good and could be considered somewhat healthy).

By the way I have another new pet peeve. The emailer who always has to have the last word (it’s like I am married to them).

If you are sending an email with 2 or less words take my advice and don’t. I won’t be confused or offended.

Examples of these emails include: Thanks, OK, Will do, Sure thing, and Got it. Email is not a new technology. It works.

If I have sent you an email, I am 99.9999999999999% sure that you have received it.

Please don’t feel like you have to respond to my email that was sent to confirm your last email. OK?

Got it?

Good.

The fun really starts during the actual interviews.

I think schools and administrators make a colossal mistake when interviewing.

They attempt to hire people who are the exact opposite of the person they are replacing.

And by exact opposite, I mean they are completely different in one area.

You see this all the time.

If the last person was older, the new hire must be younger.

If a retiring teacher was quiet, the replacement must be outgoing (this is good news for you show choir person!!)

If the last teacher thought his or her computer was evil and watching them as they moved around the classroom, the school will look for someone with a ton of computer skills (and no history of mental illness).

If the last coach was considered strict, the school will want someone that is kinder and gentler (then two years from now, this person will get fired because they are too kind and way too gentle).

When hiring an administrator, if the last one wasn’t strict, the school looks for a former Marine with anger issues and a crazy eye.

This happens over and over.

Even bad employees have good qualities. It’s a mistake to just focus in on their faults when looking for their replacements.

Having tunnel vision is not always the best way to find a good replacement.

You may hire a new employee who is better in a specific area, but what about the other 27 qualities in which they need to be successful?

Focusing in on one particular trait can lead schools to hiring people who aren’t complete educators, coaches, or administrators.

A year from now the same school will be looking for yet another new employee because this year’s version was lacking in a totally different area.

Which means, if you don’t get an interview this year you have twelve months to pick out some new white resume paper (or off-white… or ivory… or bone… or …).

And find out about the person you are replacing. You don’t have to be better than them, just different.

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Is Your Email Address Keeping You From Getting an Interview?


email_iconCould someone please tell me what’s going on with colleges and universities? But please, not too many details, I may want to send my daughter there one day (although I am anticipating her attending some sort of truck driving school).

My concern is who is guiding our teachers of the future?

Who is showing them the ins and outs of what it takes to be an educator?

How can these schools be handing out diplomas and yet not talking about something that may be keeping their graduates from getting hired.

Email addresses. Sounds simple. In theory.

It makes me wonder if I should be worried about these institutions of higher education. Are their standards high enough?

I should have known something was up when they gave me a diploma. Or three (by the way, that was before email… and indoor plumbing).

Professors of Education spend months teaching their students about lesson plans, yet they don’t have five seconds to share advice on the proper selection of an email address.

How can people spend 4 years in college (or 5, 6, or 7… and if you have been in college longer, I hope they call you Dr.) and then send out an application letter (or preferably email) with something so heinous and inappropriate on it.

I was under the impression that signing up for an email address was simple. I thought Gmail and Hotmail were giving them away like candy. The kids these days, with their knowledge of technology should be able to handle this.

Evidently, I must be wrong.

A candidate mails (or again… preferably emails) a resume. The interviewee looks it over. Everything is in order. GPA looks impressive. References are excellent. Degree is perfect for the open position.

And there it is.

The cool guy/cool girl email address.

The address that was so very funny only days before. Funny to the person who thought of it. Funny when the person wasn’t completely sober.

Funny on Facebook.

Turns out a prospective employer might not be as amused as your roommate who thinks everything is funny.

Examples include drunkenpartygod@email.com… or hotsororitygirl@email.com.

I am sure these addresses served an important purpose at one time in a college student’s life. Probably a highly illegal purpose, but as always I am not here to judge.

Since colleges are evidently not teaching this invaluable lesson and the drunkenpartygod and the hotsororitygirl lack a certain degree of common sense, I feel it is my obligation to pass on this advice (plus, I get a pet peeve off my chest).

When you move towards the end of your college experience… find a new email address (you know you can have more than one…).

Prospective employers are looking for someone who is structured, trustworthy, and good with kids.

Not a wingman. Or a date.

Candidates spend time choosing which information to include on a resume, what font to use, and what color of fancy paper on which to print it.

Can’t they spend 10 seconds signing up for an employer appropriate email address?

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