April 06, 2017


I want to be taken seriously as an educator. I realized this recently while responding to an interview question for summer school principal. The question was, “why did you apply for this job?” I paused, then out of my mouth came, “I want to be taken seriously as an educator and administrator in this school district and I see this job as an opportunity for growth.” Stunned silence. I continued, “I consider myself to be my principal’s ‘right hand man’ responsible for the campus when he is away from school.” Apparently, this was not what the panel expected to hear.

The panel was composed of four comprehensive high school principals, and my district CTE supervisor. The next day my principal stopped me outside my office to let me know that he had selected me for the job. I explained during the interview that I was not available to work the whole assignment due to a conference and family vacation plans. He told me that he also selected another district administrator to split the assignment with me. Later, in an email he sent out to a colleague he referred to me as his, “right hand man.” Something changed in that interview.

I pivoted. Through all the reflective writing, teaching the graduate level preliminary teacher credential courses, 20 years of public middle and high school classroom experience, two master’s degrees, and a year and half of administration, I never said, “I am serious about being an educator.” I think this is something that all educators should stop and do right now because being an educator is a serious job. Education is about being committed to teaching people how to improve their lives. Education is about making a positive difference. Education is about growth and change. Education is important and necessary right now.