hobgoblinn: (Default)
[personal profile] hobgoblinn
Kind of dropped off the face of the earth in mid-April. It was not because my script for script frenzy took off-- that also dropped mid month. No, I found out from a friend that there was a full time English Instructor position at Gateway, the local community college. I applied, got an interview with the selection committee and despite a very painful 20 minute teaching segment, I now have in hand an invitation to interview with the President of the College and Vice Provost next week.

I've never been nervous in interviews-- not debilitatingly so, anyway. But I've never had one that mattered quite this much before, either. And while I am a damn good teacher, I realize I know almost nothing of Academia, having been out of those circles, that conversation, pretty much all my adult life. I've dabbled the past couple of years, but I've been far too busy surviving increasingly grueling teaching schedules at this For Profit nightmare I work for now.

Anyone remember Spider Robinson? Penned, among other things, the Callahan's Saloon short stories? He says in one of his introductions that he took up writing to get out of the sewer. Literally. Worked as a night watchman for a major metropolitan sewer system (and also expressed the wonder I'm sure has occurred to you, too-- someone might steal a sewer? What?)

Anyway, that's me, now. I am putting in my notice Tuesday, before I even go to this interview. I might as well beat them to laying me off or cutting me to part time, which seems very likely given our pitiful enrollment numbers. I also have not had a break since January and need a vacation and to recharge in the worst way. I can likely get an adjunct job at one of several local real schools if this one falls through, but not if I'm this burned out when I interview with them.

That's what scares me now-- how can I honestly answer any questions about my current job without the truth seeping out in my tone, if not my words?

One friend of mine has told me she knows people who have interviewed with this college, and the President places a great deal of stress on an applicant knowing everything there is to know about Gateway. I've been reading the website, but I don't want to sound like I've been memorizing PR material there.

I know many of you on my f-list are academics or have worked in this world-- could you share some questions you've been asked in these types of interviews, or your experience on what I should work on this week to get ready for this?

Any advice or questions or both would be much appreciated.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-05-25 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sahiya.livejournal.com
I wish I could help, but I haven't had any experience interviewing in this world (yet). I did want to wish you the very best of luck! I've worked for a For Profit Nightmare myself, so I know how bad it can be.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-05-25 02:51 pm (UTC)
usedtobeljs: (Default)
From: [personal profile] usedtobeljs
Good luck!

I'd say three things:
*you'll likely be asked about your philosophy in teaching writing (what do you do about revision, etc). The Gateway website should have a course description for the class(es) you'd be asked to teach -- familiarize yourself with that.
*it's possible that they'll ask about your syllabi or lesson plans. Good idea to have a sample with you.
*ask them about support for writing classes. Is there a Writing Center? (You might be able to find out online if there is one -- if so, then ask how the Writing Center supports your teaching.)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-05-25 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tx-cronopio.livejournal.com
Wow, this is great!

All LJS's comments are spot on.

Now -- I gather you've been working for one of the proprietaries? Those bastards.

Yeah, I'm working on this answer as well. I think you have to walk that fine line between never criticizing a former employee and taking advantage of the universal disdain for the proprietaries.

What I'm going with right now is some kind of, "while I agree that proprietary institutions fill an important niche in the market, I found that they were just not a good fit for me."

And if pressed, something vague about values. Hell, don't ask me, it ain't working for me either. What I want to say it that I would go work nights at Walmart before ever teaching for a proprietary school, but that's a bit too blatant, doncha think?

I think in this economy, they'll understand a good bit and won't need the whole wink and nudge. Just keep talking about Gateway's values and how they are more in line with your personal philosophy of education.

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