Skip to comments.My Daughter's Job Interview (Teaching)
Posted on 12/05/2012 10:53:12 AM PST by ColoCdn
The clock ticked a little impatiently, waiting for an answer. My answer. The interviewers question stuck in my mind, Have you worked with diverse students before? Looking past her wide set eyes, I focused on the picture of MLK behind her head. He stared down at me with knowing eyes. Brooding. Silent. Without reserve.
I paused, finding the answer to her question. Yes. I have worked with diverse students. I mean, Ive been an English Language Development teacher for the past two years and all of my students have been Hispanic.
I wouldnt call that diverse. She caught me with smug eyes. I looked down at my white hands, and knew she was right. The word, diverse, stuck in the air, stranded between generations, mollified by affirmative action, silently accusing me of a skin color I had no control over.
The air was heaving with Presumptions.
My thoughts sputtered and stuttered, like my Fords engine trying to turn over. Revving through my mind, I managed to control their violent whirring with a modest, Youre right. I guess I have not worked with a very diverse population. The interviewer studied me coolly. She knew she had won. Beat me at her own game. Presumptions settled comfortably in the office air.
Shakily I grabbed my coffee, almost spilling the tasteless liquid onto my dress pants. Taking a slight sip, I tried to calm my nerves. This was a job I really wanted. I wanted to be a writing teacher. A teacher who inspired other students. Students who may not have a love for writing, but students I could convince to love it. If only, I could have a chance. A chance to
So then, why do you want to work with the students at our school? The interviewers cool composure remained, interrupting my confidence. From his spot on the white wall, MLK gazed at me, a little sorrowful, a little pained.
Growing up, my family didnt have very much money. We got by, but we didnt have a lot, which meant I had to find a way to pay for my own education. My father encouraged me to go to college, no matter whathe was an immigrant himself, you see, from Canada. He used to say, No matter what happens, no one can take your education away. And I believed him, with all my heartand went on to be the first person in my family to graduate not only with a bachelors, but with a masters degree. And now, I want to help others achieve the same goal.
I took a breath, pleased with my answer, trying to read the interviewers poker face.
Unimpressed, the interviewer scribbled a few words down on a scratch sheet of paper. I couldnt help but feel a bit slighted. My words were like whispers to the Presumptions. Presumptions that didnt know about the children of Canadian immigrants. Presumptions that werent interested in the white children of blue collar workers. Presumptions that claimed they knew what I was all about; who played Master of the Interview and Master of Diversity.
MLKs eyes looked down at me stillcareworn and concerned. They reminded me for a moment of my fathers eyes. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character I looked at my interviewer, the gavel raised in her eyes.
Well, thats all I have for you. Do you have any questions for me?
I thought for a few seconds, concerned that I wasnt being heard. That my worth was being measured by less than what I was.
Not right now. I said, feeling defeated by Presumption. Defeated by premature assessment. Defeated by Prejudice.
Okay, she said. Your next interviewer will be in shortly.
The gavel banged down, sentencing me to Presumption and Presupposition. I took one more calming sip of my watery coffee and suddenly the words of my father came back to me, Life isnt fair. Only now, I truly understood what he meant.
Thanks for sharing the wonderful prose. Best wishes for your daughter.
Reality is not the lies they sell on tv. There endeth the sad lesson.
Sounds like she may have a great case for a discrimination lawsuit.
I once had to tell a highly qualified white man that he would not get the job he was interviewing for because I had been given orders to hire a minority.................
That is just sad.
“I wouldn’t call that diverse.” She caught me with smug eyes. I looked down at my WHITE hands, and knew she was right. The word, “diverse,” stuck in the air, stranded between generations, mollified by affirmative action, silently accusing me of a skin color I had no control over.
Have you worked with diverse students before?We are all Africans.
I do not want to come off negative but your daughter needs to learn to think fast. Turn the question around - what do you mean by diverse? Do you mean gender? Do you mean skin color? Do you mean nationality? Get the interviewer to define the terms and then answer the question from.
And libs accuse us of using racist code words.
Another one of my faves? “Bilingual a plus!”
That means we’re gonna hire a Mexican - legal or not - and pay them 25 percent less than we could pay you. So don’t bother applying.
Tell your daughter to make the interviewer define the term “diverse”.
Then she can tailor her answer to meet the understanding oif the defined term.
Diverse can have many meanings. Never presume to know which one is being discussed or meant.
That game goes both ways. I was constantly involved in the hiring process for degreed engineers of all types. Dozens and Dozens and Dozens.
Whenever ANYONE even suggested that I give preference solely because of diversity, I responded "Sure! All you have to do is to give me that directive in writing." In case one thinks I was prejudiced and looking for a defense, I can honestly say my unit was the most diverse of the whole organization that I knew of. The difference was that I didn't accept incompetence because of diversity. Everyone I hired was well-qualified.
My response: "No, they were all human beings."
I’m a minority and an immigrant. To my mind, diversity covers many parameters. It is *far* more than skin tone. None of us should miss opportunity to further that argument and not ced to the skin color issue. When in doubt, draw it out.
That’s what I’d been thinking. She ceded to the interviewer’s parochial view. They both had narrow horizons.
The follow up would be of course, "What about skin color?" to which the only good response is, "I don't categorize people's needs by their skin color. Is that a requirement of this job?"
Then file a grievance with the persons manager and start a lawsuit for racial discrimination.
I would advise your daughter, or anyone who is put in that position to ask the interviewer,”what do you mean when you say ‘diverse’? Are you referring to diversity of ability, diversity of skills, or diversity of beliefs?”
Put the inquisitor on the spot and make them tell you that they are talking about identity politics.
Again, your daughter needs to get strong, and when the inquisitor says, “I wouldnt call that diverse” answer, “Really? Why not?”
Don’t let these pieces of crap Mau Mau you.