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.
Whitey can never win. Whitey be good for only one thing - his money.
I'm right, aren't I?
Applicant: “I’m sorry, can you define diversity?”
Highly-paid but unqualified interviewer: “Diversity be anybody but you, White &itch!”
Applicant: “I don’t want this job, you prejudiced racist ignorant affirmative-action 0bama voter!”
Highly-paid but unqualified interviewer: “You gets yo White &itch-ass outta here!”
She's better than the job she's applying for.
At least your daughter is not a man so she had a chance at getting job.
Diversity is the excuse used to justify discriminating against a highly qualified white man in favor of hiring unqualified minorities.
I remember when affirmative action started with the argument that it would only be used to when 2 candidates had essentially equal qualifications. Then they were faced with the reality that certain groups had a vanishingly small number of truly qualified candidates. So they devised a new qualification, diversity. No matter how stupid, lazy, illiterate, angry or incompetent they are, it provides an advantage.
An ignorant comment from an ignorant individual who shouldn't be anywhere near a classroom. Elitists from academia are the worst...Naturally the country just made one leader of the free world.
My daughter never entertained any animus towards the interviewer. She simply had a profound sense of sadness.
I know you may mean well, in perhaps trying to create some sort of solidarity with her but I raised all my children to understand they were not victims and would never be victims. She simply feels that she was being judged by something out of her control. I can imagine that black slaves, white indentured servants, Irish immigrants, and many others have felt the same thing in years past.
That being said, many millions of them rose above the predetermined conclusions that were made about them to become the pillars of America upon which we now rest.
I believe she will be the better for this experience.
These days this should have been her response. Seriuosly.
In such a situation I might figure, might as well be bold and point out the obvious, “diversity” means a lot of things to a lot of people, so what sense of it are you getting at ma’am?
Reminds me of a group I worked with about 20 years ago. We had at least 4 or 5 nationalities and 3 or 4 religions represented. Everyone got along great, and I don't recall anyone telling the manager that he had to hire "diverse" candidates. As you said, he hired the most qualified people regardless of personal background. Our motto was "we were diverse before diverse was cool"
We were organizing a group Christmas party and trying to come up with a theme. We settled on "Holiday foods you grew up with", which turned out to be the best party I ever attended. Sadly, our manager passed on the following spring due to AIDS (this was long before any of the current crop of sustaining drugs hit the market) and the group began to disband as people took new positions within the company or just left.
A few of us still carry on the tradition, incorporating our new co-workers into the mix. I am greatly looking forward to this year's mix of ethnic foods and stories of growing up in different countries and cultures.
With the picture of MLK there, why not point to it and talk about him too? Let some of the air out of her Presumptuous tires.
All for the best. Teaching “diverse” kids is far worse than unemployment.
She was well trained in the game, and I went into that arena almost unarmed by comparison. Between her and a "VP of Non-Sequiturs" whose hair had a rather obvious (and effeminate) permanent wave, I came away hoping they wouldn't hire me... and I was most gratified after a few weeks went by without my hearing anything from the company.
I was never able to wax eloquent about the experience, but it was valuable nonetheless.
That COULD have been code for a bunch of unreachable brats from every dysfunctional background that you’ve ever heard of, and some you haven’t.
But at this point, why not go ahead and ask the interviewer about that. Is that what you have in mind ma’am?
“No, I think all the students I taught were normal kids, none with multiple personalities or anything like that”
“Yes, all my students were diverse — we didn’t have any twins at all, much less Siamese twins”
“Well, I didn’t ask them, but in every room of 26 people you pretty much expect that two of them might have the same birthday — but still mostly diverse”
“I’ll answer that, but I have to know first — are you diverse?”
“I would love to teach the entire universe of students.”
“Some of them might have even been triverse — mind you, I was told not to discuss their sexual preferences...”
I'd gone in for an interview with Texas Parks and Wildlife. I was hired and went through all the paperwork, etc. The day before I was to start, my soon to be boss called and was very upset. Seems that they had to hire a black for the position. The job posting was open for at least six months after that and not one black ever applied. I should have filed against the state but was young and naive at the time. Right before that, I'd applied at the post office. The postmaster flat out told me he was required to interview me because I'd scored the highest on the test but that he was looking for a man for the job. If only I knew then what I know now...
Exactly the right answer. I know these people. They use "diverse" as a synonym for "non white". But then it's also a trap, because the interviewer was correct: a roomful of Hispanics is not actually diverse, ethnically speaking. The correct answer would be use the question to showcase how you treat everyone as a unique and valued individual, regardless of race, ethnicity, etc. If they want to come back and say, but what about X, Y or Z ethnic groups, then at least they've had to expose their own narrow-minded view of diversity in the process, while you have had already taken the opportunity to tout something good about yourself.
Brooklyn Attitude~:” Diversity is the excuse used to justify discriminating against a highly qualified white man in favor of hiring unqualified minorities.”
My school district is one of the top ten school districts throughout the nation on teacher salaries.
They have been engaged in “diversity “ among teachers for the last 10 years ; they are more concerned about diversity rather than teaching ability , and the quality of education has suffered.
As a result of diversity , dispite the high level of teacher salaries , this school system has the distinction of graduation (from 1st grade - high school) of 10 % of African-Americans ; that means that 90 % fail to graduate.
To me , this says that the school system is not meeting the needs of the students , or the community.