Monday, December 17, 2012
The Unexpected Interview To Teach Again
I had always planned to be a mother who stayed at home to raise her children. I had dreamed of this ever since I was in high school. No, maybe ever since I was a little girl playing with my dolls. I wanted to be like a Donna Reed or June Cleaver mother! So when I left school to have James, Jr. I resigned from my teaching position. Now, with the stillbirth, I assumed I would continue on with my teaching the following year. So I reapplied for my teaching position. I knew there wouldn't be a problem. I had a phone call from Central Office to come in for an interview. It turned out that my school had a new principal. He had insisted on interviewing me as just a formality. I know the superintendent and the assistant superintendent had planned on hiring me back. I assumed there would be no problem with this new principal. Wrong! Oh, he hired me alright, but not without insulting me and threatening me first. He knew why I had resigned my job and about my son's death. He brought this up during the interview. He wasn't kind or sympathetic. Instead, he threatened me that if he ever saw any sign of grieving or depression while I was around the students, parents, or other teachers he would put me up to be fired. I was never to speak of my baby. Oh, like my friends weren't going to ever mention it! He must never see me falter for a second. I had NO intention of ever acting that way around my students! He made me feel like because I had a dead baby I wasn't suitable to be around students! That insulted me to know end! I was a good teacher! I would continue to be a good teacher! I let him know that during that interview. He also could tell how insulted I was. I wasn't hurt, I was down right insulted! If I didn't feel capable to return to teaching, I would have never applied to come back. It ended up that I had a great year with my new first graders that year. I gave those children the best I had in me. I still hear from some of those students. Some are teachers and some have children of their own. We bonded in a special way. I didn't retire from that school because we moved from north central NC to the coast of NC. I still keep in touch with that principal on occasion. I bet he doesn't remember that interview. I bet he has no idea how that made me disrespect him as a leader or human being. That interview took place in July of 1975 and I can still picture the room we were in with its polished chairs and smell of real leather. Yep. Bet he has no idea.