Friday, February 27, 2015

A Change of Plans

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
-Dr. Seuss

This week, I have had the valuable, and slightly less pleasant, experience of rejection. My first job interview was this past week and it did not goes as planned. Well, that is to say it didn't go as I had planned it would go...

I walked into my interview with an ease about myself. I was confident, collected, and ready to roll. I had all 90 pages of my portfolio, each in its proper place between two plastic page protectors, none without their corresponding label. In the pocket of my portfolio was a flash drive, complete with a digital copy of my work and 2 video clips as evidence of my teaching abilities. How could they say no? How?

Well, it was easier for them then I thought. I went through the interview, answering question after question, posing thoughts and ideas, asking questions right back. I was engaged, present in the experience, enthusiastic about the opportunity. I saw myself there. I could go there.... 

But I don't go there, and I won't go there....

I didn't get the call I expected.  A friend of mine received the call.  It wasn't that I couldn't believe that she got the job over me, it was that I couldn't believe I wasn't good enough.  I did everything I was supposed to.  I had the portfolio, I followed up with a thank you, I wore my suit, I researched the community.  But I wasn't good enough...

Those of you who know me know that I can be a perfectionist at times (but only a little, I promise.....).  I was devastated that I did not get the first job I interviewed for.  How could this be?  But having thought about this for a few days now, I realized that it really isn't that hard to understand at all.

Its not that the other candidates were better than me, its that I'm different.  Its not that I don't belong there, its that I fit better at a different place.  Its not that I can't teach well, its that I teach differently.  What I am discovering this week is that this whole student teaching thing isn't about being better or worse, being stronger or weaker, being near or far, its about being different.  Each school is different and each candidate is different, but somewhere there is a match.  The goal is not to be better than the others, the goal is to find the match that is different in the same way as you are.

And so, throughout this process of interviewing for the first time and not receiving that call, I have learned a few things.  First of which is to always pack your own snow plow when driving north, but that's for another story.  I've learned that I am different.  I am different than my 17 classmates and that I am different than the other Ag Teachers.  But somewhere there is a place that is different too, in all the right ways.

So to the candidate who took the job, I know you will do great things there and that your students will be blessed with a teacher as passionate as you are.  And to the school that is different in the same ways as I am, I don't know who you are yet, but I'm coming... and I'll see you in the 2015-16 school year.

Monday, February 9, 2015

23,000 for the 1 in 9

According to the United Nation's World Food Programme, 1 in 9 people in the world are food insecure, or do not have enough food to meet their nutritional needs.  That is the equivalent to about 805 million people who do not have enough food to live an active, and healthy life.

This past week, the Greenwood FFA has been firing on all cylinders to do their part in contributing to the fight against hunger.

Tuesday kicked off what we have been referring to as "hunger week" at Greenwood.  On Tuesday, the Greenwood FFA was joined by other chapters from the Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry Area to participate in a Stop Hunger Now event.  The students, working efficiently in stations, were able to package an impressive
23,000 meals that will be distributed to 30 different developing countries.  These meals not only go to people who do not have enough food each day, but specifically to young students who attend school to receive a free education as well as a hot meal each day.  The students learned an invaluable lesson about the cycle of poverty and how education is the solution to combating food insecurity.

Packaging 23,000 meals was quite a way to get our chapter ready for our next big event.  On Friday evening, with the help of the Perry County Grange and various churches from around the area.  Guests received envelops with different amounts of "money", depending on their assigned socio-economic status; first, middle, and lower classes.  Different social classes were able to afford varying amounts and types of food which included a ham loaf dinner, pot pie, or rice and beans.

The meal, which looked a little different for all 135 guests, was followed by a guest speaker, Kevin Faith from the Bureau of Food Security, and a question and answer session about perceptions and experiences of guests with varying statuses.

After everything was said and done, in addition to the 23,000 meals packed, the Greenwood FFA was able to raise $2,652 to be donated to the local food bank.  Our kids had a big week that was a great display of their even bigger hearts.  The work ethic, ambition, and global dispositions of our students were showcased this past week to kick-start an awe-inspiring initiative of addressing food insecurity by the Greenwood FFA.