Posted in Philosophies, Problems

Workview, Part I; College vs. K-12 👩‍🏫

Today I’d like to further explore rule #1 of my mentor-specific Workview:

An intellectual field should not be a social minefield.

Lifeview 💙 Be Grateful 🧡

I think this mentor-specific WorkviewThat ethical code we carry into work. is rooted in a deep Lifeview my mother taught me:

Be grateful for the damn experience.

In My Life Today 💔 Interview for Paraprofessional 🖤

This mentor-specific WorkviewAn ethical code specifically tailored to teaching or otherwise guiding another person, usually with less experience in your chosen field than what you’ve acquired. is especially important now that I interviewed for the paraprofessional (aide) position as a potential solution to my stress leave as a SPED teacher at McLane. 

Like how they have to evaluate the interview and respond,
I need to evaluate the interview and respond, too.
Algebra taught me to consider all the variables. 😎

So I talked with Chase a little bit about my views on the stress leave, the interview, and what life design I ought to build next; and I even drafted a response to Prince Ea’s “I Quit,” as well as other similar YouTubes, so I could bring more ideas to the surface. Here are my reflections:

  1. I’m not comfortable with the social hierarchy at McLane right now.While I respect the woman who would be my boss, our values don’t mesh, which makes it difficult for me to navigate social situations around her.
  2. I didn’t like how my interview started ten minutes late, especially when I was fifteen minutes early. I understand the pressures in K-12,—after months of working in the “field,” believe me, I do—but my interview was a product of several misunderstandings and drop-the-balls on Fresno Unified’s part… I dunno. So I…I know it’s a gut feeling, but I didn’t feel like my potential employer was saying, “You’re worth my time, and let me show you by respecting yours.” I’m trying to listen to my gut more lately.
  3. I never saw my principal.He was one of the reasons I was considering returning to McLane. I would’ve thought he would’ve remained involved in the process, the way he’s remained involved since in the ADA meeting, but at the last step, he was absent.
  4. An aide and psychiatrist walked by while I was waiting in the front office(15 early minutes + 10 late minutes…25 minutes feels like FOREVER when you’re surrounded by lots of people who act like you’re not there)—and I waved to both of them, that’s the polite thing to do—but neither made eye contact or responded.While I’m not a fan of eye contact, (and it’s quite possible, they may have been respecting that,) I’ve had a lifetime of my mother, friends, and mentors explaining the importance behind eye contact, so when it doesn’t happen, and the social situation is already on edge, my nervousness spikes through the roof. And since McLane, in a character-as-a-setting sense, has behaved neurotypically before, I expected neurotypical standards, i.e., eye contact, cue the spiral into panic.
  5. I only had one other person at my “interview committee,” and she was typing notes.So the pathos-based contributions, on Fresno Unified’s part, was very low. It felt like she was there purely out of the requirement for someone else to attend.
  6. When I asked about when I’d hear back regarding the interview, the vice principal said human resources would make their decisions after interviewing other candidates; and this is a perfectly expected response, except at the ADA meeting, I was told that they saw no issues placing me in a 3.5 hour/day position—only the full-time positions, due to understandable issues the paraprofessional union may have with sudden full-time placement—, so when I heard “decision,” I felt awkward and confused.The ADA meeting made it sound like decisions were nearly made; it was all a matter of jumping through hoops, i.e., “I’d hear back.”
  7. At the end of the interview, when I said I had no other questions, the vice principal made a comment about how we had “so much time left in the interview,”and it felt kinda meh.But I’m not sure if that’s because everything before that comment felt meh, or if because the comment itself felt like an implicit jab.

Meaning Making💚 In the Interest of Self-care 💛

Based on all of this, even though everyone seemed surface-level friendly, I didn’t feel like I was returning to a community I wanted to support… I felt like I’d already been emotionally ejected.So I’m not sure if going back is a good idea, from a self-care standpoint.


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Author:

Kourtnie McKenzie holds an MFA (Fiction) from Fresno State and a BA in English (Literature Studies) from Cal State Fullerton. When she isn't writing novellas, she's moonlighting as a professor at Fresno City College and College of the Sequoias. To read more of her writing, visit en.gravatar.com/kourtnie.

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