Interview Day and the Teaching Philosophy

Welp, today’s the day for the big interview for the full-time job at Heavenly Gardens Community College.

Naturally, I woke up at 4:30 this morning with the worst bellyache I’ve had in years. At 6:00 a.m., it hasn’t gone away. It’s incredibly painful. Hope it doesn’t get any worse during the day. The interview is at 1:00 p.m.

I have to leave in a few minutes for the weekly 7:00 a.m. meeting of my business group.

Just what I need while I’m out here in the trenches trying, without much hope, to land the first decent job that’s come along since I was laid off three years ago. No one is going to hire anyone my age, of course. But that’s not stopping me from asking. I’d just like to ask without a grimace of pain on my face, dammit.

Oh well. At least I don’t have to run by the client’s office on the way home. The press doesn’t have any work for me…so the news is mixed there.

As soon as I get back from Scottsdale later this morning, I’ll need to rehearse the dog and pony show and try to anticipate the questions the search committee is likely to ask. Trying to think of some of the doozies from past interviews:

  • Do you understand how much work is entailed in teaching five sections?
  • How do you plan to deal with the diversity of a community college student body?
  • What is your philosophy of teaching?

Argh. What is my philosophy of teaching…breathes there a search committee that has not asked that question?

Survival. My philosophy of teaching is that everyone in the classroom, myself included, should get out alive.

LOL! Too flippant, eh?

It’s hard to know what philosophy you can have when you’re confronted with legions of young people who have graduated from high school without ever having written a sourced term paper, who know little or nothing about their own country’s history and culture (to say nothing of the rest of the world’s), whose understanding of science-based knowledge and thinking is so woozy they buy into all sorts of superstitious health and dietary scams, and whose math skills are so weak they don’t recognize a fallacy when numbers are involved in it. Is triage a philosophy?

About the best you can do is help them learn how to teach themselves and then point them in the right direction. That’s why I like to call myself “Virgil to the student’s Dante.”

What’s your teaching philosophy?


  • frugalscholar

    March 8, 2012 at 10:42 am Reply

    I was just on a search committee and the questions were:
    –How would you teach PARTICULAR COURSE?
    –What is the role of YOUR AREA in a dept?

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  • Melete

    March 9, 2012 at 9:33 am Reply

    Those are interesting questions. Is this at the second cut stage, or are your candidates in the final interviews?

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