I interviewed for the full time teaching position the Monday before the school year was over. There were two positions open, one full time and one part time, and there were only two applicants. I knew for sure I would get a spot, I just didn't know which one they would offer me. I mean, I had a pretty good idea that I would get the full time position. That's the one I really wanted. But there was just enough uncertainty that made me nervous.
The only "interviews" I've ever been to were ones where I had already got the job and just needed to walk through the formalities. My first real 'adult' interview was for the library position, and I was so nervous I just tugged on my shirt sleeves the whole time and tried to steady my voice before I answered each question.
So I walked into this teaching interview, portfolio in hand, nervous and excited.
I sat before a panel of three people. My principal, one of the assistant principals, and a head administrator from the district office. My nerves were in a ball on top of my stomach and I felt like all my brain parts had been discombobulated and rearranged in my skull.
They asked their questions, starting with the most hated question in the history of the universe "So, Natalie, tell me a little bit about yourself..."
And then the classroom questions started pouring in. How would students describe you? How would you like your co-workers to describe you? What is your basic education philosophy? What things would you change in the art room, what would you keep the same? My brain was in hyperdrive trying to remember the right words and put sentences in the correct order while still remaining outwardly calm and taking the time to organize my thoughts before I opened my mouth.
I left the 20 minute interview unsure of which way they would go. On one hand, I had been working at the school for a year. I knew the art program, the staff, the students, how the school ran. But on the other hand I lacked serious experience in the teaching department. I taught at the university as a TA for Art 100 and I did my student teaching, but other than that I come up short. How do you get experience though, if no one will give you a chance? So I crossed my fingers and said my prayers and tried not to worry too much.
My principal told me they would have their decision by early the next week. I knew I would be gone, so I asked him to email me. Those first couple of days in Honduras, every time I would connect to the wifi I would obsessively check my email like a fourteen year old girl waiting to see if her crush actually responded.
Finally I got an email from my principal asking me to call him, since he had tried calling me and my number wasn't working. My heart sank a little as I wondered whether or not being out of the country had slimmed my chances for the full time position, but I emailed back telling him where I was and that I could call him once I returned home. He said that wasn't a problem and I finished out my week in Honduras curious about what the results were.
Monday afternoon I was texting TheBoy about my day, telling him that I still needed to call my principal about my job. A little while later he responds "did you call yet??" My heart started beating wildly in my chest, oh no I haven't! I don't want to! It's too scary! Inwardly I recoiled, both wanting desperately to find out and also to live in ignorant bliss at the same time.
So I picked up the phone. And I dialed the number. And I got his voicemail without the phone having rung first. I hung up, unsure of whether or not to call back. Sometimes when I call my mother and I get her voicemail right away something wonky happened with the connection and so I decided to redial the number and try again. Same thing, voicemail with no rings. This time I left a message for him to call me whenever since I was back in the country now.
And then I put my phone on Pandora and played it through the speakers while I hopped in the shower.
By the time I had soaped up and slathered on my face wash, my Chris Tomlin jam sesh was cut short. I peaked my head out of the shower and saw my principal's number calling my phone. I shut off the water, grabbed my towel and only dried off the part of my face that would touch my phone as I pressed the button to connect.
"Hello, this is Natalie," I said. The voice on the other line greeted me excitedly, he asked me about my trip, what did I do, how long was I gone, who did I go with, etc. And then he says what I have been dying to hear.
"We've decided to offer you the full time position..."
Before he can say anything else a little "yaaaay" escaped my lips and all of a sudden I wanted to laugh and cry and scream and hug someone all at the same time while standing in the middle of my steamy bathroom dripping with water and soap and wrapped in a towel.
And that is how I became the new full time art teacher at the ripe old age of twenty two.