Friday 3 February 2017

"Something that will amaze the whole room"

``Both,'' replied Elizabeth archly; ``for I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. -- We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb.''  Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Vol. 1 Chapter XVIII

This is one of my favourite quotes from Pride and Prejudice.  It's one of those precisely-worded descriptions that make me say "Yup, that's me."  So maybe that's why, 15 years later, the following still bothers me. 

In order to get into the College of Education, I had to pass an interview.  The three experienced teachers tasked with letting me into the college asked me the following perplexing question:  

"If you had a teacher friend tell you she didn't want to continue teaching because it is too difficult nowadays, what would you tell them?"

I wonder how Subgirl would have
answered the question?
My answer was something like this.  "Firstly, I would tell them they should probably talk to their principal because I'm not even a teacher yet, so I'm probably not the best person to give advice.  Secondly, I might tell them teaching has always been difficult.  While families today may struggle more with divorce and remarriage than in the past, I know my grandfather went to a one-room school house where one teacher taught 50 students in all grades.  Most of her students spoke only German while she only spoke English."

Their blank stares and puzzled expressions told me this was not the answer they were looking for.  I failed to "amaze the whole room."  

I still think I gave a fine answer.  I would love to know the answer they were actually looking for.  

I made it into the College of Education and have had many wonderful years of teaching, but it's just something that pops up once in a while and makes me wonder. 

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