I woke up early to practice for my interview again. I know it sounds funny to practice for an interview when you don't even really know what they are going to ask but I had a ballpark sense of the kinds of questions that could come my way. Plus, Yvonne and Mendy had primed me super well with our "mock-interview". When I was in grad school, we started doing priming sessions for all of our educational milestones (e.g., Master's thesis defense, comps, dissertation defense). In these priming sessions, a bunch of the grad students would get together and run a mock defense where we'd ask the defending student really hard questions. On many occasions, I found the "priming"session to be harder than the actual defense itself!
Bottom line, I prepare incessantly for everything in my life. It is just how I am wired. Before I give a speech, I practice it over and over again until I have it memorized (that's how I never use notes!). Once I've given a speech 3 times in public, I've got it permanently memorized! I am able to do that, remembering specific data points and time lines, but I can never remember where I park my car! Go figure!! As for this interview, I wanted to make sure that I was prepared, poised and knowledgeable. This was an incredible opportunity and I wanted to make sure that any concerns about my qualifications would be remediated by my work ethic and diligence.
After running through a series of Q & A's in the shower one more time, I got Teddy's lunch and then breakfast ready. This morning I made him cinnamon-sugar toast, which he loves. Fortunately for me, he woke up in a delightful mood, hair sticking up, puffy eyes and stinky morning breath! How I love his morning breath (only a mother would ever say that, but it is sooo true!!!). We finished breakfast and I dropped him off. Holly gave me a good-luck hug before I climbed into the car and finished getting ready myself.
My interview was at 10:30am. It went fabulously, at least by my assessment. I wasn't nervous at all and all my preparation paid off. At one point, I was going on and on about special education and turned to the panel and excused myself for being so verbose and dominating the conversation. The department chair laughed and said that I was doing fine and had practically answered all their questions! I suppose verbosity does have it's advantages; instead of asking me each question on their list, they just checked them off as I rattled on!
I love what I do, I am committed, I work fervently to do the best that I can, and I try to convey that in my communications about special education. I just feel so blessed to have a calling in life. In spite of how hard this line of work can be, I have never once woken up and thought "Ugh...I can't stand what I do!" Sure, there are things about this line of work that are exhausting and trying, and each mirco-community you work in has its flaws, but as a field, I adore special education and being able to make a difference in the lives of children and families that society still marginalizes! It is a privilege, pure and simple!