I applied for my first real teaching job last night. The new trend these days is to make applicants take a test called the ‘Teacher Insight’ which is a test developed by Gallup.
Now, my college program has been fantastic and so far I have found zero instances where I am totally unprepared for something that has come up. So when I saw ‘Teacher Insight’ on the agenda for a meeting I had last week, I breathed a sweet sigh of relief and uncapped my pen, ready to write down every word of wisdom that my adviser would bestow upon me.
“Okay, the Teacher Insight test.” She said, followed by the world’s heaviest hugest sigh ever. My pen poised over my paper, my eyebrows arched over my glasses, like the perfect student
I somehow fooled everyone into thinking I am.
“Here’s the thing about the Teacher Insight.” She continued. “It’s not really something that you can prepare for.”
Lady, give me the name of a book I can read, no matter how thick and dusty the tome. Let me know what to google. Tell me who to bribe. GIVE ME SOMETHING TO STUDY.
The Teacher Insight is one of those tests where they want to like…. I don’t know. Discover the real you, or something, so they hand you eighty questions and you have twenty seconds to answer each. They give you two statements, and you have to choose which one best describes you. Except that the statements aren’t opposites of each other.
So I’m staring down the barrel of these questions, and wondering, if I were an employer, what kind of honesty would I be looking for. Riddle me this:
Would an employer rather get a complete, imperfect picture of a person? Will they get a warm fuzzy feeling when they see that a person was honest, and thus may have unknowingly disqualified themselves as a teacher candidate? Or would an employer rather read a Teacher Insight test and think, “Oh there you go. This person obviously knew that they were in a job interview.”
And these questions were tricky. Here’s one that I got:
People have told me that I am efficient.
People have told me that I’m a good leader.
Yeah. For real. What am I supposed to do with that?
Here’s another one:
Students have to earn my respect.
When I walk into a messy room, I immediately want to clean it.
Actually, when I walk into a messy room, I put my purse down and take my shoes off because it typically means I’m home. But I also don’t feel that students have to earn my respect. If I was a high school teacher, I might feel differently– but I teach the little ones. And I’ve had some turds, for sure. But I’ve never met a student that I didn’t love. Sometimes I even love the turds a little more.
My older sister is a social psychologist… so she could probably explain this all to me. But when I was taking that test last night, I kept wondering if there was a way that I could reach through the computer and just say to the superintendent of AnyTown USA, “Friend. I need a job. I will clean my room. I will take extra classes. Hell, I will teach extra classes. Please hire me, and I promise that you will not regret it. Promise promise promise promise wheredoIsign?”