One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was to be very involved in the community we live in as well as the school my children go to. For the past five years I’ve dropped them off and picked them up and have slowly gotten to know the teachers and the administration in the school. I can now bring our dog Duke into the school without dealing with eye-rolling (side note: I cleared it with the principal the first time I ever took him in). I’ve gotten my name out there enough that I was asked to be a part of the board that selects our new principal.
Our current principal has been there 8 years, and we have a history of having principals who stay in the school a long time. When you add to that the fact that this is the PRINCIPAL, it’s a daunting task. About 16 of us were selected – some teachers, some community, and some parents, to work together to select a principal. Once a week we’ve gotten together for a few hours to do various tasks, and last night was our first night interviewing candidates.
Three of the candidates that we’re interested in do not live in the state, so we did some Skype interviewing! It was very cool to utilize technology this way and I loved that we didn’t have to pay lots of money to fly candidates here when we weren’t sure about them yet. But once again I was the outsider.
Let me backtrack: I fancy myself a good judge of character. There have been a number of time when Scott would admonish men for “judging someone before you know them”, and then, not too long after, he’ll retract his words and say that I was right in the first place. I don’t believe I “judge” people – I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but I think my intuition when it comes to people is pretty spot on.
The first candidate we interviewed was from a long way away. I had concerns over this candidate’s (let’s call them candidate A) various moves. Candidate A did manage to make me feel better about the moves, but there was something about Candidate A that just didn’t seem right. It was one of those things that was really hard to put my finger on. One thing I do know is that the main profession that Candidate A studies is something I’m very familiar with, and all of the people who tend to be in this field tend to be a bit pretentious. Candidate A was definitely a little pretentious. Candidate A did their research and had looked up information about our school, but it was all about facts and figures. Candidate A has a lot of theory, but no practice behind this theory. In all honesty I don’t think that Candidate A is capable of the job.
Candidate B was a teacher for a long time before accepting a position as a principal. While Candidate B has had a rough time at their current school, it was not due to Candidate B’s actions and actually Candidate B has managed to hold things together better than anyone could expect. Candidate B’s responses were warm and sincere and Candidate B is the type of person I could see as principal who would make my kids feel safe, secure, and who they would be comfortable going to. Candidate B was all about “what’s best for the children”, but it was when Candidate B made the comment that children went into the principal’s office less and less simply because they didn’t want to disappoint their principal that sold me on this candidate.
So two candidates. My problem? Almost everyone thought that Candidate A was the better choice of the two. Yes, Candidate A could spout facts and figures – but you could easily see that he was simply reading them off of a document he had on his computer. Candidate A was all about research. I do research for a living – it’s easy to make yourself sound like you’re a genius about a certain topic when you’re not. Give me a little time and I could make you believe I was an expert on just about anything (save mechanics – mechanics and I don’t get along). So the fact that Candidate A knew facts and figures didn’t impress me at all, but it seemed to light a spark with everyone else. They all thought that Candidate A was amazing and were gushing over Candidate A and wondering how quickly we could get them here for an in-person interview.
Meanwhile Candidate B, the one who actually HAS experience as a principal and who seemed to be the perfect fit for our school didn’t get anywhere near as much praise. While the team wants to interview Candidate B in person, they weren’t as excited about this candidate.
There’s just something about Candidate A that doesn’t ring true. I don’t care if people disagree with me – that’s their right and I love that people have their own opinions. But I don’t feel like I’m getting my thought across correctly. I don’t think that people are seeing what I see nor are they trying to. It feels like I’m trying to tell a Mac lover that there are other computers in the world – like talking to a brick wall.