So I just got the call about the job for which I interviewed today. Despite the fact that I really didn't like the job or the way they ran the interview, I'm really depressed that they chose someone else. This is despite my misgivings about the whole interview process, which just got worse. One of the questions on their sheet (same questions for all candidates) was "With your emphasis on American History, how do you make it relevant to students and bring it a global perspective?" I admitted that I was not an Americanist, and was actually surprised to find I was the only person on the list who wasn't. They said that the person they hired would essentially be the History department. I asked if there were any future plans to expand the department to reflect the diversity and expertise necessary to teach well all the subjects they envisioned: US, World, ethnic studies, women's studies, indigenous peoples, global studies. Not any time soon. Or perhaps I totally screwed up the "challenging student and how I dealt with him" question. In which case, I probably totally screwed it up at MW LA college. I gave an example of a challenge, the fact that I'd been so thrown that I'd actually asked a colleague to observe the class and see if the dynamic I felt was real (challenging everything I said because I'm a woman and to impress the rest of the class -- mostly 16-20 y.o. women), and then eventually, after trying other methods, resorted to shutting the student down in public. I was clear that felt I'd not managed it as I'd liked, but that I had tried other things (but I don't think I emphasized those other things) and did it only as a last resort. And that every class is different and that there's no one way to deal with these things. Or maybe I was too bossy (I like to think I was pushing for rigor) in teh group exercise? Or maybe they just brought me in to make up numbers? So not happy at the moment. Really hope one of the others offers. Wondering if I can still get apps out there, or if I should just go ahead and count on adjuncting again and trying next year. At least there's that, if I don't get the perfect job at MW LA college or the really decent, I'd be good and very happy job in NE.
Funny thing is, I looked over my union-mandated tenure report (even though I was not in a TT position, they had to do the report in case my contract could be extended). It talks about my contributions, service, collegiality, and the fact that I'm a really great teacher. How is it I'm not able to show it in an interview? Except, of course, that I got the job I'm in by interviewing, and was one of five candidates. Maybe I don't suck that much. But I feel like I do just now.