Updated on January 24, 2016
Pants or No Pants?
On Monday afternoon, March 23, I sent an email to the principal of Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) with my CV, a cover letter, letter of reference, and teaching license. I was shocked when I received a reply email within the hour. Most schools never responded to my applications whatsoever. I remember calling JoEllen to ask her how she would feel about moving to Sweden since we had never considered it before, she said, “It may be cold, but go for it!” so I set up a Skype interview with the principal that coming Wednesday.
Though I have always enjoyed interviews, having one on Skype is a different ballgame. It is more awkward and sometimes difficult to know where you should be looking… or if you should wear pants or not. I am happy to say that I did wear pants and had a phenomenal interview. Five years teaching in Nashville helped me to develop a clear teaching philosophy and I was able to articulate these ideas to the principal. I believe that in teaching, the first step is to form a relationship with students so that they buy into you as a person and your class. Also, content should be packaged in a way that makes it personally significant to student’s lives. I helped her visualize what a typical lesson in my class would look like and asked if I could email a few videos and pictures of me teaching. We talked about the role of technology in the classroom and what I would not want to see in a teacher’s classroom if I were to walk into one.
I also loved hearing about IES and how it was only two years old at the time and growing every year. The idea that I could influence a school’s culture from its beginnings was very exciting. I also bought into the school’s ethos and philosophy (more on this here). I could tell things were going well with the interview and felt even better when the principal invited the assistant principal in on the conversation. The interview ended with us setting a follow-up interview in two days.
Needless to say, I was anxious and excited over the next two days, and I didn’t know what to expect in a follow-up Skype interview. When I called that Friday, the principal was sick so I had a bit of small talk with the assistant principal before he said, “OK, I just want to get to the point. We would like you to come work for us.” I told him how excited I was to hear the decision and informed him that I would get back to him with an answer on Monday morning. Over the weekend, I emailed in a few last minute questions to the administrators before happily accepting the job on Monday. The rest of my Friday morning was spent calling family and friends to share the news. WE WERE MOVING TO SWEDEN! …Wait, where exactly is Stockholm on the map?