Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hire People who Want to be Professionals, Not Those Looking for a Job

There are jobs and there are careers. Jobs happen from nine to five and usually don't require much work beyond the regular day. Careers happen all the time, are part of the thinking, living and doing of the individual, and have few if any boundaries. Jobs are regimented and fixed, whereas careers are flexible, always growing and are part of the life process.

Educators cannot be job-minded. They must be careerists. I look for people who will live and breath the art of learning when I interview teacher or administrator candidates. I want to interact with people who will go home and think about learning. I don't expect that my colleagues will blur the line between home and career; I make a point to be thoroughly involved with my family when I'm with them, and I try to be present in their lives always. But, I do see my career as a valuable part of my life that seeps its way (in a healthy way) into everything I do. Careers and families can live together harmoniously.

An effective career in the educational field is a lifelong career that does not stop at retirement. The best people I know in this profession are still going strong at 80 years plus. When I interview people interested in joining my learning community, I think far ahead into the future and wonder to myself, "will I be learning with this person 20 years down the line?"

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