So, here's how the story goes (almost 20 years ago):
My first interview was going great... making good eye contact, telling them all about my student teaching experiences, giving them great answers... yada, yada, yada.
"I've got this job in the bag!" I thought.
So I got called back the next day... to teach a lesson.
"No problem!" I said in my confident 22 year-old mind. I've got this. You want me to teach about "Summer Safety" in an ELA format to the 4th grade curriculum?... right up my alley. No problem. Easy as pie....
Until I walked in the door.
At the back table were all of the people I saw the day before (the Interview Committee).
I had all of my supplies tucked under my arm, holding scissors, construction paper, etc. etc., and I set them down at the front table.
I turned around ... and you'll probably never guess what happened next.
There were no students in the room.
Just a bunch of empty desks.
Confused, I asked the principal, "Do I teach to.... YOU?"
"No, No".... he said. "Just go ahead, and pretend that there are students there. This is July, and none of our students are actually here. Sorry!"
Oh boy. What have I gotten myself into? Teach... to no one???? How weird is that? That's like saying, "Hey Mr. Pilot... go ahead and show us how you fly a plane... but well, there are no planes available at the moment. They're all being serviced. Show us your stuff, please."
Needless to say, the first 5 minutes were rather awkward... talking to ...well, NO ONE.
How crazy is that?
After that first incredibly awkward 5 minutes, I decided that I probably wasn't going to get the job, so I was just going to have a little fun with the "Interview Committee" in the back watching me teach to "the students."
I thought... "I can do this."
So...I pretended like the "students" all started ....misbehaving.
"Amber, Amber, Amber..." I said. "I know you're excited to give the answer, but you just CAN'T get up onto the desk and shout it out!!! You need to raise your hand, first!!"
I heard the back table start to giggle, and even saw some smiles.
I proceeded to do this (while still teaching the lesson) imagining in my mind that all of these students were arguing, not following directions, fooling around, etc. etc..... for the next 30 minutes!
It went beautifully... not a single "student" actually talked back, and not a single "student" learned a thing. Go figure. One of my BEST lessons, too.
But I learned something very valuable that day, that I tell my (current) students over and over throughout the school year:
"It's not IF something goes wrong... It's WHEN something goes wrong, and how you handle it that matters."- What a LIFE lesson, too... don't you think?
Oh, and about the job?
You guessed it. The principal loved what I had done as he was walking me out... telling me however that "they already had a long-term substitute in mind", and that I had done a terrific job. Unfortunately, it was not me that they were going to hire. Not a surprise, really.
"That's OK," I thought to myself. I'll have other opportunities.
Looking back,.... I learned a lot about myself that hot and humid July day.
I was actually interviewing them, just as much as they were interviewing me... and you know what???
I didn't think their students were that well behaved, anyway.