Crossing paths

The title of this post is borrowed from a book I just got from the library–Crossing Paths: How Your Child’s Adolescence Triggers Your Own Crisis by Laurence Steinberg and Wendy Steinberg.  The title sounds rather dire, but I am looking forward to reading it.  It was cited several times in the New York magazine excerpt from Jennifer Senior’s book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood,  “The Collateral Damage of a Teenager.”  (The subtitle says it all: “What adolescence does to adolescents is nowhere near as brutal as what it does to their parents.”)

It isn’t, by the way, that the Snork Maiden is keeping me up nights.  High school still feels better than middle school.  But I spend my days with teenagers and I talk to a fair number of parents and anyway I’ve always been interested in reading about stages before the Snork Maiden gets to them.  Before I was even pregnant I’d read Penelope Leach’s Your Baby and Child multiple times, if that gives you an idea.

I picked the title, though, in honor of this week’s job candidates.  It’s exciting to think about meeting prospective colleagues.  Will we like them?  Will they like us?  How will their sample classes go?

I don’t know if this is typical, because I was never officially on the independent-school job market, but we have the candidate meet with the department chair, the high-school administrators, the GGE, and the headmaster; teach a sample class; observe a class; eat lunch with whomever in the department is free to come; and tour campus (usually as part of one of those meetings).  The candidate does not have a separate encounter with students, which seems like a missing piece to me, although of course there’s a lot of interaction in the sample class (and we do ask the students what they thought).  I’m going to try to arrange an informal chat at the end of the day for both of the candidates with a small group of students, partly because I do think it is a missing piece, but, if I’m honest, partly because I would like us to be the kind of school that loops students in on these decisions a little more than we actually do.


One response to this post.

  1. That sounds like a pretty typical campus visit day to me. And only at one school did I ever have time to talk with students directly except in class. I love that you’re adding that component, and I hope that the candidate visits go well!


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