The three waiting people were surprised when the door opened and a woman came in with her child. They were waiting to interview for one of the only openings in the school district – a sixth grade language arts position. They weren’t surprised to see yet another applicant. They were, however, surprised to see her come in with her child.
“Hi,” she said, smiling shyly. She pointed to a chair, and her son walked over and sat down with a typical pre-teen harumph. The woman shrugged as she took another available seat across the room. “Too old for babysitters, too young to leave alone,” she said almost apologetically. She crossed her legs, her top leg bouncing nervously. Looking around she said, “We’re all here for the same position?”
The other three nodded.
“You know anything about the principal?” she asked.
Two shook their heads, but the third said, “I heard she’s only been here three years, but the school has already improved big time.”
The new woman nodded thoughtfully. “Well, may the best one win!” she said a little too brightly. She pulled a book out of her bag and waved it at her son who came and got it. Then she took a magazine out for herself and began to read.
One of the waiting people looked at the boy. “Good book?” he asked.
The boy nodded. “It’s okay. Kinda boring.”
The second applicant spoke up. “I read that book,” she said, gesturing to the one in his hands. “I thought it was kinda boring too. But on the search I did on the computer when I found it, it listed some others I might be interested in. I found the coolest book! It’s about these two brothers in like the cowboy times who find a wounded bird in the woods. They take it home and as it grows up, they realize it’s a pterodactyl! So cool….”
The boy lit up. “Be fun to see that flying over the saloon and the stagecoach!”
“I know, right?” the applicant said. “That author has several more books. I’ve been in bookstores all summer trying to find them all.”
The mother looked up. “Maybe we can look for those,” she said. Looking at the others waiting, she said, “Either of you read them? I mean, not that I don’t trust her opinion….”
The man shook his head. “I’m still choking my way through that kid wizard series from a few years ago.”
The other woman who had not spoken yet looked up from her book and shook her head. “I don’t read the YA fiction. My reading for enjoyment is just that – reading for MY enjoyment.”
Just then, the secretary opened the door of the room and looked at the mother. “Are you ready?” she asked.
The mother stood, nodding. Gesturing to her son, she said, “Thanks, Will. Your dad’s out in the car waiting for you.” Then she pointed at the second applicant and said to the secretary, “Will you see that this teacher is brought to my office, please? We have much to discuss.”
She turned then to the other two, realization beginning to dawn on their faces. “Thank you for coming,” she said. “And good luck in your future interviews.”
With that, she left the room.