Along with my disproportionate excitement for classroom decorations, the beginning of a new school year also brings the hiring season for third grade employees. And let me tell you--in this economy, the competition on the job market is fierce. Well, OK, so the competition is not all that fierce for the least-preferred of the classroom jobs--the Board Eraser, Noise Level Monitor, and Gardener positions were markedly under-chosen on last week's job applications.
Predictably, however, there were a few key jobs with a rather deep pool of applicants. The two positions related to the most basic of all needs--food--were extremely coveted as usual. Without fail, when it comes to selecting our new lunch assistants and snack helpers each semester, I have a rather tough choice and must consider various factors when making the final hiring decision.
In a potential lunch/snack employee, responsibility and speed rank near the top of my list of qualifications. Now that I think about it--responsibility and speed are pretty much my top qualifications for most of the classroom jobs. Coordination is also a plus when carrying a very full box of Goldfish crackers or tall stack of school lunch containers.
When they reach the spot on our classroom job application to convince me why they are the best person for that job, many students simply write, "I like it." This, as you may imagine, does very little to persuade me. "I can do it quickly" is fairly convincing, though, "I'm really good at it" lacks enough specifics to get a foot in the door.
What really sealed the deal for Tyrell one year, however, was something I oddly had never really thought of before when selecting someone to fill the all-important position of Snack Helper.
"I have clean hands" he wrote.
Sold! To the young man with the germ-free hands! I would choose you, Tyrell, any day of the week for your good hygiene and for your solid understanding of what it means to be truly convincing.