Student speaking with two others at classical school job fair

Senior Year at the Classical School Job Fair

Written by Paul Kearney

As a senior, there was added pressure to this year’s Classical School Job Fair. I have wanted to be in education for as long as I can remember, and this was the opportunity to find my career after Hillsdale. I got a fresh haircut, dressed in a pressed suit, and printed my resume from Hillsdale’s Career Services department, prepared to land a job.

When I arrived at the fair, which the College hosts every February, dozens of tables and kiosks lay before me, all of them manned by faculty and administrative staff from schools all over the nation. The feeling of nerves was unlike anything I had felt before. Once inside, I talked to the first school I saw, hoping that jumping in early would calm my nerves. The warm handshake, smile, and demeanor of the representative instantly put me at ease. Within no time at all, I was able to confidently approach different tables with enthusiasm, prepared to ask questions and answer theirs. Many schools instantly began to show interest in me, and within two hours, I had signed up for a total of eight interviews.

That total might seem overwhelming, but it really wasn’t. I had talked to perhaps twenty schools in total already and was able to see which ones might be the right fit. When I left the job fair, I was exhausted but confident in my chances at landing a job.

Despite my exhaustion, there was still work to be done. I made it through one of my interviews the day of the fair, and that evening I attended a poetry reading with one of the schools I had scheduled an interview with for the next day. Once I was finally home for the night, I prepared for the following day’s interviews.

Fortunately, most of them went well. I fielded questions such as, “What is your philosophy for education? Why did you pick teaching as a career? How has Hillsdale prepared you for life after college?” The longer the interviews lasted, the deeper the questions became. “What would you do if a parent was angry at you for giving their child a bad grade? How will you use classroom management to handle disruptive children?” Thankfully, I had prepared for these questions beforehand and answered them with confidence.

I developed fantastic relationships with faculty and administration from these classical schools. And while it was exciting to finally sign with one, it was a bit sad to leave behind the others. Those in classical education share an intellectual and academic bond, united under one purpose: bringing an excellent education to all children, no matter their background, socioeconomic status, race, culture, or age. I am proud to be a part of forwarding Hillsdale’s mission of “providing an education irrespective of color, nation, or sex.”

Headshot of Paul Kearney Paul Kearney, ’20, is a history major local to Hillsdale, MI. You can find him reading, listening to indie music, or preparing for his next road trip while he procrastinates on term papers.

Published in November 2020