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Representatives from state and regional school systems and agencies asked College of Education students about everything from lesson plans to internship experiences during a full day of interviews.
Christopher Wood '92 came up with a nickname for the graduate degree in business education he's close to earning.
It's his "midnight master's.''
It will soon be his reward for three years of hard work, of fitting challenging coursework into an already full life that has included his family, a full-time job and sometimes two. After coming home from work, eating dinner with his family, playing with his children and eventually kissing his wife goodnight, Wood boots up his computer, peruses his academic materials and starts his "other'' job.
"I call this my midnight master's degree because that's when I do all my work,'' said Wood, who earned a management degree from Auburn University but enrolled in the Distance Learning Graduate Program to enhance his teaching credentials. "I wasn't this proud of my undergrad degree when I finished it.''
Wood, who graduates in December 2009, counted on that persistence and his track record of versatility to help him stand out from the crowd during the fall 2009 Education Interview Day hosted by Auburn's Career Development Services. Nearly 150 Auburn students participated in job interviews in the first of two Education Interview Days. A second one is set for spring 2010.
For many school systems, Auburn's Education Interview Day represents a can't-miss event.
"I've been coming down here for a hundred years,'' joked Magaret Beard, director of compliance and minority affairs for Jefferson County Schools in Birmingham, Ala. "The [students] at Auburn are well-prepared. They know what they're getting into and they're conscientious about their work. They look professional and they act professional.''
|Magaret Beard (left) said Auburn's education students stand out due to their overall professionalism.|
Beard said students in Auburn's College of Education typically stand out from their competition at other universities in the state and region. She said Auburn students receive valuable professional development from their internships, whether they're completed in rural settings or overseas. The diversity of opportunities builds better educators.
"I'm always wondering which one I can choose because they're all so good,'' she said. "When they come out of Auburn, they're ready to go because they've worked with all kinds of people.''
And they're ready for whatever questions a job interviewer might pose. Jennifer Hill, a secondary mathematics education major from Hoover, Ala., said many of the school system representatives wanted to know how she would use emerging technology in classrooms. Many of them also asked her to describe a lesson she had taught.
"A lot of times, with math, you teach from the board or out of textbooks,'' she said. "I try to be different and get the students to apply math to their daily lives. I live relative teaching, making it relative to the students so they can understand it better.''
While Wood may have been closer in age to the school system representatives interviewing him than to the other students, he used that distinction to his advantage by pointing out his experience in teaching and coaching track and football.
"For me, it's just a matter of trying to show them what I bring to the table that other candidates don't,'' he said. "I did teach three years in public schools and two in a private school, so I have that going for me. I've tried to show them I'm more than willing to do anything they need.''
Even if it means staying up past midnight.
Last Updated: May 17, 2011