Monday, May 05, 2014

End of the School Year: The Exit Interview

No, it's not the kind of exit interview that means I'm leaving the job. It's more accurately an "end of year survey" but I couldn't resist basing it on real questions that might be used in an exit interview in the workplace. With that in mind, let's take a look at how this school year went:

What is your primary reason for leaving this school year?

Duh! It's May.

Did anything trigger your decision to end the school year?

Duh! It's May. I'm tired.

What was most satisfying about your job this year?

Read alouds with Ramona are always right up there at the top of the list.

Watching Ramona's artistic talents and interests grow this year. Big perk, lots of fun.

Seeing my second daughter finish high school at home (and in the community, and in church, and in classes at the college -- because homeschooling, despite some popular misconceptions, is never just about home), seeing her make decisions about her future, receive scholarships, make plans...hugely gratifying.

It is immensely satisfying to not only love my daughters, but to also like them so much, and admire their choices.

What was least satisfying about your job?

There was math involved.

Did your job duties turn out to be as you expected?

Having previously gotten a daughter through high school at home, I knew I could handle Betsy's senior year, however, every child is different, and the homeschool must be tailored to the student. But, Betsy's final year of homeschooling went swimmingly, mostly thanks to Betsy being an awesome person.

Did you receive enough training to do your job effectively?

My past duties in life taught me that I can overcome any obstacle. Converting from atheism to mere Christianity to Catholicism? That was hard. Deciding to become a parent? I never envisioned "mother" on my resume, so that was a challenge, too, yet here I am. Handling pregnancy, labor, and delivery? Umm, yeah, with that training alone, I was prepped for anything. Homeschooling was guaranteed to be, if not a snap, at least something with a learning curve that I could face.

Did you receive adequate support to do your job?

Did you say "Atticus support"?

Oh, yes! Loads of it. Especially his weekend cooking and his chocolate cakes. These things make my job so much easier.

Did you receive sufficient feedback about your performance between merit reviews?

Merit reviews? I'm a mom. What planet do you live on?

Were you satisfied with this company's merit review process?

See snark, above. "This company" (i.e., the world at large) could stand to beef up its appraisal of the stay-at-home mom thing.

Did this company help you to fulfill your career goals?

Goals this year included:

Read great books. Check.
Spend time with my daughters. Check.
Prioritize Atticus and our family time over just about everything else. Check.
Spend time on math, even though we all hate it. Check.
Write a novel at the same time Betsy does. Check.
Lead a writing group for Betsy and friends. Check.
Meet with other homeschooling moms for support. Check.
Read more great books. Check.

Do you have any tips to help us find your replacement?

I have her lined up already! "Teacher" has left the building (i.e., math books have been hidden for three months) and "Mom" is reporting for duty.

Soon, "Atticus Cooks All Summer Long" will be reporting for duty as well. "Mom" will be doing a happy dance when no one is looking.

What would you improve to make our workplace better?

Honestly, the pay for a homeschooling mom could be better. Now that I think of it, I don't recall receiving a single paycheck or tax incentive. I do, however, appreciate the public library beyond all ken. Also, if coffee would learn to make itself, I'd really like that. If Atticus could quit his job, stay home and cook, that'd be great, too.

And if my kids would stop growing up, I'd be guaranteed job security as a teacher until I die. As it is, my workload will be drastically cut next year, with just one soon-to-be-twelve-year-old in our homeschool. That will be simultaneously an improvement, in terms of time management, and a heartache in terms of facing reality.

Were you happy with your pay, benefits and other incentives?

As mentioned above, the pay stinks, but the fringes are excellent: close relationships with my daughters, a flexible schedule, and never having to go to the grocery store on a Saturday.

What was the quality of the supervision you received?

God is kind of in charge of this homeschool, and I'd have to say that His leadership was excellent. I sometimes wish He would yell at me, though, so I'd have a clearer picture of His expectations, but that doesn't seem to be the kind of boss He is. Overall, His quiet management style suits me. He doesn't micromanage, and yet He always seems in control. Wish I could pull that off.

Based on your experience with us, what do you think it takes to succeed at this company?

An ability to laugh. At everything. And everyone.

Did any company policies or procedures (or any other obstacles) make your job more difficult?

Could you drop the company policy on having to cover math? That one makes my staff cranky.

There's also this requirement to feed the staff constantly. That one makes me cranky. When I took this homeschooling job, I wasn't thinking about how people can be so unreasonable -- wanting dinner every, single night. Dirtying up bathrooms that demand to be cleaned on a regular basis. Generating laundry daily because everyone insists on wearing actual clothes every, single, day.

In other words, if those characters under my supervision didn't have to eat, dress, function, and learn how figure out a mortgage payment, my job would be much easier. Could you work on self-sustaining model of student? (Oh, wait. Then I'd be out of a job.)

Would you consider working again for this company in the future?

Oh, yes. I'll be back in September. Please hold my spot for me.

Would you recommend working for this company to your family and friends?

Highly recommend it. I know it's not for everyone, but it's worked out great for us. Maybe try it out, as an intern first, if you're considering taking the plunge.

How do you generally feel about this company?

My gosh, you ache for approval. You Exit Interviewers really get tiresome. Okay, I'll say it again: this homeschooling stuff is amazing. Great job, I love it. I recommend it to anyone who's up for a challenge and the freedom of a different and interesting lifestyle.

What did you like most about this company?

Will you stop already?

What did you like least about this company?

Stop being so self-centered!

What does your new company offer that this company doesn't?

Ummm ... summertime.

But, as I already told you, I'll be back in the fall.

Chill out.

Did anyone in this company discriminate against you, harass you or cause hostile working conditions?

Let's not revisit that one time with Ramona and math, okay? I'll be back in the fall, despite that incident, and we'll just keep it between us, okay?

Any other comments?

Hello, freedom from math summer. I've missed you.


Faith said...

Wonderful! We still have to slog through May and (horrors!) I think my dd will need to do math through June, but then we'll be singing the summertime song too!

Karen Edmisten said...

Math through June?? Oh, Faith. She has my sympathy. :)

MrsF3 said...

Love it. :)

Karen Edmisten said...