I said awhile ago it would probably be after I stopped working at the daycare that I would end up posting about it. And today was actually my last working day, although I have some leave after this. So I’ll finally tell you about interviewing for the position of Child & Youth Program Assistant, which I did end up getting. Like the educational aid position I had checked several options under Child & Youth Program Assistant which were for various age groups and locations. In the beginning of April, I got an email from the program director of one of the Child Development Centers on post to interview for the position there.
He gave me a time range and wanted to see me that week. I picked toward the end of the week so I had a little time to prepare myself. That happened to be Good Friday so I told him if that wouldn’t work I could be flexible. As it was that was fine. On that Friday, I had my husband take me over to the center. Again I wore my suit and had my resume in hand. Fortunately it was close enough that I could walk if I got the position, and I did most of the time.
After I got buzzed in, I went to the front desk to let the receptionist know I was there for an interview. She gave me a sheet with questions on it to answer with things like “If a newspaper article were written about you, what do you think it would be important for people to know?”, “What hobbies do you do in your free time?” and a few other things.
I don’t remember exactly what I answered for them because I was pretty nervous trying to come up with something. After all, what’s said in an interview, one might not remember word for word, but that paper would be there after the interview for them to reference, and I wanted to make a good impression in case they used it to make their final decisions. I know I did mention that it’s important for me to help people, that I write and a couple of reasons why, and that I planned to learn to knit soon. It’s funny to read that now, over a year later, because I have needles, yarn, and a tutorial and have yet to sit down to start learning how to do it.
After that was done, I was lead to a room by the program director and the assistant director. The program director sat at his desk. I sat in the chair in front of him. And the assistant director sat on a couch behind me. They traded off questions, so I was looking back and forth a lot, trying to answer them. There were a few of the standard questions on what I’ve done before. Most of the questions were situational.
One I remember is “What would you do if two kids were flicking each other while you’re reading a story?” I said separate them. He asked what I believe an appropriate method of discipline is for a tantrum or fighting over something. I told him I would probably try to separate them or get them interested in doing something else together. I have also seen parents use time out which can work depending on the kid. I needn’t have said the last part. He said we don’t use time outs and the redirection I mentioned first was the answer. (Much later we got an updated memo that said we could use a ‘time out’ as long as the child wasn’t isolated from adults or the group).
Most of the interview was actually the director telling me about the position. Like with the previous position, potty training was brought up. I told him I babysat for a friend’s kid who peed on me while I was holding her. Not my favorite thing in the world to happen, but it didn’t send me running for the hills. (Good thing because in my year there I ended up going home to shower and change a couple times due to leaky diapers). He showed me the payscale and told me usually starting is $10.49, but because I have a degree, I should start at $12.49. He also said what I would start at was up to CPAC (the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center). I had seen that the requirements to meet skill level with a degree included needing 12 credit hours in early childhood education. So, I kind of expected the higher salary might not happen (which it didn’t).
He asked if I had questions and I asked about how they decide which age you’ll work with. He said the training modules and that the way I completed them would partially determine that. I’d also do training and be supervised in each room to see where I fit best (I ended up being asked to start with the modules for infants and toddlers, and while I worked with other age groups, I spent most of the year working with toddlers). I didn’t find out a whole lot else about the training at that time. But I did find out that it counts for college credit, which was nice to know.
I later found out from the director that it specifically counts for 9 credits from Central Texas College for the classes CDEC 1311-Educating Young Children, CDEC 1313-Curriculum Resources for Early Childhood Programs, and CDEC 1318-Wellness of the Young Child. If I went on to get a CDA (Child Development Associate credential) that would count for an additional 3 credits. Much later, I found out that CTC will only give you the credit if you’ve taken 6 other credit hours with them, which would have been nice to know. I probably would not have completed as much of the modules at home as I had done (which wasn’t required) if I had known I ultimately wouldn’t use them outside of work.
The program director said that he would make his decision by the following Wednesday and that CPAC contacts those people for further selection after that. The director and I parted ways and the assistant director gave me a tour of all the different rooms in the building before we ended up back where we started. I thanked him for his time and told him I hoped to work with him soon. As it turned out, I did get selected and worked there for a year, so at some point I’ll tell you a bit about the process prior to beginning work (which was kind of extensive), my initial experiences, and probably a few other childcare-related topics.