I sometimes wonder what principals or other administrators see in an interviews that cause them to think, "This individual seems like they'd do a good job."
I'm guessing anyone who has ever been in a teaching program at a university has had the moment where they look around the room at their classmates and think to themselves, "Holy shit, half of these people, thankfully, have no chance to ever get a teaching job." Sadly though, some of them do somehow finagle jobs (and some of them go on to become administrators!). I know a lot of principals who dislike the hiring process and are either lazy or rushed in the approach.
Still, none of this explains how James DiCarlo ever got a job. James was hired as a 7th grade math teacher, who I would have guessed still used his fingers to count. James wouldn't have got through the door if I was interviewing, because I don't think he would have fit. He was the living definition of 'morbidly obese.'
I'm no Adonis, so I'm certainly not trying to cast stones here, but James size was an issue with his professional appearance. He routinely wore shirts that simply didn't have enough material to them. When he'd raise his arms at all, including to write on the board, the lower portion of his belly fat because exposed to a room of frightened pre-teens.
During new teacher orientation, the district provided a lunch for all the new & returning teachers as a way to begin for everyone to get to know each other. The principal's secretary Mary arranged the meal. There was salad, soda, some mediocre pasta, and those dry crappy cookies for desert. The entree, for which this particular place was known for, were giant meatballs. They looked they had been discarded from a 16 inch softball league. Seriously.
Mary ordered one meatball for each person who confirmed attendance (you didn't need more). As I was making my way down from my classroom to join the lunch, I noticed Mary seething off to the side. We got along well so I went over to inquire what was wrong.
"Fucking DiCarlo took eight meatballs!"
I looked over to see James happily munching away at the two plates in front of him. He had four meatballs on each plate stacked in pyramids (three on the bottom, one on top) with noddles cascading down the sides. It appeared he passed on the salad. Michael Phelps doesn't consume this many calories a day. It was the greatest orgy of ground beef I've ever seen, and I hope I never see it again. It did to my chest what looking at the sun does to your eyes. There may have been an entire cow divided on his plates.
Of course, being a gluttonous shabby dressed oaf doesn't make you a bad teacher, but in James case it did. I would imagine the correlation of someone who can't buy clothes that cover their belly, & lacks total social etiquette and being a weak teacher are pretty strong. The kids ate him alive regularly (luckily not the reverse...), and his lessons were about as creative as his wardrobe. By years end, he was gone.
James was a forgettable teacher, but each year as I prepare for the new teacher luncheon, I pause and remember his twin towers of meatball lust. For all you new teachers starting out, remember, everything in moderation.