[nobe-l] teaching in the public schools

Cayte Mendez katz4god at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 26 01:50:12 UTC 2011

Hi Robby,

I am a blind teacher working full time in the south Bronx.  I teach in a general education classroom.  It is possible to be a successful blind teacher, but you should definitely be prepared to answer a lot of questions during the hiring process.  I went on 14 or 15 interviews before I was hired, and I had to be really up front about making sure prospective employers felt comfortable asking me questions about how I was going to access certain aspects of the job.  

At first I wanted to ignore the whole issue during the interview process, since I graduated summa cum laude from an ivy league school and I felt that I should be accepted purely on my own merits.  However; I eventually realized that just because principals and hiring committees didn’t ask didn’t mean they weren’t wondering, and until I opened the door for their concerns they were content to hold onto their misconceptions and dismiss me out of hand.  

As frustrating as it is to have people question your abilities, experience has taught me that it’s better to confront their questions head on, right at the outset.  Maybe you could sit down with the faculty members who are voicing concerns, compile a list of their questions about management and safety, and then take this time while you’re in school to develop solid answers, so that you have an arsenal of information at your disposal for counteracting future employers’ misgivings.

Best of luck,
Cayte Mendez

A book is a garden carried in the pocket.

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