Saturday, May 23, 2015

Five Thoughts from the GCS Job Fair

Gaston County Schools hosted a Job Fair on Friday, May 22nd.  I was fortunate to participate as an interviewer for not only Ashbrook High School, but our Feeder Schools, as well.  Here are five thoughts:
C/o Gaston County Schools

1.  Our recently-graduated future-teachers are much more relaxed during interviews than most were when I entered the teaching profession.  Maybe these education majors have realized WE
(North Carolina public schools) need THEM. Desperately.

2.  I really enjoyed the portion of interviewing where we dually-interviewed candidates.  I was able to interview some K-6 candidates with long-time Elementary Principal Shay Matthews.  A high school assistant principal rarely gets to collaborate with an Elementary principal.  I probably learned more elementary-based curriculum from Ms. Matthews in one-hour than I had in more than a decade in secondary schools.

3.  It's important for our student-teachers to gain a well-rounded experience during their internship.  While some College of Education's may struggle finding accepting supervising teachers to host student-teachers, especially with the high-stakes testing existing in NC (not to mention, Standard VI accountability), our future teachers greatly benefit from teaching multiple-levels during their internships.  For example, allow the Secondary internship to include a higher-level Honors class, in addition to a standard-level course.  This could include different preps, grade-levels, etc.

4.  Belmont-Abbey's campus is visually-exquisite.  I have been to the private Liberal-Arts college in Belmont before, so I'm not sure if it was a combination of the lower-than-recent temperature, the perfectly-blue skies, and the feeling of Friday before Memorial Day weekend; whatever the reason, the campus architecture was magnificent.

5.  I am very confident North Carolina colleges and universities are providing strong teaching candidates for our public schools.  I just hope we are able to keep them here.

Thank you to our Human Resources department for preparing, planning, and producing the event.  I am willing to participate again in the future!

Thanks for reading,


The opinions in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.


  1. Your reflections are spot on, Craig. Thanks for being the type of educator that makes time for reflection . . .

  2. Spot on. I worked under Shay Matthews for 6 years and she is amazing as a leader. Losing a great leader when she retires and a great all around person.

  3. That was very well written and has some great points I will keep with me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great points, Craig. To your point on diversity of internships, my theory is that all teachers need to teach Kindergarten for at least a short time to see where kids start and how to organize centers. You reminded me of that in your discussion of collaborating with Shay.