The Baby Liked the Questions: The Joys of Research on Teaching

As Clare mentioned back in May, I (Clive) had to serve as “baby whisperer” for an hour or so while she interviewed one of our New Jersey teachers, and I acquitted myself quite well. This past Thursday a similar situation arose, only this time I was on my own.
One of our tenth year Ontario teachers, Serena, had a baby girl in March and has been on mat leave since then. She kindly agreed to let me come to her home for her annual interview, and when I arrived I was pleased to see that “Sara” was to be part of the event. She is an exceptionally happy baby, but like all 5-month-olds likes to go on to new things fairly often.
Sara appreciated having a visitor in the room and bounced around on Serena’s knee for about 15 minutes, keeping an eye on the interview. Next came 10 minutes suspended in a jumper surrounded by toys, followed by a feeding time. As new distractions failed to impress, it become obvious she had to transfer to my knee. I was very comfortable with this arrangement, but after about 20 minutes the novelty of watching the interview from that perspective also wore off.
Back on the sofa next to her mother, Sara then discovered Serena’s copy of the interview questions and took great delight in them. Gleefully tearing them up and chewing on them occupied her for a full quarter hour! We were able to finish a wonderful interview and everyone was happy.

 

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