Last week I finally got frustrated enough about how much time I was spending on useless, time-wasting tasks--activities like filing, uploading files to my class website and other mundane things that just drain me. After reviewing my finances I decided to hire a personal assistant.
I am lucky because I have a built in supply of willing and available workers (in the form of my students). I teach sophomores and most of them really want to work and earn extra money, but because they are not 16 they can't get part-time jobs. I announced to my classes that I was hiring and 15 students applied for the job.
Initially I didn't know what to ask during the interviews or what type of an application I wanted them to fill out. I know all of these students well, but I wanted them to go through the process of being interviewed and demonstrating their abilities.
On Thursday and Friday of last week I held two rounds of interviews. To save me time, I had the students interview in groups. They first took a typing test, and filled out a detailed application, and then they were asked a series of questions. I intentionally asked them difficult questions like "Teach me something" and "tell me about a time when you had a problem and then solved it".
I was surprised by how much I learned about the students by having them go through this process. After it was all over I really struggled with identifying who I wanted to work for me. Each of the students brought different skills that I could have genuinely used. Ultimately, I ended up hiring two students--they were both so outstanding I couldn't turn them down.
My biggest challenge with having two assistants is making sure that I am organized enough so that their skills will be used efficiently. I also want them to really get something out of their first job. After their first day of work yesterday I felt immediately more confident that I had made the correct choice and I relaxed a little bit more knowing that I might finally get caught up on all my work.
Have you ever had to be the boss? Any suggestions for me?