I signed my contract today, and at the session there were 4 other people. Two of them were girls who looked 17, both wearing flip flops, shorts/ratty denim tiny skirt, tank tops with bra straps hanging out, and one was chewing gum. I wasn't dressed up or anything--I had bare legs and sandals, but I wouldn't have been embarrassed to run into anyone from an old boyfriend to the school principal (or the head of HR). The gum chewing is what really blew my mind. Who hires these people? Did these girls really manage to present a polished, professional appearance and demeanor at interviews? Why would you go to HR for your paperwork in rubber flip flops, chewing gum? Districts around here don't worry about cost of a new hire; there is no budgetary reason to hire brand new teachers. So, these girls (really, hard to think of them as women) were hired for a specific reason as the best candidates.