Thursday, November 22, 2007

Good School Hunting

Yep, am actually looking for new jobs now. As opposed to wallowing in my own misery.

I've applied for jobs at 5 schools so far. 4 state schools, so in total about 16 applications on the dreaded Recruitment Online. I know I shouldn't complain as I may have to put in far more than that to find a genuine job. The Domestic Goddess helped me get my confidence back and write my applications. I can do it myself now I am feeling that I am capable of teaching. It really showed how much the last place (now known as 'The Place We Don't Mention') destroyed my confidence. I have applied for 2 science teaching positions, at 2 special schools and a really different sounding teaching job at a private school. I have had two interviews so far and one next Wednesday.

The first was very odd and in the end I decided I didn't want to work there.

Lets call it Special School A. A mate of mine works there it sounded alright but I don't think it is the right place for me. Didn't get the answers I wanted from my questions to them and after seeing Special School B the day before I got the feeling that SSA isn't moving forward fast enough for me. I don't want to be somewhere I'm banging my head against a brick wall too often. And as someone only in my second year of teaching I expected a better idea from them of support they could provide for my teaching. Also didn't see research and further study in the way I'd have hoped either. Later that day I had a very odd phone call. Said they wouldn't be able to let me know tonight as there had been complications (end of phone call should have been right there). Asked how I thought it went then seemed to be digging when I gave the standard reply you always think you could have done better after interviews. It felt odd then I said I wouldn't accept even if they offered me a job and she wanted to know why, so I told her the answers they gave weren't to my liking and I didn't feel it was the right place for me. She got a bit shirty that I got that impression from one interview - which i did, as my mate had always talked the place up. I don't know if she was unimpressed by the thought that I was judging the school in the same way that they were judging me but I didn't think their answers were good enough. They are not the only ones to pick and choose. In the real world, the first time you go to the work place is in the interview and I have been to places a lot more welcoming. It has all felt very odd and somewhat uncomfortable.

I don't think it is unfair to have been comparing Special School A to B. That is how you find a job you like. I don't think they were ready for my generation. An extra question was asked (not strictly allowed in 'merit and equity' terms) about my applications reference to ICT I use with my students. I gave a spiel about what I've done and the response from the Assistant Principal was – that's what we need to be doing, that's the way everything is going. Hmmmm... Special School B has two computer/multimedia rooms and a multimedia teacher! Very strong feeling Special School A isn't for me.

That was last Tuesday. This Monday I had an interview at a private school for a mentoring type role with either year 7 or 8 students. It was more like a chat that a proper interview with just one bloke. He wanted to get an idea that I knew what the position was about and what I thought was important in settling year 7s into secondary school. I think I did alright and he said he'd be recommending me to be shortlisted, then there would be an interview with the head of school and then selected. He had me in mind for a year 7 role as I had recent primary school experience. I asked him my usual questions and his replies were very good. Yes, there is support in regular mentor meetings, induction program and a telephone book thick manual to support your job. Yes, the school encourages further learning, we require it and will help make outside study part of your PD. Misconceptions are that we are a boys only school that is all about sport. We have art and theatre and a student will find a niche whatever their interest. Yep, they were good answers.

So now I'm waiting for the phone to ring.