Confused about "job offer"

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teachforthestars, May 28, 2018.

  1. teachforthestars

    teachforthestars New Member

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    May 28, 2018

    I have been on a roller coaster of job interviews for the last two months. Most of the interviews I've had, I immediately got a feeling that they already knew who they were hiring and it wasn't me. I had a couple interviews that I really wanted and didn't get.

    Monday I had another interview. It went okay - it's a very small district so the principal and superintendent both conducted the interview. Super said they had a couple more candidates and were doing second round interviews, then hiring at the June 5th board meeting. I went home, hoping for a call for a second interview sometime before the end of May. Instead, the principal called me that afternoon around 4:30 and said the superintendent had given her permission to offer me the job! I was ecstatic. She told me to talk it over with my husband and call her back the next day.

    Fast forward to Tuesday - I was subbing and the principal was busy with end of the year stuff and we ended up playing phone tag all day. We finally spoke around 5:00 that evening. I told her I definitely want the position. She then said she would speak to the superintendent and repeated the June board meeting info. Here's where I became confused - she said they actually had a board meeting that evening, but they wouldn't be able to vote on me yet because they still had a couple other candidates. I didnt know what to think when she mentioned the other candidates- did they already have other interviews scheduled and have to follow through with them? Do they have to interview a certain number of people for the board? Of course, I didn't think to vocalize these questions! She did say she would mention to the board that she had a candidate she wanted. I think at this point she said she would call me back next week to make sure I still want the position. I was feeling concerned, so I did think to ask if I should follow through with other interviews I have scheduled. She said YES! She elaborated that she always tells people they need to do what is best for their families. At some point in the conversation, I said I want this job, but I don't want to end up with NO job. I asked her if she was 100% sure she wanted me and she said yes. She said she didn't want to let me get away and again said the superintendent gave her the go-ahead to call me.

    So now I feel like I'm in limbo - why did she bring up the other candidates? And why did she tell me to continue going on interviews? Is she really just being nice and wants what's best for me??? Some more info - the school is 100% poverty and is not in a desired area. Third grade and up are not meeting standard expectations. I would be teaching first or second grade. It's about a 35 minute commute for me. The starting salary is $6-10 grand less than most neighboring districts. My husband actually worked in the district years ago, so I do know what I am getting into. So do you think the principal is just letting me keep my options open for now or does this seem fishy? She seems like a genuine, caring person so I don't think she will "take the offer back", but I didn't spend nearly as much time with the superintendent. I am sorry this is so long. This job search has been such a stressful experience for me. No elementary teacher shortage here!!!
     
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  3. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    May 28, 2018

    It does seem a bit strange that you were told there would be second interviews for the top candidates and yet you were offered the job before the second round interviews were conducted. It's also strange that the principal called you back the same day to offer you the job even though there were other candidates scheduled to be interviewed. This to me is a classic example of the Peter principle which stipulates that in management there is a tendency for people to rise to their level of incompetence - such is often the case in the field of education and explains in part why there are so many incompetent administrators in our schools.

    Consider this to be your first lesson in dealing with school administrators. Always be prepared to exercise assertiveness whenever you receive confusing communications that are either ambiguous or tentative. When the principal directed you to talk it over with your husband and call her back the next day, you should have told her that wouldn't be necessary and reiterated your acceptance of the job offer. Had you sensed any hesitance by the principal, that would have been the perfect opportunity to ask for confirmation - "I just want to be clear, are you offering me the job?" That would have precluded Tuesday's confusing phone call.

    Don't be confused by any mention of board approval - in most cases, that is just a required formality. Usually, hiring decisions are made by the principal with the superintendent's approval. You can always call the principal for clarification on your hiring status.
     
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  4. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    May 28, 2018

    I'm going to repeat what I've always said in that until you sign a contract you don't have a job! They can say "yes'' and "we want to hire you'' all they want, but until you've signed a contract, it's not official. These admin love to play all kinds of games... especially in these really small / rural areas where the school, at least in my case, is one of the only things left in town. Politics is strong here and it's annoying. My friend got screwed over; they kept saying "oh I want to hire her'' and "I'm going to recommend her name to the board,'' and they never did. I say stay hopeful and keep this school in your back pocket, but DON'T stop accepting interviews! Worse case scenario you end up accepting another job while waiting for the official offer and then resign if needed.
    I just don't want you to take the "yes'' as absolute truth and then find they "went with another candidate'' after they possibly ghost you for a while. Some districts are shady like that. Especially if it's an example of a principal vs. superintendent conflict. The P could want you, but for some reason the S doesn't and doesn't approve or recommend you to the Board. *Cough* That's my issue right now! *Cough*
    :(
     
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  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    May 28, 2018

    Could you explain why a superintendent would not want you even though only the principal interviewed you? Has the super ever met you?

    I don’t understand.
     
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  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    May 28, 2018

    If all hires are based on board approval, then you must wait until the board meeting vote regardless of whether they want you or not. The P is probably putting the offer out there to let you know that it was a high potential, and you may be able to put any other offer off until you hear back from them. That tactic is sometimes used to try to hold potential candidates.

    It really is a lousy process if the board doesn't meet often enough during hiring season to ensure that the district retains good potential hires.

    Don't count your chickens even if this is a done deal that is waiting for a formality to seal the deal. Keep interviewing. Who knows what might come up.
     
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  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    May 28, 2018

    In really small towns /rural areas, EVERYBODY knows everybody even if you don't know them. The way that the hiring works around here is that you interview with the first committee which is usually the principal and a team of teachers and usually a board member. If you impress them, they pass your name up and you interview with the Superintendent who really does the digging for any dirt or anything that would stop you from getting a job.
    It could also be an example of small town politics / nepotism at work. The P could want to hire you, but the S could want to hire a friend or relative who needs a job (yes, it does happen,) and there goes your job offer! The Super really has the final say as to who s/he recommends to the Board. If the S doesn't approve you, it'll sink your chances. I personally don't like that system because I don't like the idea of ONE person holding that much power... even if the committee below really wants to hire you. In my case, and I don't want to air too many details, yes the S knows me because he was my HS principal. Some crap went down this school year (nothing major,) but enough to where it may not help me get a job.
    In really small towns/ schools, if you have any dirt -- it gets around -- and EVERYBODY knows!
    :(
     
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  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    May 28, 2018

    Right?! My district's next board meeting isn't until the end of June even though they have openings RIGHT NOW! They can't do any interviews or hiring until the Board has officially accepted resignations and the positions are officially open.
    It's a very inefficient system. If you have openings and people to fill them, HIRE THEM!
    And people wonder why teachers are getting frustrated and leaving the profession!
    :mad:
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    This whole situation sounds odd. I'd definitely keep applying and interviewing. It sounds like this school/district may not be the best choice anyway, so if you get another offer elsewhere in the meantime I'd take it. My guess is that you will most likely get this job, but I wouldn't bank on it.
     
  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Wow, just wow! I’m so sorry...
     
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Basically if you teach in a small town or hope to teach in a small town, watch what you say and around whom you say it... there's a lot of sneaky, back stabbers... it's all I've got to say. :mad:

    Though this was back in October and it's now May, I was called a few weeks ago and was told that there are openings and they asked if I was interested in having my app reviewed. I'm wondering why bother? If I got an interview would I even have a chance at the job? Or would I just be walking into a trap? Do you think the "drama'' from October blew over?

    I'm seriously wracking my brain trying to figure out if they just want to screw with me; like if I do get an interview will it just end up with "we're not going to hire you here''?
    Ugh!
    :mad:
     
  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    May 28, 2018

    If I were you, then I would do the interview anyway because it could result in you getting the job. Do exactly what they want during the interview (ask people around at the school about the people who will conduct the interview and find out their likes and dislikes — I did this), but don’t go over the top (be too exuberant or seem desperate). Give crafted, non-cliched answers and play the part they want to see, but don’t embellish your abilities. Sometimes you have to do exactly this to get your foot in the door.

    When I interviewed for my current math teaching position, the interviewers said that my answers were refreshing, that it was nice that I already had several lesson plans for all the subjects taught, and that I clearly had absolute command of my subject matter. Concerning the latter, they gave me several diagnostic tests (Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Trig, Stats, Precalculus, Calc 1 and 2) and stated I had to get at least 95% accuracy for each with no preparation. I remembered racing through the questions and handing in my exams quicker than the other applicants, who were much more experienced than I was. They actually didn’t think I would get the job because I was a newbie and made jokes, yet they were alarmed when I scored 100% on each of the assessments and they did not (we swapped scores afterward). I even smirked and said, “Clearly, age isn’t everything.”

    For those of us who made it to the second round (4 of 10), we each had to teach 3 sections of whatever subject we choose, but because I asked around and found out which subjects they had difficulty filling I said, “I’ll teach Geometry, AP Stats, and AP Calc BC.” The other applicants opted to teach the easier classes (prealgebra, algebra 1, and the seldom algebra 2).

    Following each lesson, the vice principal asked me to step into the hall and then polled the students what they thought about me and the overwhelming consensus was that I performed really well. (They even thought I was a new student at first because I am so young looking, lol!) The next day, I was brought aside and told I got the job and that it was an easy decision for the administration to make and they all voted unanimously in my favor (principal, vice principal, math department chair, and school board).

    Four years later, I have been renewed for my fifth year and handed a contract with generous benefits and $60,000 salary. The best part is that I’m in negotiations currently for a raise, so I might get more than that, but I digress.

    The point I’m trying to make is that you need to really showcase your talents! With your credentials, you are going to be one hot commodity and you need to make your marketability known! Casually mention that you have interviewed at other schools and that you are in the process of making a decision and that you are leaning toward the current school — I did this because it creates a sense of urgency on your potential employer’s part. Further, during my interview, I was confident but not overconfident, I kept my cool, I cracked appropriate jokes and made the students and staff members laugh, and I complimented people to stoke their egos without seeming like a suckup. :)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  13. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    May 28, 2018

    Thanks! If they do call me for an interview (it'll be my second) I'll go in cautiously optimistic. I'll go in hoping that I impress them and land the job, but I'll also be hesitant and prepare for the worst (i.e. meeting with the super who tells me I won't be hired.)

    This circles back to the OP's question in that you really can't know until you have a formal offer. They can do the dance and say that they want to hire you all they want, but things can change.
    Just keep interviewing until a district locks you down and you sign a contract! I think that's solid advice for myself and everybody else in the working world.
    :D
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Optimism is key! Interviewers can pick up on if you are not really into it, and just looking for a paycheck. Good luck!

    Also, you should definitely state all of your credentials explicitly during the interview and let them know you would be flexible in terms of what role needs to be filled. For example, you should state that you would feel comfortable teaching ESL, or Spanish, or elementary, etc. They like seeing that kind of thing.
     
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  15. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Thanks and @teachforthestars keep us posted and let us know what -- if anything -- ends up happening!
    :thumbs:
     
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Definitely OP, keep us posted and I wish you the best of luck!
     
  17. teachforthestars

    teachforthestars New Member

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    Thanks all. Here's a small update. The superintendent called me today and said he understood I've been talking with the principal and asked if I was still interested in joining their team. I said yes. He said great, he thought I'd be a good fit, etc. He then said that he and the principal have been having some interesting conversations with the board. Basically, the board doesn't want to fill all the openings and instead wants to consolidate some of the classes. Which actually (unfortunately for me) makes sense, considering some of the grades were running only 12-13 students per class. He said he "thinks" they will still have at least one opening for me. He "thinks it will work out for me". He asked me to attend the board meeting tomorrow so the board can meet me and put a face with the name, along with the others they are recommending be hired (all high school I believe). The board will not hire tomorrow, but sometime soon after.

    I still feel very uncertain, but it was good to hear from him. To me, it sounds like the principal and the superintendent both want me, but aren't sure there will be a position for me, or what grade it will be if there is. Why this wasn't known before the job posting or interviews, I'm not sure. The S said we will know more after tomorrow's board meeting and he will call me when it is over. He said my part would only be about 5 minutes. I am praying it works out.
     
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  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    I’m excited for you. This sounds promising! I will keep my fingers crossed. :)
     
  19. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Sounds about right. A lot of the ways these districts do things is shady and underhanded. Basically they wanted to make sure either way that they were covered. It actually means that they don't have a lot of respect for their candidates, because if it ends up with no job for you, it's not really their problem. But if THEY don't have a candidate when they need one, all Hell breaks loose! They care more about themselves than the humans applying and sitting in front of them looking for a job. I don't think they fully appreciate that it's not a game. When you apply for an opening it's because you believe that an opening exists and need a job. They shouldn't advertise for positions unless they are 100% certain that one exists. And this happens more often than it should. Or the positions change; you think you are applying for one and all of a sudden it's something different. It's these kind of games that pi$$ off candidates and keep people from applying or teaching altogether.
    I hope it DOES work out well for you, but it's still frustrating nonetheless.
    :mad:

    Anyway, my advice: keep applying until you've signed a contract!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  20. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    That's why job boards show "Potential" open positions. I guess that would cover their bottoms just in case that position didn't actually open up!
     
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  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Keep looking, interviewing and looking for jobs. See this knowledge as a win for you. Don't sit around and wait for the board to decide what they are going to do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
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