Being prejudged?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ciounoi, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I am getting more and more discouraged as time goes on since I have had a massive amount of interviews (18 in 7 months) but have never had a call back, unless you could passing a screening interview for an applicant pool. Although I am well aware that this most likely means that my interview skills need work (currently working with an interview coach and practicing at home), I sometimes get to wondering: Could it be that I am just not pretty enough? :eek:hmy:

    I sub a lot, and I've actually had this conversation with some of the teachers/aids in the schools, but all the new teachers always seem to be hot skinny blond babes who left a career in modeling to be teachers. My husband works at a university and tells me that the best looking gals in the whole college are all the education majors! :lol: And I mean, seriously? Show me a teacher who's not hot, skinny, and blond and I'll show you a teacher who has tenure. Or is male. Anyway, I'm not hot, blond, and skinny. In fact, i'm plain, brunette, slightly chubby, and have thick glasses. Might my lack of hotness be interfering in the interview process?
     
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  3. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Maybe it's your lack of confidence ;)
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I suppose it's possible that your physical appearance is hindering your chances of being offered a job, but I really doubt it.

    My school has a lot of turnover, so we've had between 10 and 40 new hires every year that I've been there. Of all those newbies that I've met, maybe two have met the description you provided. I myself am not hot, blond, or skinny, and while I do have my state's equivalent of tenure, I didn't always have it even though I've always looked the way I do now.

    What does your interview coach say about your interview skills? Could you have some self-confidence issues that are hampering your efforts?
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'm chubby, short, and brunette and I had about 8 interviews and then got a job offer :D Of course, I never went in with the attitude that everyone interviewing is prettier than me :lol:
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2011

    How did all those "not hot, blonde and skinny" teachers GET tenure in the first place???

    I'm sorry, I think you're grasping at the easy solution-- the "it's not my fault, it's theirs" solution.

    The last time I was job hunting, I turned down 2 job offers to return to my old school. While I am blonde, I was also 47 at the time, with 3 kids. My husband lovingly considers me to be "hot" but I'm pretty sure it's not a consensus.

    The last person hired before me in my department is probably 40 pounds overweight.

    I think, honestly, it's your interview skills that are probably to blame.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Ahem, There are plenty of good looking tenured teachers!:D

    Seriously, I think working on your interview skills is a great idea...obviously your resume and cover are impressive. Do you feel like you expand upon your answers enough...painting a picture of ho you are as a teacher? Do you feel you convey a passion for this profession and an interest in the school? Are you making a professional impression in your dress/comportment?
     
  8. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Ummm... I'm making a point. Please don't all tell me I'm not confident. It's an observation. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm sorry. I thought you were asking for opinions or advice, not just making a point. I suggested that you might be suffering from a lack of confidence, but I didn't flat out tell you that you do lack confidence.

    Good luck to you.
     
  10. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    Unfortunately, I don't really know what impression you were trying to give. I think all of the advice has been pretty sound about you just needing to be more confident in yourself and working on your interview skills. I don't fit any of the attributes you listed and I've been able to get job offers. I had an interview today in which I thought I somehow bombed it and the interviewer told me it was a very, very strong interview and wanted me to complete the remaining steps to get approved in the district. :2cents:
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2011

    You asked two questions..."am I just not pretty enough" and "might my lack of hotness be interfering"...
    Was your point that attractive teachers are getting hired over you?
    As a member of my school hiring committee, I can tell you that a professional appearance definitely makes an impression, but schools are looking for educated, intelligent candidates who seem to be a 'fit' for the districts teaching philosophy, teachers who know their content, are team players, are looking to grow professionally and who are enthusiastic about teaching and learning...Candidates who have done their research and know about the district. The best interviews tend to be more like conversations than a question and answer session.
     
  12. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jul 11, 2011

    My last school didn't have any hot, skinny blondes. When I got my first job I was skinny, but I've gained a lot of weight and still got 3 job offers this year. I would definitely keep practicing the interview skills. Hopefully you'll get a job offer soon!
     
  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Remember that a lot of attractiveness, and confidence, is how you present yourself. I had a principal tell me once that she was hesitant to hire a certain candidate because her nails were a mess: chipped polish, torn up cuticle, etc. She thought it reflected a general lack of concern and attention to details.

    When you go to interviews, are you poised? Sitting up straight? Crossing your legs at the ankles? Smiling? Are your clothes neatly pressed? Is your makeup neat? How is your hair fixed? Do you have on some subtle accessories so you look pulled together? I'm not particularly a looker, but when I interview I pull it together and take advantage of what I have to work with: fresh manicure, eyebrows done, nice haircut, etc. Maybe it shouldn't matter, but how we present ourselves to others does matter.
     
  14. Rainbowbird

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    If I remember correctly, studies do show that attractive people have an advantage when it comes to hiring and making better salaries. However, I think that when it comes to teaching, competence will trump looks every time (provided the candidate is neat and professional-looking).

    I do see a lot of young, attractive women being hired but I think that's just because there are a lot of young college girls out looking for jobs.

    My DH's school just hired a middle-aged woman who is on the plain side but has a lot of great experience. So I think as long as you are presenting well, you'll do great! It's good you are working with a coach. That'll def. help. Good luck!
     
  15. Joy

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Appearance is important but I think that how friendly you are during the interview goes a long way too. I've been told that alot of teachers are chosen by how well the interview team thinks that they will fit in with the rest of the staff. That means that you need to probably be more outgoing which might be how some of the teachers you are talking about are acting. This is something that I have been working on too during my job search. I am naturally more reserved and serious but I think you are probably more remembered and make more of an impression if you are more of an extrovert (not too overdone though).

    I see your point about being hired based on appearance but I'm not sure if it's true or not. I sometimes wonder if I am being hindered because I am very petite and thin. It makes me look younger than what I am. I guess it's just important to be confident with yourself.
     
  16. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I don't think the observation of young, white, blond, hot girls getting jobs is a great observation or point.

    Confidence does play a major role in interviews and all principals have told me that they are looking for a confident candidate.
     
  17. Barbera

    Barbera Companion

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I hope I get a job where the teachers are all hot skinny blondes.
     
  18. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I'm not hot, skinny or blond. I am in fact, chubby, brunette, and wear glasses. Worse, I have a beard and look like a longshoreman or a mobster depending on my wardrobe choice that day.

    And I teach first grade.
     
  19. alioxenfree

    alioxenfree Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Hopefully that's not what's happening with you. However, I have seen it happen (kind of). In my old school district the principal was solely responsible for interviewing and hiring teachers. A principal at my friend's newly opened school said that he liked to hire eye candy. Blech! There were a lot of young, pretty, skinny teachers at that school. They weren't all blonde though. That being said, I don't think it's the norm. I wish you the best in your search!
     
  20. Memom2

    Memom2 Rookie

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    That is funny Sarge, it sounds exactly like my 2nd grade teacher. I was horrified that I was placed in his class. He was the best teacher I ever had! Well, he made me vomit one time talking about pumpkin guts, but I loved him so much.

    To answer the first question though, there is a principal in the district I subbed in last year that is known for hiring "pretty, young things." Teachers from several schools talked about it. I was a little discouraged because I thought being a little older would help me in this field. Of course, I have yet to score an interview so I have no personal knowledge.
     
  21. Teachnewbie12

    Teachnewbie12 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I student taught in an area, that is now slowly, but was rapidly growing. The school was fairly new, only four years old, and I always described the staff as , "Ms. Americas." Granted, I'm young myself, but yes, they were all fairly young, many of them in their fourth year. As soon as school was out, many of the girls would meet in the hallway, after changing into their workout gear, to head to the gym! It was all very odd to me. Many of them held second jobs as waitressing as well.

    I think it does happen in many areas, but of course not everywhere. Many of them were young, and cute, but like someone already said, those are the MANY candidates who are graduating. They lucked out, and applied at a school when it was first built.
     
  22. Ms.SLS

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    Jul 12, 2011

    On the flip side, I've felt that I've been discriminated against on a few interviews because I look very young and am relatively attractive, as if that would stop me from handling a rowdy high school classroom (it doesn't).
     
  23. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Look at all of the previous threads filled with teachers asking if they are not getting the job because they are "too old." The knife cuts both ways.

    My former district hired a lot of younger teachers for several reasons; 1.) Most of the hiring was completed in late July or early August after the point when currently employed teachers must inform their districts whether or not they should will be returning. This means you rarely get currently employed veteran teachers applying for these positions. 2.) The district was very near several small-medium sized colleges with well-known education departments, and 3.) A few of the board members liked the fact that younger teachers typically cost less.

    After I was hired, another teacher told me that she was sick of the Supt. only hiring "pretty, young things like myself." I wouldn't consider myself to be anything more than average in the looks department. Also, the Supt. doesn't do the real grunt work of the hiring process. He is given 2 candidates to interview for each opening. This is after panels have selected these two applicants from usually over a dozen interviews.

    I have a friend who wants to move to the HS to teach but has been told that she "looks too much like a student" and should try again in a few years. It doesn't seem to matter what she wears whether it is a suit or khakis and a nice top on casual days she just looks young (because she is!). Perhaps someone who looks like you would be more likely to get this job. Fair? Not at all but I suppose it does happen.

    Like others have said, I would continue your work with your interview coach and perhaps show him/her your interview outfits and ask for additional advice. Perhaps the bronzer that gives you that subtle sun-kissed glow in your bathrooom mirror actually makes you look like a lost Jersey Shore castmate. I for one, would love to have someone point that out before I walked into an interview.
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 14, 2011

    The only thing I'll say about this topic is depending on what area you're in, I'm sure certain districts sometimes prefer a certain look for a teacher. My mom's longtime friend who's now retired used to work in Manhattan Beach, CA. She said the P & practically all the teachers are skinny blondes. Of course, they can't be ditzos though. My mom's friend definitely is not. My mom's friend said they were pretty racist. And if you wonder why my mom's friend would want to work for a place like that, because my mom's friend has a certain degree of self-hate. She doesn't prefer to work w/ kids of HER own race. I think it's a real shame. And if you wonder why such a place would even hire my mom's friend in the 1st place if they're so racist, it's probably a combination of the fact that my mom's friend is a good teacher & her record speaks for itself PLUS the district probably doesn't wan to appear racist so they hired someone who doesn't fit their ideal physical mold.
     
  25. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    There are an awful lot of female principals out there. Do you really think they are looking for the hotties to come teach in their schools or are they looking for the knowledgeable educators that will help to improve student success on their campus. Knowledge trumps a hot, skinny teacher every time. Principals are accountable for the scores that students make on standardized tests. They want the best candidate. If that person is young, skinny, and hot... so be it.
     
  26. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Could this happen at a few schools? Sure, it definitely does. However, it's not really possible that all 18 of the schools you interviewed at were like this.

    My dad's school openly admits (to the teachers that already work there) that they put an emphasis on appearance because they want to "put their best face forward" for parents and the community. It's a wealthy area. The AP was a 1st year teacher before she was asked to be the AP the following year. She's very attractive. Any time a speech is to be made for assemblies or anything like that, she is the one who does it even though the less attractive P is the "brains behind the operation." All the younger teachers they have there are downright gorgeous, and they have a general practice of firing them after 3 years (right before they get tenure) and getting another gorgeous 22 year old (who also won't question the admin and is cheap) right out of college.

    My school hired me through the phone as I was 12,000 miles away. My dad couldn't believe they'd hire someone they hadn't seen. We just hired some teachers for next year, and several "pretty young things" were passed over. We even hired a teacher in her 50's! My mom just lost her job and is extremely worried that "no one wants to hire an old fat lady."

    So yes, it does happen. However, it's obviously not the case everywhere. It's possilbe that you may have been passed over for 1 or 2 jobs because they wanted to hire a "more attractive" person, but out of all those interviews there is no way that happened every time or even most of the time.
     

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