How did you you know that your school was a good fit prior to taking the job?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ZoomZoomZOOM, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I'm posting this here instead of on "job seekers" or "new teachers" because I'm looking for the perspective of teachers that have been on the job for awhile.

    I posted a topic asking 30+ minute commuters why they commuted to get to work. A lot of them mentioned that they wanted to commute because the school is worth it - it's better than the closer ones, etc. I'm wondering how they/you knew that in advance. How can you truly know about a school's inner politics before you work there? Unless you hear it from a friend, or if there are a lot of articles in the paper, etc.

    The only teacher friends I have work at the city district. I have to take a job in the surrounding counties because there are no jobs left in district. Short of wandering around the schools, I don't know how to find out if it's a choice school or not. :confused:
     
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  3. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Honestly, I didn't. I took the job because it was offered to me and I needed a job. Now that I've been in my building for five years, there are some things I don't like. However, I hear from other people all the time that they don't like certain things in their buildings either. I'm just thankful I have a job and make-do with where I'm at.

    Even if you sub in the building that you are hired in, it will be different. Subs don't often see everything that goes on in a building.
     
  4. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    ummm...they offered me a job! lol. luckily i love it there. are there things i would change, yes, but that's in any school. but after looking for 3+ years, i wasn't too picky! :)

    LC
     
  5. cityfrog6

    cityfrog6 Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I would suggest just listening to your gut as you meet with the people at the school. Sometimes you have to take what is offered but if you can picky, be picky! You are there 8 hours + a day and you need to be in an environment where you feel appreciated and trusted. I was not at my first job (and felt a bit abused - jealous co-worker, long story) and chose to wait for something that was a right fit for me. You don't want to come home everyday needing a drink!
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I didn't have a choice. I just took the job and hoped for the best. I would love to find a new job but nowadays any job is a good job.
     
  7. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I didn't. Luckily, it did end up being a good fit for me, but at the time I just needed a job and they were the only ones offering me one!
     
  8. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I chose my school over other job offers because my principal was warm, inviting, and just generally friendly.

    Each teacher I met at the interview was gushing about the wonderful community my P had created at the school, and it seemed like a place I wanted to be.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I took the job because it was offered. And, lining up a job from 750 miles away is not easy- many places want you to have a local address and phone. They get nervous hiring those far away.
    Now, I STAYED another year (commuting as long as I do) because my P is great. Not everything is great, but my P is very supportive. If everything else doesn't get better, I may look closer to home next year.
     
  10. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

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    You don't always know when you take the job. I liked my first school (didn't love it), but didn't want to settle in the town it was in. I moved. Second school was ok at the time and I stayed for 3 years, then felt it was time to move on. Third school was horrible! Horrible administration, environment, etc. I had to get out of there! The school I'm going to be at this year is hopefully the perfect fit. Awesome administration, heard wonderful things from my friend who works there and others as well and I actually got to observe in the school before interviewing so I got a feel for the environment, etc. I am really excited about this year! So, it has taken me 5 years, but I feel it'll be well worth it!
     
  11. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I had a feeling it was a good fit, but honestly, I would have taken the job anyway. These days we don't have the luxury of picking and choosing a best case scenario if we want to work. But for me, I knew because I had just finished a year in a city school with large classes and tough kids. I was a first year teacher and I had a tough time. The school I went to after that was a small, quaint country school with innocent kids and small classes. Those conditions gave me more opportunity to put energy into learning how to do my job well rather than spending it all on discipline without having time left to really teach. Of course discipline is a huge part of teaching, but when that's all you are doing, you can go home everyday feeling drained. I was looking to get away from that and I did. Now with a bit more experience under my belt, I feel I can make just about any school a good fit.
     
  12. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    I didn't. They offered me a job, I needed a job. I think I just got lucky.
     
  13. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    I did a lot of research on the people I'd be working for... googling, etc. I also loved the environment.
     
  14. kstar03

    kstar03 Companion

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    I had the same concern you have Zoom, especially as a first year teacher. I took the first position that was offered but from the experience so far (and hopefully it will continue as the year progresses) I feel like I made a great decision. My principal has been nothing but amazing and helpful and all the staff has been inviting and nice. But who knows... I think its a crap shoot...
     
  15. Electron

    Electron Rookie

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    I took my job (complete with attendant 30-minutes-each-way commute) because it's an excellent school in what is, depending on what measure you use, the best district in the state. The P was very personable and had a sense of humor, which was a huge factor too. Everything else follows from leaders who can relate to the staff.
     
  16. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I had subbed at my school when I was still in grad school as a TA and I spent time talking to the teachers at that point. (I was also a student long, long ago at the school.) Subbing though didn't prepare me for everything.

    I just hoped it was what I wanted. When I got to the school I was very surprised about some things... for example, I always thought it was one of the best private schools in the area (it had been when I was a student there) but I came to find out it was suffering from low morale and low enrollment, etc. The school was going through MANY changes and people were either thrilled or hated the changes. I also discovered that it was much different than I expected in terms of school work and curriculum. For example, I thought the school was very much a project based learning school, only to find out that, yes, teachers did spelling tests, worksheets, and so forth. Fine by me... but it was surprising. I thought EVERYTHING was experiential learning... it was not. Despite the fact that it was not what I expected, I love my job and I love the school. I love the changes we have made, and look forward to a great future at the school.

    My first jobs were in public schools in NYC and nothing could have prepared me for that, and it was not a good fit, but an excellent learning experience. If I had not worked in the inner city, I would not be the teacher I am today.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I've taken jobs that have been offered to me- I've left the jobs that weren't for me. I ended up at the perfect place for me- I knew people who worked there so that helped me make the transition but the being there and working there and having a shared philosophy quickly convinced me it was the perfect place.
     
  18. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I took a position that I had called to check on the status of my application. They sent me to the principal & she just assumed that I'd already been hired. I worked there 2 days & didn't feel comfortable, but determined to stick it out as I needed a job.

    Thankfully, my p called for a 2nd interview. He offered me the job during that interview & I took it immediately. I've been there 5 years & love it, even though the school is not perfect.
     
  19. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Like CanadianTeacher, I felt like it was a good fit.

    And like Electron, I was impressed the the P & AP (both have a great sense of humor).

    I also sensed (rightly, it seems) that the school I went with has a very caring & sharing group of folks.
     
  20. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Thanks for your input gang. I appreciate it. :)
     
  21. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I've been looking for years, it fit, they asked, I grabbed. I got lucky. My school is good, my department is awesome, my department head is even better than that.
     
  22. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2008

    I walked out of my interview completely enamored with the principal, the school and its mission. I thought to myself, "Wow, that's a school that's really going to change education in this district." Fortunately, she called me and offered me the job about 2 hours after I left.

    I think it's like finding your husband/wife... you just *know*.
     
  23. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Aug 13, 2008

    WOW. I hope that happens to me after my interview tomorrow!! *crossing fingers*
     
  24. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Aug 13, 2008

    Well, the 1st job I had the P seemed to have really wanted me to work there after subbing there one time. She even wrote me a wonderful recommendation. Well, she had a teacher to take a sabbatical and I was her choice. We seemed to clash and she would not offer me a full year's position. I look for school closer to home; my aunt is a para at my school and told me of an opening. I took the job because I would be in the position from the beginning of the year. It worked out really well for me. My 1st partner teacher and I got along well. She only stayed a year, met Mr. Right and moved. For the last 4 years my new partner and I have been working together and I hope that we remain partners until we retire. We are both late bloomers and we have become the best of friends. Our P tells us commends us all the time for how well we work together. I have a friend who teaches in another school in our district and she and her partner does not work together a lot. She often calls or emails me for help with problems. I think it is vital for grade levels to cooperate and try to be on the same page. So, Zoom I said this to say that I hope you get in a place where you are satisfied. Please remember like many of the others have said new school is perfect. There are things that I would change, but I think that wherever you go there will be something that we don't like. That's is why I stay where I am.
     
  25. forchange

    forchange Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I think having an idea of what you want from a school is vitally important. I went into teaching for political reasons and I don't think I would be happy working at a school whose mission didn't involve social change. I also knew that I wanted to work at a small school with a strong sense of community. Therefore, I made my politics pretty apparent on my resume (a definite risk) and I specifically asked questions about community. I also looked at my school website and did research on our history. Furthermore, I really, really loved the questions that the interview committee asked me. But honestly, I had no idea how perfect the fit was until I was at the school for about 6 months. If I leave this school, I will definitely know what I'm looking for, because I've taught at a great school.
     

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