How to deal with the "Bad Stuff"?

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by TheConspiracy, May 30, 2006.

  1. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 30, 2006

    Many moons ago I pursued an English Lit degree at ASU. During this time I met my husband. We decided to get married and start a family ASAP. I am type 1 diabetic and the doctors told the the earlier the better. Unfortunately, although I was able to get knocked up easily I couldn't maintain a pregnancy. So I went thru a series of operations because of lost pregnancies and fertility treatments.

    In the process I ended up failing out of school (I failed one semester due to a horrible miscarriage and then got on the horse again only to have another miserable pregnancy that resulted in a second failing semester). I tried to repeal my failing grades but was told that because I was seeing a fertility specialist that I was undergoing an "elective" course of treatment akint o failing because of a nose-job and that they made no excpetions for elective procedures. This was back in the late 90's and I can only hope that people have become more sensitive to reproductive rights these days (If I had waited until now - I couldn't have had my child. I went to the Dr. a year ago and wsa told I would have to stop at the one ebcause I am getting to "old" by diabetic standards). Hardly seemed like I was doing something elective if I ever desired to have a baby.

    SOOOOO...after all that backstory - I wanted to know how I should deal with this situation when people are looking at my transcripts for prospective jobs.

    I don't want to list these kinds of personal details on my cover letter and I am afraid I won't see an interview without explaining why somone who wants to be in education failed out. My GPA is a 2.7 but hardly seems to reflect my actual abilities. If you take out the failing semesters I had a 3.6.

    Do you think tihs will even come up? How should I deal with it?

    ~Judii
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 30, 2006

    Hi Judii,

    I'm so sorry for all you've been through. We tried for 9 years before adopting my son, only to then get pregnant with both my daughters! So I know how difficult it can be.

    For starters, neither your cover letter nor resume need make any mention of these circumstances. So send those to any schools you're interested in The first time it should come up is in an interview. At that time, I think I would bring it up-- explain that you were having medical problems which forced school into the back seat. But, having had such problems will make you a stronger teacher. So many teachers have always had school work come easily to them-- you're in a position to understand how awful failure feels, and how you sometimes just want to stop trying, just to avoid failing again. But you've gotten through that, and that experience will help you as you deal with kids who fail, either because of medical issues or for other reasons.

    Or, plan B: put something to that effect in your cover letter. I bet it attracts their notice enough to pull you in for an interview.

    Good luck-- on all fronts!
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 30, 2006

    You got great advice from Aliceacc, Judii. Focus on what you have to offer and maintain enthusiasm. I wouldn't specifically address GPA, just let that go. I can't imagine it should hurt you at all.
     
  5. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 30, 2006

    I don't think it should be a problem. Did you eventually retake the courses and pass?
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 30, 2006

    While I did have to turn in my transcript, I was never questioned about my gpa. It was a 3.1. Not as good as it should have been, but not as bad as it could have been either. Be honest if it comes up, but brief. Some might think of it as making excuses.

    I am so sorry for what you went through. I also admire you for the courage to keep trying. I'm sure your child is completely loved and that's what's important.
    Good luck!!
     
  7. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 30, 2006

    Thank you all for responding.

    My, my how we worry about things *sigh*

    Fear of the unknown, I guess.

    To answer your question Miss W - because I transfered to a school in a different state I was unable to retake the courses for grade forgiveness. :( So all those F's just stare me in the face every time I open my transcript. YOWCH!

    I think it is good to hear that no one really looks too much at your grades. But in the event that they do, I will keep it as brief as possible and like was said earlier - try to tie it in to how I can use the struggle to better identify with my students.

    I think that is a great way to handle it. :)

    ~J
     
  8. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 30, 2006

    Conspiracy- grades are only one piece of the puzzle... a small piece. a good grade does not make a good teacher and vice versa. You have alot of life experience- which will ultimately make you a teacher sensitive to your students needs.

    I for one, am a chronic worrier, therfore I can relate to the anxiety you feel, but life has twists and turns and it's unpredictable. The important thing is you made it! Feel good, be positive because what you think creates your reality.

    In other words, don't sweat it. All the best to you in your job search.. You'll make it!
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 30, 2006

    Honestly, I think you can turn it into a plus.

    I have a friend who's a great math teacher-- to kids who are good in math. But she simply can't see how a kid can "not get it". She's never been in that position, and it is simply beyond her comprehension how you could seriously look at the material and not have it come easy. Needless to say, it's hard to be a non-math-inclined student in her class.

    Play with the idea for a while-- find the phrasing you need. But having trouble with those courses (none of which actually impact on your ability to teach anyway) will probably have a huge impact on how you treat struggling students!
     

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