Ideas why I can't get an interview?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Fleurdelis, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Fleurdelis

    Fleurdelis Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2020

    I have a BA in Theatre and a MA and MFA in Theatre. I was licensed in Tennessee and now Virginia. I've taught High School and College. I've taught elementary school students at the theatre where I headed educational programs. I have a lot of teaching experience.

    I had two teaching interviews for jobs Virginia before I had my Virginia license. Now that i have my license, I can't even get an interview with a middle school for a drama teacher. Ideas on what's going on? I'm at a loss.
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 13, 2020

    The only thing I can think of is this -- drama/theater jobs are incredibly hard to get and the competition is fierce.

    Is your experience in teaching theater in a public school, or is it experience "with" school age children? To those who choose who gets interviewed, there is a big difference. If it is actual certified teaching experience, and you have many years of experience. you may have too many years of experience, which makes you more expensive. If you have more than 5 years of certified teaching experience, you "cost" significantly more than a new-to-certified-teaching teacher.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    The Arts are the first casualties of budget cuts. Sad but true.
     
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  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    The jobs are few and far between, unfortunately. The people who land those positions stay in them until they retire.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jan 14, 2020

    Any drama classes I've come across in high schools were taught by an english teacher so maybe they had dual certifications?
     
  7. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jan 14, 2020

    First, if you have only a theatre cert, it will be virtually impossible, unless you're going to a school that has a stand-alone theater program, which are few and far between. I'm also in VA, and every time a theatre position opens up, at least 50-60 people apply, if not more, for 1 job. For example, a new high school opened up here about 10 years ago, and 200 people applied for the one theatre position. They had the pick of every theatre director in the area. They picked the director from another high school who was state VHSL theatre champion ten years in a row. They wooed him with extra money and the like, just to get themselves the best of the best. Needless to say, that school is still the absolute top of the top, even right out the door. They've only missed state competition once in ten years, and that was because he was out for 4 months for an illness. They still went to regionals. If the school doesn't have a stand-alone program, you will be required to teach something else, usually English.

    It may also depend on what actual experience. As someone who has taught theatre in the public schools for 20 years, what is your actual theatre background? Most theatre teachers have to do it all - act, direct, design. At my last school, I designed and built all the sets, designed and taught lighting and sound, made costumes, directed, wrote music, performed--I did everything. I did have students in many positions, but I had to teach them the skills to be there. So while I eventually had a student as master electrician, I taught them how to hang and focus, rewire lights, color, program the board, cue sheets, all that. All I'm saying is that you may be qualified for one aspect, but if you can't do the tech side, or the performing side, you may be passed over for someone else.

    I have also found, at least here, that alumni get the jobs before experience, and some of that has to do with price. Last job I was clearly in the running for was given to alumni of the school, fresh out of college. They only lasted a year. When they came back to me, I had already taken another job and wasn't ready to leave yet.
     
  8. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Jan 15, 2020

    I second the comment about licensure areas. If you're only theatre endorsed, you'll likely only find part-time positions or won't find anything that doesn't require an ELA or other endorsement as well.

    The other thing it could be is that your experience is working against you. I don't know about where you are now, but in IL and apparently areas of OH it does. I found out from my counterparts at a district meeting that the schools here only want new teachers because they don't have to pay as much. Your years of experience and master's degree mean they have to fork over an appropriate salary, which may not be in the budget.
     
  9. Fleurdelis

    Fleurdelis Rookie

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    Thank you guys! These are all great insights. I really appreciate it.

    I am Pre-K-12 Theatre and English. I've acted, directed, vocal coached, and written tons of play for and by children. And I'm active in the theatre community, which the teacher leaving is not.

    This is the middle school my daughter will be attending, so It's just down the street. (Sigh)
     
  10. irishrose

    irishrose Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2020

    I'd say make friends with people who work at that school. Nope, nothing to do with the job. But. Can really help get you into the place you want to be at the right moment! Just be friendly to everyone every time you go up to the school, and look for common ground. Strike up convos and get to know people. Then let it slip if the time feels right that you have been looking for this type of job, or just a little here and there about your experience (a LITTLE! That part can quickly and easily be overdone! Unless of course they become interested and start asking Qs themselves....And/or you could try telling funny stories about the kids/families/schools/plays you've worked with (highlighting the fact that you've worked as a theater teacher, etc. but without the person really thinking about that in the foreground, just listening to an amusing story :) BUT.....like a TV ad, later on when there's an opportunity for you, their amusing acquaintance, you just might come to mind and get a valuable tip or recommendation! So many times, things like that have happened!
     
  11. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Jan 20, 2020

    Having a Masters Degree is job-hunting suicide.
    School districts don't want to hire someone starting on the higher salary scale when they can find someone with a Bachelor's cheaper. (Even if that means the cheaper hire will only give them a passably competent teacher compared to a polished, accomplished one with a Masters.)
     
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  12. Fleurdelis

    Fleurdelis Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2020

    So to update: They called me Thursday (the 23rd) to set up an interview for this coming week. It has taken them 6 weeks to get around to interviewing people for a position that was supposed to start in January. So there's hope for those of you feeling like it takes FOREVER.
    We'll see how it goes....!
     
  13. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    The old adage of "it's not what you know, it's who you know" needs an addendum for education: "it's not what you know, it's who you know and when you know them." Hiring in education is so time-sensitive that you just need to be the right person at the right time. You also have to be applying for a position that isn't filled internally with a current district employee due to how most contracts are written. I've won state teacher of the year in my subject twice and I only got interviews on 1 of 4 applications I submitted last year.

    Also, I'm rather tired of the "they won't hire you with a master's" rumor. It has just never proven true and every single admin I've ever talked to has said it is nonsense.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    In my school if you do not get hired with a Masters admin will have to babysit you and check your progress towards your Masters. You will need to get in within 5 years and show that you are taking classes towards it. It's actually easier to hire someone who's all set certification wise. I was hired at my current school with a Masters and 11 years of experience.
     
  15. Fleurdelis

    Fleurdelis Rookie

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    Update: I was told at the interview they had several other people to talk to and would make a decision this week. Got an email today saying the position will not be filled at this time and will be re-advertised at a later date. I'm surprised they would leave a long term sub in that position. Oh well.
     
  16. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Feb 4, 2020

    I've seen that happen a lot. They may be deciding if they can use that money somewhere else and not have a full-time drama teacher. It also may be that they have someone in mind, but they're not available right now. I would reapply later, to see if they take you later on.
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    To be honest, drama is not in high demand and most teachers who have this position keep it until retirement because there are so few job opportunities.

    I have yet to see a single job opening in my area for a drama teacher. By contrast, I routinely see job offerings for the math teachers, English teachers, and SPED teachers. And if my memory serves, I saw a couple openings for middle school science teachers and middle school math teachers not too long ago, but those are the frequent ones.
     
  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    This might be one of those situations where you'll have to relocate if you want to find a job.
     
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  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    You asked why you can't get an interview, and I think there have been several suggestions that are spot on. The arts are the first casualty of a tight budget. Most plays in middle school in my neck of the woods tend to be taught/directed by the music teacher and an English teacher on staff. No separate drama coach is involved. If you find the right school, most likely private, drama may still be in demand, but the person currently in that position will have that position until they retire. What you are are experiencing in drama is very similar to music teachers. The amount of positions available is feast or famine, and somewhat cyclical. My son is a music teacher by degree, but for 5 years he couldn't get a job, so went the route of earning his ESL degree. This is year 4 in ESL, and all of a sudden there are music positions open in rather large numbers in NJ. He is very hesitant to give up the ESL position that he has, so has not applied for the music jobs. My guess is that there were a number of teachers who retired - well, we know some of them, and that created need. Once young blood moves in, it will be another long dry spell for music teachers in NJ.
     
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  20. Fleurdelis

    Fleurdelis Rookie

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    To Recap: I was told at the interview they had several other people to talk to and would make a decision this week. Got an email saying the position will not be filled at this time and will be re-advertised at a later date.

    My husband and best friend tell me that I should email the principal and ask for feedback on my qualifications or the interview process to guide me in future opportunities. Would this be wise? Seems pesky to me.
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I agree completely.
     
  22. Fleurdelis

    Fleurdelis Rookie

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    With which opinion? To contact or not?
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I agree with you - seems pesky!
     
  24. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 7, 2020

    Based on threads here over the years, most people say that the P doesn't have time or doesn't want to answer questions like the ones you want to ask.
     

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