Looking for a new school

Discussion in 'High School' started by a teacher, May 30, 2015.

  1. a teacher

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    May 30, 2015

    Can anyone share some interviewing and job-hunting experiences? I recently got rejected from a school that I was an extremely strong candidate for. In fact, imho they were foolish to pass up on me. Anyone else have that experience, where you've GOT to know who they did give the job to?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    If you feel that way, it might help to email or call to see if there were any ways in which you could improve or experiences that they were looking for...some will respond, some won't. Definitely don't mention your personal opinion on their decision as you did above...(that'd be a way to ensure you'd never get a position ;) - I'm sure you wouldn't, though)

    You simply don't know what others are bringing to the table. The best you can do is continue to improve yourself and keep interviewing. Nothing you can do about them - only yourself! Good luck with the continued hunt :)
     
  4. a teacher

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    Can you clarify what you mean about getting in touch with them? I just assume that they are going to keep their cards close to the chest and the only way you can have an idea is by finding out who they did hire, well after the fact, and check up on that person's success or lack thereof later on by communicating with anyone you are friendly with at the school- certainly not an admin.
     
  5. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    May 31, 2015

    Did you get an interview?
     
  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Looking up the person is taking a bunch of time on something where you'd be making assumptions or someone else would be making assumptions. You know what they say about assuming... (Don't take that in a negative way...I say it to myself all the time and I'm just trying to get across the point that it wouldn't solve anything and could possibly hurt your future chances at a position there)

    I was meaning emailing one of the interviewers (or another form of contact) asking for areas in which they felt you could be stronger with. Not only does it pay dividends (sometimes) in finding ways to improve, but it shows you are of a growth mindset and looking to continually learn and improve.

    I didn't get a response every time, but some of the times they were highly willing to provide advice and areas where I might've lacked experience relative to others. One mentioned how my answers could be even more student-centered than they were, which was a great help in my reflection of that interview.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This is water under the bridge. Once you are dismissed as a candidate, it is time to move on. You will never know why they went with a different candidate, you will never know how that candidate teaches and fulfills other aspects of the job, and, frankly, why would you want to know? Even if they were foolish to pass on you, don't stress about it and just let it go.
     
  8. a teacher

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    Yes. And I thought I did great, though the admin was very dry and depressing.

    It's actually a pretty poor school. I am guessing their decision to pass up on me is indicative of their generally poor decision-making that has brought the school to the low point that it is in. It was my lowest choice of my current options.
     
  9. a teacher

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    Wise words...
     
  10. a teacher

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    The problem there is that I don't think, since their communication has been poor in the past, that they have it together enough or are generous enough to talk to me about that. Also, I'm not so sure they even know what they're doing. In addition, I don't want to empower them by making them think I'm desperate to work there or that I'm insecure. I'm really just shocked.
     
  11. GPC0321

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    The only teaching position I ever applied for I got and am still in, so I have no experience in your situation. However, as we have two openings in my department coming up and I'm the department chair, I've recently been a part of 10 interviews, so I can tell you the kinds of things we discussed when the candidates left and the door closed.

    First of all, if there were any huge red flags that came out in the interview (and there was one major one and a few minor), that was that. We didn't even need to discuss it. But for the others, we discussed things like: Would they have good classroom management? Would the kids respect them? Walk all over them? Dislike them? Would they get along with the rest of the department and staff? Did they see like the type that would stick around? (We live in a rural area that isn't exactly a hotbed of activity. Young folks from out of town don't often stay long.) Would they be team players? Would they be professional? Would they cause headaches for administration?
    A lot of the time it boiled down to a gut feeling about them and whether or not the candidate seemed to "fit in" with the climate of our small, rural school.
    Honestly, ten interviews and only ONE of those candidates met our expectations. That person has been hired, and as luck would have it, one of our former teachers is coming back.
    You seem to have a very poor opinion of this school. Perhaps they picked up on that when they interviewed you and that's why they chose someone else who was more positive and optimistic about working there. Just a thought.
     
  12. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    GPC makes a wonderful point in the last paragraph. It seems you had your mind made up already about the school. Employers look for quality and experience, but also someone who will fit in and will be willing to follow the direction/leadership.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 31, 2015

    It doesn't sound as though is is a place you would be interested in. Consider that they have done you a favour by not being interested in you and just forget about it.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 31, 2015

    "A teacher" you have got to stop being so negative and stop this 'holier than thou' attitude. Just because they didn't hire you, now it means they have poor decision making, poor communication, etc? Just because a school doesn't hire you, it doesn't mean you have to bad mouth them.

    As far as finding out who they hired and then 'investigate' that person... what's your point? even if you find out they have less experience or education than you do, they could have done better on the interview, or offer something you're not aware of. So what's the point on dwelling on that negative? You're not going to get anything out of it, not learn from it, and you're not going to feel better.

    Ask one of the interviewer how you could improve, and then move on.
     
  15. a teacher

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    No it's not the situation. I was putting on the charm full force (i.e. doing my best interview) and they would have had no idea what my opinion of their school was. This was my "safety" school, so I wanted to nail it down in case another preferable one didn't come through.
     
  16. a teacher

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    Thanks for the insight. Those are the types of things I assumed committees look for. But your last paragraph doesn't apply. Certain things suggest they have some kind of mixed-up idea about who they want to put into that position.
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 1, 2015

    I interviewed for three jobs this hiring season. I was offered two positions. The position I was not offered was the one I was most interested in. That job went to the wife of an administrator (at the same school where the job was). I had approximately ZERO chance of being offered that position. I think that it was a huge waste of time for them to even interview me, but whatevs. In the end, I accepted a different job at a different school, and I'm so excited about it! And the job that went to the admin's wife is now open again because HR blocked her from the position because of her relationship to an on-site administrator. I realize now that it would have been a mistake to accept that job because I would have stayed in a toxic environment surrounded by people who think it's okay to skirt the rules whenever it's self-serving.

    If it makes you feel better to do some investigating of the person who was hired, I think that's okay. It could give you some ideas about what potential employers may be looking for, such as a particular endorsement or previous work experience. On the other hand, it could also be frustrating for you, because the reason that candidate was hired over you might not be something that can be advertised, such as a case of nepotism or even just a better vibe from that candidate in an interview.

    All in all, I'd suggest doing some brief, limited googling if it makes you feel better, but don't obsess. Move on to the next one, and focus on being the best candidate you can be.
     
  18. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Jun 1, 2015

    :yeahthat:
     
  19. GPC0321

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    Well, it's a good thing you weren't the right fit then. If they'd offered you the position and you'd had a better offer, they'd still be trying to fill a vacancy. If you'd taken the position, you'd be in a school you don't respect. It's better on both ends that they found someone more suitable.
     
  20. a teacher

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    Makes sense. I mean, how can you NOT look into who won a position over you? Sure you will only get a limited perspective, but it's something. In the past I've always been offered a position right after the interview, so it feels strange now having to wait for phone calls. Wish me luck!
     
  21. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 1, 2015

    I do wish you good luck.

    I have lost out two times to another candidate during my career. I have never felt the need to investigate the person hired instead of me. Guess I just didn't care.
     
  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    While not sure how "in the past" equates to number of years, there does seem to come a point where teacher candidates suddenly seem to have gone from "best thing since white bread" to "approaching the sell by date." Admitting that would be the same as admitting that ageism is alive and thriving in the work place, but how to know where the tipping point is is very difficult - where is your age a benefit, versus a liability?

    I would not bother looking into the person who was selected, because no matter how well you thought the interview went, that is from your perspective, therefore skewed and unreliable. I don't mean that in a bad way, but feel it is factual. How many posts on this forum do we read where a job seeker is bemoaning the fact that the job went to someone else despite the fact that "the interview went great?" That assumption is always the view of the person who was interviewed, not the person who evaluated the interview.

    If your detective work determines that the new hire is younger, you can't prove age discrimination. If the winner has more or less education, you can't prove that was the deciding factor. Should the chosen one have more or less experience, you can't prove what factor that played, if any, in the hiring decision. There are so many factors, and you are looking at all of them through a different lens than the hiring committee was using.

    If it will make you feel better to compare yourself to the winner in this outcome, do so. I am not sure how it benefits you, but what is logical to one person is utter folly to another, and that makes the world go round. I think that you should reach out and seek feedback on your interview, for your own education and future use, but that is just my opinion.

    Good luck in the job hunt.
     
  23. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    OP, I admit I have experienced what you describe a few times.When I job search, I tend to apply everywhere, including a few "safety" jobs. I have gone through interviews for jobs I don't want, put on my best charm (and trust me, I am good at that, too!), and then been passed up and not offered the position. You might disagree, but I really do think that people can tell if you are not absolutely stoked about a position, or if you're faking enthusiasm. I just think very few people are truly that good at feining excitement. And that's a good thing. When I have taken jobs I wasn't thrilled about, I have invariably regretted it.
     
  24. GPC0321

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    I'm not sure how it is elsewhere, but in our district, candidates cannot be formally offered a position until they've been presented to the board for approval. We have one now who has the position, but we can't officially tell her that until Monday after the board meets and approves her.

    Good luck to you! I always believe things happen for a reason, and if you didn't get this one, it's because there's something better on the horizon!
     
  25. a teacher

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    :thanks:
     
  26. a teacher

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    I am going out of my mind here. I had an amazing interview last week for a position it turned out I was perfect for. I was really hoping the principal would just hire me on the spot, as I've had this occur in years past for all my past positions. She said she would decide by the end of the week. I didn't hear back, and both then and today I've been leaving messages and not getting a call back. Why do you suppose she's not calling yet and have you had similar experiences?
     
  27. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I do know that things are crazy in the schools right now. It's only been one day past when she said she would decide; it's tough to be patient, but I think you'll need to be.
     
  28. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think it's time to stop leaving messages. The P is aware that you interviewed.

    If you don't hear from them soon, time to move on to the next interview. The positive thing is that you are receiving interviews.
     
  29. Moogeeg

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    I want to second what someone mentioned- they may have had someone in mind from the beginning. Sometimes, a school district must complete a certain number of interviews as a formality, even if they know from day one who they will hire.

    Second of all, there is a chance that they simply didn't get the right vibe from you, or thought that you wouldn't quite mesh well with other teachers. i.e. I have heard a principal say that she looks for personality traits that will complement others on the teaching team. You never know.
     
  30. a teacher

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    Very good points. I called them today and was told by the office manager that she inquired and the P told her she could tell me they gave the job to someone else. What?! That job had my name written all over it. Amazing.

    There are no more openings. I'm giving up and moving on with my life. If people don't know an amazing teacher when they meet one, they don't deserve to have them on their staff. But yah, I think in the case of this school, there must have been some alternate plan I wasn't aware of regarding who they'd give the position to. That's outrageous though, because in the process they're wasting our time and energy. Now I know if I'm not offered the job on the spot (as has been the case every other time I've gotten a teaching job), and they don't get back in a day, you should forget about them.
     
  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    If you are not getting job offers when you feel you are the best candidate, it is probably time to get feedback on the interview and what may be a stumbling block that you are failing to recognize. Of course, you can continue to interview the same way and get the same results, potentially, but that doesn't point you in the right direction or give guidance There is always the possibility that your take on the interview is very different from that of the person doing the interview. I would want to know that.
     
  32. a teacher

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    I'd like nothing more. But if these people are so difficult to get responses from, I don't have much hope that they're going to tell me where I fell short, if indeed I did. Besides, I never had problems in the past, and now I'm an even stronger candidate because I have more experience and I've accomplished more.
     
  33. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Reflection time is good after interviews, lessons, meeting assignments and we should never think there wasn't room for improvement. We can always improve on something. May I ask why are you leaving your current position? You may have answered this but I don't remember.
     
  34. a teacher

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    I'm leaving because my current school is a poor fit. The culture and the structure do not agree with me.

    I would never say there is no room for improvement. However, in my interviews I can and do effectively demonstrate enthusiasm and interest in the culture of the school I'm applying to. I have lots of experience and a great resume, and I am known for doing stellar interviews. Before I was teaching, on at least one occasion I passed multiple interviews without ultimately even having the skills to do the job!
     
  35. GPC0321

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    Being known for giving great interviews isn't always a plus. It indicates that you've got a lot of experience seeking employment for whatever reason. That can be a big, red flag for prospective employers. They're wondering why you're changing schools/jobs so often, and whether or not you're likely to stick around or in a year or two they'll be trying to fill your position again. Some people seem to hop from one place to the next fairly frequently, and no matter how good they might be at their job, they become less desirable every time they change schools/employers. Principals want teachers who are in it for the long haul.
    Just a thought.
     
  36. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Also, could the high opinion you have of yourself and your talents be coming across as something other than confidence in your interviews? And, are they contacting your present administration before the interview? Just things to reflect on.
     
  37. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    This. I know from talking with some principals and teachers who have been on an interview panel, and they have said time and time again about how they want someone who exudes confidence in what they are doing, but are also willing to reflect, change, and take direction. If they were to interview someone who is very stuck on their ways and not truly willing to take advice unless it agrees with them...that'll be a big red flag in their book.

    And good point about the contacting current administration! Who are your current references? (sorry if I missed it)
     
  38. a teacher

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    I haven't jumped from position to position, so that wouldn't be a concern.

    They typically call one's current principal, and I think I'd generally get favorable reviews. As far as thinking I'd be stuck on my ways, they'd have no way of knowing that unless it came up in the conversation, and it hasn't. I also try to show I am flexible and open to different things.

    I took a posters advice and emailed for feedback to the school I most wanted the position at and for which I thought I was a perfect fit. Fortunately the P wrote back. They said I interviewed well and that for two positions they only interviewed four people , so obviously I came close. Who knows how many resumes they received! The reason the others were picked was because they had certain experiences outside of the classroom and certain skills that the P said could be used around campus. While this is generally a vague explanation, it was helpful because a) it doesn't reflect any failing or weakness on my part and b) it proves that this is a very subjective thing. This P may be thinking things will work out a certain way with these teachers, and then when the teachers actually get in there it turns out they have no classroom management skills, or they are incompetent in other ways, difficult to deal with, decide not to stay long, etc.

    What can you do?
     
  39. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    :banghead:
    Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions. Do you know the other person? As much as you say it doesn't and might say that again, I sincerely wonder how much the quoted attitude comes out at an interview. Who does that help, anyways?

    Though you made a great point earlier, about it being subjective - to some extent it is, but they'll always go with what is the best fit for the school - it sounds like you were just about it but someone was going to be able to possibly (maybe not...but why worry about that?) add to the school in some way that the school needed. You don't know exactly what that school needs - the principal does. Awesome that you were down to the last 4, though...I'm sure you'll get a new position soon at that rate, especially with the comments you got back from e-mailing! :) Again, good luck...
     

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