Principal asked about my lateness

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Teach824, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2013

    I just came back from a second interview with a school I really want to work in. Everything was fine, they liked all of my answers but then the principal asked about my lateness. She had my ratings in front of her which clearly shows that I have been absent a few times. I know that is one of my problems and I am honestly working on it. I gave her a very basic/stupid answer and want to redeem myself in the thank you letter. What do you guys think of this:

    Hiring Committee,

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet with you today. I found the interview very well structure and informative. I first applied to this school because the mission statement reiterated some of the things I believe as an educator, I am now even more enthusiastic to join a team that is reflective and led by a well organizer leader.
    One of the things that was mentioned in the interview and I think I should provide more information on is my lateness. As you could tell from ratings, my punctuality has improved. However, as a new mom, there were times when I struggled to arrived on time and was a few minutes late. But I have done things to improve. Another reason why I applied to Blah blah Middle School is because of the proximity to my house ( a 15 minute drive). I believe that the short distance, a new bedtime schedule for my daughter, and a strong desire to be a good role model for my students will ensure punctuality on my part.

    Thank you again for taking the time today, I strongly believe that I am a suitable candidate for the position. I would welcome the opportunity to become a staff member at Blah blah Middle School. I believe that I would be a strong contributing member to your staff. Please contact me if you have additional questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't think I'd "judge" the interview as you did in your introduce even though you say positive things.

    What did you say in the actual interview in reaponse to the question, if you don't mind sharing?

    I think your letter needs some revision and editing....
     
  4. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    IMO, your letter should focus on your accomplishments rather than reminding them that you've had a lateness issue. I also think that indicating to them that you want to work there mostly because of a short commute might not be what they would want to hear.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that you need to scrap that entire letter. It's awkward and full of grammatical errors.

    I agree with JustMe that you shouldn't reference your judgement of the quality of the interview. I also agree with Jersey that you shouldn't remind them of your lateness in the letter and that a short commute isn't really a great reason to want a job there (at least not something you tell them, anyway).

    Further, I think that being a mom doesn't really excuse your tardiness. Is that the answer you gave during the interview? I hope not....
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 10, 2013

    All of this.

    We all have things that could make us late. Or distracted. Or not turn our lesson plans in. Or be absent a lot...schools don't want excuses. They want you at school. On time. Ready to teach.

    Find a way to convey you are ready to fulfill your obligations with out using your baby's sleep schedule as your explanation.

    :sorry:
     
  7. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    No that is not the answer I gave them. I stated that my school tended to mark teachers late even if it was a minute before or a minute after(true). This will be the second thank you letter I am sending and I already mentioned why I want to work with them and why I think I am good fit. I did not wanted to be repetitive in this letter.

    In regards to the grammatical errors, I was in a rush. I literally had just finished the interview that took almost two hours and i just wanted to get my ideas down before picking up my daughter. I will, of course, edit and revise.

    Thank you all for the feedback.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Understandably you were in a rush posting...spelling and grammar errors are excusable here...but you are still using your kids as your excuse....you might want to rethink that.
     
  9. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    Not using her as an excuse but thank you.

    I will follow JerseyGirlTeach advise and highlight my accomplishments.
     
  10. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Forgive my ignorance, but how does a school that you don't work at have access to your ratings? Or are you interviewing at another school in the district where you're already working?

     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Most districts here require forms to be completed by references that asks for rating on things such as lateness, professionalism, creativity, etc.
     
  12. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Good luck to you. :).
     
  13. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    If you already sent one thank you letter, I don't think you need to send another one.

    If you do send another one, I agree with not mentioning the commute but instead telling positive reasons why you would fit in at the school.
     
  14. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    What was the first thank you letter for?
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Here's the thing...we all have something that could make us late...kids, dogs, traffic, train crossings, broken alarm clocks, what have you....everyone has a day or two when they are running late...to have an administrator notice and mark you down for it sends a message that it's happening quite often. Your contract stipulates your work hours. Lateness causes a problem for everyone. :2cents:
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree that it sounds like you are making excuses. In the professional world (and at all times, actually), I think it´s always better to accept mistakes and errors and improve them; there is no excuse for being late. Why are you sending a second thank you letter?
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Second letter because it's the second interview...is that right?
     
  18. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Not trying to be argumentative here but maybe we could go a bit easier on the OP? Being a new mom may not be an excuse for lateness, but it is hard. I had to go back to work when my son was 2 months old. He had colic and I would be up with him, very literally, all night long. Then there where times when I'd be heading out the door to work and he'd get food, spit up, or worse all over both of us. I was never late, but that's only because I was willing to go into work dirty. ;)

    The OP acknowledged that it was a problem and is working to resolve it. She was only asking for thank you letter advice. :)
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    In her thank you letter, Jersey, she's proposing to address her lateness issue...the advice is to highlight her positives, take personal ownership of her lateness and to be mindful of her contracted obligations and responsibilities. All good advice.:2cents:
     
  20. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    I had my ratings inside my professional portfolio. Since I was using it during the interview, the principal asked to look at the portfolio while the other two teachers continued with the interview.
     
  21. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    The principal was looking at my ratings for the past 7 years. In the district that I work in we have to punch in every time we are late. I was not late every day and it never affected my ability to teach or caused a problems for others. I was always there before my first period started. I always set up my room (the board and materials) the day before so getting ready or preparing was never an issue. My ratings do not specify how many minutes I was late it just states that I was late. My current administration did not have a problem with it but had to report it.
     
  22. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    Thank you.
     
  23. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    I am sending a second thank you letter because it was a second interview. I really feel that it went well because the principal asked me if I was available during the summer to attend PDs. I just do not want the lateness to be an issue or the reason why I am not hired.

    I agree with you that it is always better to accept mistakes and work to improve them - and I have.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Don't put it in your letter. Let that part go. Focus on your strengths.
     
  25. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Gotcha...good luck. I say focus on your strengths as suggested and maybe mention something else in your thank you that they will remember you for. And :hugs: on the mommy front...I totally get that. My two year old does not cooperate in the morning whatsoever!
     
  26. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    Thank you! That is exactly what I did. Even though I was attacked here, I am glad I asked. Let's see how it goes...
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think you were attacked here.

    Good luck to you.
     
  28. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I was intrigued by the "ratings" conversation in this thread. In Texas, I think lateness is bundled with a domain regarding following policies etc.

    In any case, I would stick to the the positives in your thank you. Maybe allude to it in a general sense. As you mentioned, the lateness did not cause you to be unavailable to your first period class. In the interviewer's point of view the lateness may make them wonder if you are organized, dedicated to your job and like what you do. Rather than reference the lateness directly, I would reference aspects discussed in the interview that draw attention to how organized, dedicated, and awesome you are!

    Best wishes for a job offer. Hopefully the principal is just a straightforward person and is not too focused on the problem. Worry can make us go a little crazy, can't it? :)
     
  29. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I see my advice was too late, but wish you well for a positive outcome! I'm sorry you felt attacked.
     
  30. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    No your advice is not too late. I tend to revise and edit a few times before submitting something. Still working on it. Will see how I can add your advice. Thank you.
     
  31. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    Okay you guys have been great...
    Here is the what the letter looks like so far. Did not send it yet so feedback is always welcome. Few notes: The school refer to students as scholars and the principal was very interested in what PD's I have attended in the past

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet with you today. I applied to this school because I strongly agreed with the mission statement and it fit my educational philosophy. The mission states that “Blah Blah Middle School seeks academic excellence.” My teaching experience and ability to adapt to new situations will help me as I guide scholars to achieve excellence. As stated in my educational philosophy, “all students can learn when provided with the right structure and support.” As an educator, I recognize that I am accountable for my scholar’s learning and I will make sure that my scholars achieve academic excellence by analyzing and using data during instruction and by making decisions based on what is best for the scholars at Blah Blah Middle School. In addition to data driving lessons, scholars will be exposed to a well-organized classroom and clear expectations on a daily basis.
    I also believe that it is important for teachers to “increase their repertoire to match what is best for their scholars.” As a result, next week (July 16-18) I will attend the UFT Summer Institute titled Writing with Conviction: Constructing Evidence-based Opinions and Arguments. I also signed up to attend the following professional development on social media. On July 24th, I will attend “Get Going with Social Networks in your school or class; and a session titled Get going with blogging and micro-blogging. On August 12th, I will attend Staff Social Media guidelines and internet acceptable use; and another session titled Introduction to developing a responsible digital image. As mentioned during the interview, I am also looking forward to reading books that will improve my practice.
    Thank you again for taking the time today. I strongly believe that I am a suitable candidate for the Social Studies position at Blah Blah Middle School and would welcome the opportunity to become a staff member. I also believe that I would be a strong contributing member to your staff. Please contact me if you have additional questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
     
  32. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    That sounds fantastic!

    Just a few notes:
    In my area we call it data-driven lessons instead of "driving". Maybe that is a regional difference. I'm not sure.

    Be consistent with the titles of your PD, specifically with the quotation marks and capitalization.

    Good luck!
     
  33. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    Lol It is data driven. Thank you.
     
  34. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I like the inclusion of further education but I would love to see a bit about your personality as a teacher, something you've accomplished, a story, or something professional but unique to you. How did you use data driven instruction to accomplish something? Tell me something about you.
     
  35. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

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    But I did that in my cover letter, first interview, first thank you letter, and the second interview. I am never going to finish this letter huh....:confused::)
     
  36. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    It needs paragraphs.

    Also, I am not fond of the word "scholar" and it is used quite often. I am guessing this is a regional thing as well...so don't take it personally. It just sounds like you are trying too hard with that word. I like the more natural and believable approach.

    I also feel the same way about the word educator. I call myself a teacher, but I'm just being old fashioned. :p :2cents:
    "As an educator, I recognize that I am accountable for my scholar’s learning and I will make sure that my scholars achieve academic excellence by analyzing and using data during instruction and by making decisions based on what is best for the scholars at Blah Blah Middle School. In addition to data driving lessons, scholars will be exposed to a well-organized classroom and clear expectations on a daily basis."

    This all just sounds awkward to me.
     
  37. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I have a tendency to be too wordy, and I think you are in that same boat. Think about what words you can eliminate and phrases you can combine to make it more readable. I think the paragraph on your PD needs a second look.

    Not anything you can control, but scholars? How pretentious!
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    For a second thank-you after a second interview, this letter strikes me as way too much. One who is called back for a second interview has presumably already demonstrated a satisfactory grasp of academic buzzwords and the concepts that go with them.

    If it were my letter, I'd pare it down to at most four relatively short sentences, along these lines: "Thank you very much for interviewing me again on DATE for the POSITION. I am more committed than ever to SCHOOL's mission of guiding its scholars to achieve academic excellence, and I expect that my capacity to contribute to SCHOOL will be enhanced by the summer institutes and workshops I am attending on evidence-based writing, social networks, microblogging, and guidelines for social media and digital image. If you have questions about these workshops or about my other qualifications, please do not hesitate to ask."
     
  39. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yep. That. ^

    Best wishes! :)
     
  40. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    Totally agree! Good luck. :D
     

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