Will this be a good job for me?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by isabunny, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2013

    What signs or signals do you use to know if a school will be a good place for you to work or not? I know we are all searching for teaching jobs and will mostly take any job we can get! Beggers can't be chosers. But I am still cautious based on past experiences. Here is what I look for when I am searching out schools:

    Do the teachers look happy, excited, joyous & energetic?
    How about the kids? Are they having fun, smiling, laughing?
    Are the walls filled with student work? Cheerful colors?
    Inviting atmosphere?
    Is the library well stocked? Any technology? Overhead projectors?
    What does the curriculum/materials/classrooms look like?
    Will I be building my own curriculum from stratch or is there a roadmap or lesson plans available?

    I know coming in as a new teacher is hard no matter what school and the hours you will put in to build your lesson plans is insane. My last job had nothing at all, no curriculum, books, materials, or supplies. I provided everything and worked every waking hour for months to build my lesson plans. I finally had to start at least taking one of my weekend day's off to regroup and take care of home stuff. And I do have my own kids.

    So what do you look for? Would you take any job, no matter where it was and even if you weren't a good fit?

    I did have an interview yesterday that went pretty well, I think. I at least was more composed and did lots of research before hand. I just don't think the school is a good fit for me and I actually just withdrew my name from consideration. :-(
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 5, 2013

    Yes, beggers can't be choosers, but you also have to look out for your own well being. It's better to withdraw your name from consideration if you know you won't be happy there. It wouldn't do you or those students any good if you got the job and then a few months into it find out that the school isn't a good fit and you're miserable.

    When I was interviewing for teaching positions, I would look to see if the office staff was happy, what type of displays were up in the main hall, around the building, in the office, etc. I normally only interviewed in the summer so there were no kids to gage how they were in the school. When I interviewed for my present job, I was immediately impressed with the staff that they have behind their assessment personnel to help and the steps they have in place to ensure compliance. After working here for a few weeks, I am so glad I landed in this district for my first year in this position! The right school will come along for you!
     
  4. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2013

    My first ever teaching interview set off red flags everywhere. I talked about it on this board but it was back in June so I doubt people remember. The school was an urban charter school and while I understand why they operate the way that they do, it did not work for me at all. I did a demo lesson and the principal kept interrupting me to tell me everything that I was doing wrong. The kids were all engaged and respectful but the second she started doing that, they stopped listening to me and weren't engaged anymore. That experience seriously had me questioning by abilities as a teacher and questioning my decision to become one, despite glowing reviews during my student teaching and fieldwork experiences, and positive feedback from my other education-related jobs. :(

    Luckily I did too many things wrong in their eyes because I didn't get the job but my family was pushing me to take it if I did get it. I got into many fights with my mom about that one until the problem solved itself.

    Also I had a recent experience where I accepted a job and quickly rescinded my acceptance while filling out paperwork. I just posted that on here last week. It was at a daycare/learning center-type place and not at a school.

    I agree that you do have to be happy where you work, and when you're starting out, you may feel like you HAVE to take what you can get, but if you're lucky enough to have options and/or a supportive family, it's understandable to withdraw your application from somewhere.
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Sep 5, 2013

    Years ago I interviewed for a director's position in a child care facility. The owner was telling me that as director I would be expected to close each and every evening. Closing was like 6 or 6:30p.m. It wasn't something I wanted to do, but it was obvious that it was a non-negotiable item. On top of that she had such a thick accent I couldn't understand her. She also came across as a micro-manager.

    I thought long & hard about it. I came to the decision, that even though, I really needed a job, this wasn't the one for me.

    She called me and gave me the position. She got very upset with me when I wouldn't accept the position. She told me that since I had interviewed, I had to take the position.

    Lots of red flags during the interview and subsequent phone call!
     
  6. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Sep 5, 2013

    One thing I want you to think about is that while it would be great to have all of the above things, you can still be happy and enjoy your job even though some of those things are missing.

    It's understandable that if you've had a bad experience, you will be more cautious in the future.

    But I can attest to the fact that even though I work at a school that is lacking in many of the things you have listed (and it is certainly a very reasonable list), I am very happy where I am, and know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

    I hope that you can find a school that makes you feel the same way.
     
  7. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    Sep 5, 2013

    You pose a very good question, and I think the answer varies depending on one's amount of experience. When I had little experience, I took any job I could find, and none of them have been a good fit. The place I am now is a much better fit for me, but that is because I was more deliberate in applying to places where I actually wanted to work, which meant lots of homework but few applications. A new teacher doesn't have enough experience to know what a good or bad fit is yet. With some more experience, they will have a much better idea.
     
  8. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2013

    So what are some of the questions you would ask yourself when looking for the right fit?
     
  9. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2013

    You are right. I am definitly not looking for the absolutely perfect teaching job. Nothing is perfect! But it is good to have a gauge. Some areas the school might be strong in while others might be very weak and of course you have to compromise. That is part of life.

    My strongest caution is getting myself into a position where I am miserable for the whole school year. We all know that teaching situations can be pretty sour. I am very cautious because I was thrown into a horrible situation for my last teaching job. The teacher before me quit after only two days. I didn't find all kinds of bad things out about the school until I was already committed.

    I am trying to go with my gut feelings to gauge the situation and some questions I can ask myself when going into new environments. We are so focused on getting the job, getting in the classroom, and being able to pay our bills, that we forget to ask if that particular job is right for us or not. At this point I am desperate for a teaching job, but know that if I dive in before looking there might not be any water.

    I dream of the day when the job market will be glorious again for teachers and other professionals.
     

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