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Am I a failure?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by laa2laa, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Don't give up.

    Last year I didn't even get one interview so you are doing well. It's just that teaching jobs are few and far between.

    You don't know the circumstances why you weren't chosen- Many schools have internal candidates- students or supply teachers- and just advertise for the sake of it even though an outsider has no hope.

    Your best bet is to impress at supply and show schools what they are missing.

    Good luck!
  2. Dear quietly,
    Your post could have been written about me. I know exactly what you're talking about, and I wrote a post almost exactly the same a few weeks ago. I felt like my world had come to an end, and I couldn't see a way out. It won't be any consolation (it wasn't to me either), but there are a lot of teachers in the same position. I remember being categorically told that there were only ever 2-3 applicants per post for MFL teachers in my area. Two years later, and it's 30-40.
    I can only say keep going. Like you I signed on for heaven knows how many agencies in different parts of the country, I applied for overseas jobs, jobs that weren't exactly what I trained for, anything and everything really. I was writing an application per day at one point. I finally got a job on Monday, 3 months after I first started applying. Like you, I had excellent references, was graded Good-Outstanding, strong letter of application, CV, experience, all positive feedback, but no real tangible reason why I wasn't getting the job. I just had to assume that my face didn't fit, and that each one wasn't the school for me.
    There are things I would suggest:
    • Look abroad if you can - sign up with overseas agencies
    • Look at what else you might be able to teach/offer. You don't say what your specialisation is, but what else did you study at Uni, what else do you have at A-Level? Would you be prepared to be a SLA/TA?
    • Don't dismiss anything. The job I've been offered is not the one I would ever have imagined to be "my" job, but when I went for interview, I knew it was right for me, and I suddenly realised its huge potential for the future.
    • Keep hassling your agencies - they promise a lot, and deliver very little in my experience, but you can't survive without them
    • I did 3 maternity covers before getting this job - if you have to, keep doing them. Sometimes they turn into permanent posts, and if nothing else, they're great experience, and they keep your CV going
    • Write speculative letters to all the Heads in your area - and really blow your own trumpet. Don't be afraid to be over the top in saying what you're good at and what you can offer
    • Use your network of contacts to find out of anything's coming up before it's advertised - that's how I got one of my maternity covers, and it was the best school I've ever worked in.
    • Don't just restrict your job search to TES. Look at ETeach too, and also do searches on individual LEA websites, as a lot of schools only advertise very locally
    • Get your Head, HoD, Uni Tutor (I don't know what stage of teaching you're at) to check over your letter of application, and think about asking them for some interview practice, with some totally honest feedback.
    • Make sure you're getting feedback from your interviews.
    I know a lot of this is what you've heard people say countless times before, but it really is a question of perseverence. It doesn't feel like it, and I would still be feeling like you if I was still without a job, but there is a job out there for you. It seems like everyone else has it easy, especially when all your mates from Uni have walked into the first job they applied for, but it will happen. You are not a failure. Good luck.
    Oh and don't go back to that agency who were so dismissive!!
  3. It's easy to get despondent - but I have lost count of the threads like yours - only to see them turn up with the "Dear Theo I got the Job..!"

    If you open enough oysters you will find a pearl eventually!
  4. I know exactly how you feel. I have had 8 interviews and getting so down about it. I think with me it's interview technique. There is now only one more job in my area for September and that's it. Can't really give you any advice, but oodles of sympathy from me!!
  5. Thank you for your positive replies. I know that something will come up in the next term - it did last year it will again. I am just worried about how long it will take. My other half is so supportive but I dont think he gets what a state I am in at the moment. Just have to take a deep breath and get on with things I suppose!
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Re: Am I a failure?
    Well as a qualified teacher of over 20 years, who can't seem to manage to get interviews I decided to apply for an LSA post.
    Have just received my reply and I quote:
    'Thank you for submitting an application for the LSA vacancy at our school.
    The school received a large number of applications, all of whom were very strong candidates for this post but I am sorry to inform you that on this occasion you have not been successful'
    I'm not even a strong enough candidate for an LSA post?!
  7. becky70

    becky70 New commenter

    (((Lara))) I imagine they will be thinking you are over-qualified. As you're a teacher they'll be worried you'd leave as soon as a teaching post came up.
  8. I agree, you are way too qualified to be made a LSA Lara. You have more chance going for a more senior post!!!!!!!
    Crazy that it has come to this. Well qualified teachers reduced to applying for leftovers from the dinner table. The education system needs a complete overhaul with particular attention to keeping teachers that do their job satisfactorily and shifting out those who do not. Time for this is well overdue. Unfortunately money is dictating everything in education. A sad state of affairs.
  9. Oh dear - I honestly think that all schools use the same template letter. We all put so much effort and hard work into applying for jobs just to be offered a template letter at the end.
    How about schools make it more personalised...
    ...Dear applicant,
    We adored the fact that you've had such wonderful experiences throughout your time in schools. Additionally, we thought your idea about starting a patchwork quilt club was lovely and something we hadn't before considered. Unfortunately, however, we do think you have been out of teaching for a while and at this time it would be useful for you to gain some more recent experience to bring you back up to date with the education system in general. For this reason you haven't been successful on this occassion.
    We wish you all the very best for the future.
    Yours Sincerely,
    ...Hmmm, that would be far too much effort and hard work, wouldn't it!! [​IMG]
    Well, I suppose they do have large numbers of applicants - but it would be nice to get written feedback from interviews.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    But even this doesn't apply in my case as I've done a 1/2 term cover last N0v/Dec and just finished another longterm-sick cover at my regular supply school!
  11. hmmm has anyone thought of the fact that some people are genuinely not good at interviews? At one of my first interviews I was so so nervous I completely clammed up, so much so that I couldn't answer any of the questions. My mind went completely blank. It was so embarrassing. I just kept saying, I'm sorry I don't know. And I asked them to repeat the question about 5 times too.
    I didn't train to become an interviewee, I trained to become a teacher! Like I said earlier, it has taken me 5 years to train to become an interviewee and I'm now very relaxed at interviews. Unfortunately, It also means I don't have any recent experience, so can't even get the interviews for teaching posts!
  12. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    newbeginnings - one of the best pieces of advice ever given to me, by a Headteacher on one of these forums, was that you could mention this in your application, eg 'my biggest weakness is that I perform poorly at formal interview, but my strengths lie in my subject knowledge, my classroom management and my genuine rapport with my pupils' perhaps? They suggested that you could also refer to it at interview if you got the opportunity and told me that plenty of HTs DO appreciate that not everybody interviews well and will often appoint on the basis of the teaching. I had said that I hated interviews - that I was happy to have anyone watch me teach and that this was what I was going to be spending my time doing, not answering daft questions. It made me feel a lot more confident.
  13. I've actually done this and one HT allowed me to come back and go through the questions with me to see what they were looking for. It was very good of him to do that for me and at the time I did feel like I needed to do some research to remind myself of a few things - I had just come out of maternity leave. However, it has still taken me 5 years to gain that belief in myself and be able to sell myself as a professional as well as use my knowledge and understanding in a free flow conversation. This means that I no longer find myself revising for interviews as I know that any question that I am asked, I can answer with confidence and understanding. A bit like what someone else was saying (can't remember which thread it was in).I have also been told that another 5-10 years on a person can make all of the difference - and it really can. I'm hoping that my new job will enable me to gain that c/r experience that I so desperately need so that I can think about getting back into schools some time in the future.

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