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Dear James- what can I do?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by upsydaisy25, May 21, 2011.

  1. Dear James,
    I am currently a student teacher who has been for in excess of 13 interviews for teaching jobs, nearly always coming second (and actually being told that).
    Personally I have had a very difficult time recently, I am a carer for elderly relatives one of whom has recently died and another who has mental health issues. I attended the funeral of one of my relatives this week. The funeral affected me really badly and I took a few days out of school to help me deal with the worst of it. I was struggling to cope with everything and really didn't know which way was up and which way was down.
    During this time I was offered an interview, which I felt that I needed to go to given the large number of unsuccessful interivews I had been to, despite not being over my current difficulties. The interview was for a permenant position at the school. My lesson did not go very well, but I was still taken through to interview. The school seemed nice and the staff in the department were lovely. I was interviewed. They appointed 2 people and I am not sure the specifics of the other persons offer. I was offered the job and told that I would also have to do some teaching at the other school in the federation (this was not mentioned until I was offered at job and had asked about the connection between the schools during the day). I was asked for my answer and I accepted the job.
    I have been so out of it with everything going on at home that I did not ask any questions about what this actually means for me. I spent the whole interview day at the school that I applied to and the department that I thought I was joining. I did not meet anyone from the other school, not the head of department or the head teacher of that site. I have never even been inside the other school.
    As I was driving home all of these questions came into my mind- particularly, as an NQT next year who would be responisble for supporting me, which department I would be with and how would it work given the distance between the sites. Given the schools are for most thing very seperate and by their nature very different schools, I became concerned about whether I would get on with the staff at the other school. After the relatively short drive home I was so worried about what I'd agreed to that I was in tears. This really annoyed my friends who are so happy that Ive finally gotten a job, but I am just so worried about whether I made the right decision, particularly at a time when my ability to make decisions has been so compromised by my emtional state.
    I know that I should have asked these questions at the time, and given time to think about the situation I would have been able to think through the implications but I did not have time. I am also aware that there are serious negative implications if I were to changing my mind.
    What can I do?
  2. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    Obviously i'm not James but I think you need to calm down a bit and not let yourself run away with these thoughts. You have seen the school, been offered and accepted a job - this is good! From what you have said it does not sound like the teaching at the other school in the federation will be a regular thing, so dont bog yourself down worrying about it - the bulk of your working life will be spent at a school you liked.

    It sounds like you are feeling quite anxious and this is making you over analyse the situation and start to panic! Try not to, you are (nearly) qualified, you are capable and by September you will probably feel a lot better about it all.

    Also, there is nothing to stop you ringing the school with a few questions. You could even ask if they would mind you making a visit to the federation partner to put your mind at ease.
  3. Board jumping! I'm a HoD at a secondary school and I am going to try and give you some practical advice.
    1) Ring the school and ask for a day you can go in and meet everyone again. Ask specifically on the phone to talk to or be given the email of the person in charge of mentoring NQTs. Organise this day off with Uni or your current placement. Do some observations, collect information, ask questions on this day about the work, about the timetable, about the kids etc. Make sure you spend some time with the NQT mentor/tutor you will be working with.
    2) On this day, ask your HoD and the NQT mentor about the federation school. Figure out how much time you're expected to be there, what to expect, how this will fit in with the NQT standards etc.
    3) Organise an hour or so to visit the federation school.
    4) Take a deep breath and be happy you've got a job. You obviously liked the school enough to accept the job and you mustn't go looking for problems - there are enough problems to deal with without imagining them before they happen. It'll make you feel bad!
    I would always recommend visiting a school before you start a job anyway. It will give you confidence and make you feel less overwhelmed on the first day. Give the job a term and see how you feel. It might very well turn out brilliantly!
    Good luck.
  4. Hi
    Jobseeking can be very demoralising. Remember that the interview is a two way process and as well as them liking you , you must also like the school. If this post is in another school in the federation (and these are becoming more common) then do ask for further meetings and a chance to view the workplace. That is nbot unreasonable and the school should be very welcoming over this.
    You have made a big decision and I'm guessing that this is in part what's weighing on your mind. But be positive there are many who have not secured a post yet. IF and it is a big IF the job is not right for you then, given that you haven't met the staff or seen the school you could talk about a change of heart over the post - but you have to be prepared for them to be upset.
    I think that if you visit and see the staff your perspective may change.

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