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Dear Theo - Any advice for an NQT with a dilemma?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by dav1970, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. dav1970

    dav1970 New commenter

    Dear Theo
    I'm in an unusual situation. I'm an NQT at an outstanding school in a challenging area with very high standards and perma-staff who are working at the top of their tree. I'm doing okay and have held my own this past 6 months or so. I love my job but you always have to be working to a high standard and never let them drop.
    I'm only on a year contract and have no idea if I will be offered a contract but I am assuming that I will. The school isn't local, 30-40 mins drive away so it's an early start for me. I'm a dedciated dad and rarely see my children Mon-Fri.
    An opportunity may be coming up at a school very local to me, literally 5 minutes away. I've worked there before. The standards aren't as high as where I am at now (I know this because I worked there in my GTP year) however, I'm led to believe things are changing. I also believe they would appreciate new staff who are open to new ideas as well as pushing them.
    Regardless of all that, I'm very ambitious. I came into teaching late and I want to be senior staff sooner rather than later no matter how delusioned that may sound. The opportunities at my current school are few and far between. The deputy will be the next head and all leader positions are taken. At my local school, staff are close to retirement and there are tangible things to go for in the coming years for an ambitious new teacher.
    So this is my dilemma. If and when the situation does arrive, what on earth do I do? If I do get offered a contract in my current school and decisions haven't been made at the other, am I in a situation to request time to think it over or is it courtesy to simply accept? Sorry for the ramble.

    Yours
    D

     
  2. dav1970

    dav1970 New commenter

    Dear Theo
    I'm in an unusual situation. I'm an NQT at an outstanding school in a challenging area with very high standards and perma-staff who are working at the top of their tree. I'm doing okay and have held my own this past 6 months or so. I love my job but you always have to be working to a high standard and never let them drop.
    I'm only on a year contract and have no idea if I will be offered a contract but I am assuming that I will. The school isn't local, 30-40 mins drive away so it's an early start for me. I'm a dedciated dad and rarely see my children Mon-Fri.
    An opportunity may be coming up at a school very local to me, literally 5 minutes away. I've worked there before. The standards aren't as high as where I am at now (I know this because I worked there in my GTP year) however, I'm led to believe things are changing. I also believe they would appreciate new staff who are open to new ideas as well as pushing them.
    Regardless of all that, I'm very ambitious. I came into teaching late and I want to be senior staff sooner rather than later no matter how delusioned that may sound. The opportunities at my current school are few and far between. The deputy will be the next head and all leader positions are taken. At my local school, staff are close to retirement and there are tangible things to go for in the coming years for an ambitious new teacher.
    So this is my dilemma. If and when the situation does arrive, what on earth do I do? If I do get offered a contract in my current school and decisions haven't been made at the other, am I in a situation to request time to think it over or is it courtesy to simply accept? Sorry for the ramble.

    Yours
    D

     
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    To me there are a number of points.
    Firstly as a 'dedicated dad' you will want to be in<u> </u><u>employment</u> providing for your family.
    This dilemma ' if and when the situation does arrive' may <u>not</u> happen so don't try getting too far ahead of yourself.
    So you need to go see your current Head & ask (politely of course) if your current post would be available next year? If the answer is yes, you need to ask yourself if 'a bird in the hand' (ie an actual job) is better than a 'possiblity' (your words) which may or may not turn into reality.
    [By the by, I once heard a Head say everyone should have one 'challenging' school on their profile to prove themselves,so I wouldn't worry too much about standards at another school (they also may be higher than you think;should you actually work there)]
    Your present school.The situation is not 'set in stone'. The deputy may not be the next Head, leadership staff may move & open up possibilities, who knows what the future may hold?
    So really your dilemma seems to boil down to should you just accept a job at your present school, should it be offered or hold out for some future possible post? I think the answer's obvious. Plus you could always answer with a proviso that should an opportunity with greater responsibility arise at a different school, before the resignation date of May 31st, in the intersts of your career you would like to feel free to apply. The answer you receive may well leave you better informed
    Sorry for the ramble. Hope what I've said makes sense. (I'm in the middle of an application myself at the moment & have my head full of other thoughts!)
     
  4. I agree with Lara's advice but think that if you accept a job offer at your school for next year you should see yourself as committed out regardless of what else comes up. You'll only be in your second year next year which is plenty of time to get posts of responsibility. Friends/former colleagues of mine who are now HTs (this is in primary, I'd add) normally got a TLR post for their third year.
    If you are ambitious you have to be willing to move schools anyway - you can't rely on vacancies arising at your present school. Experience of more than one school may well be in your favour when you apply for leadership posts.

     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Which school do you wish to work in? If you were offered both on the same day, which would you accept?
    I think that you need to make this decision first.
    If your decision is that you would prefer the current one, because you can learn an awful lot being in an outstanding school, then you need to speak to someone - Head or Deputy - and say that you are concerned that you may be unemployed in September and are therefore applying for other jobs. This may move them to offer you the permanent post, if they are very keen on you.
    If your decision is that you would prefer the other one, but do not wish to be unemployed with no job (i.e. keep open the possibility of the current school), then you need to speak to someone - Head or Deputy - and say that for reasons of professional development (NOT ease of transport) you are applying to the other school, although you really do appreciate working here. This may move them to offer you the permanent post, if they are very keen on you, with perhaps a possibility of some development opportunities.
    However, what you can't do in education - although you probably could in your previous career - is apply without this school knowing. You have to tell the Head before you being applying elsewhere, as s/he will be called on to give a reference. And no, you can't give all references outside this current school, and no you can't ask them not to contact referees until they offer you the job.
    You can try asking for a day or two to think it over, but they are not going to be very pleased about that. And certainly NOT going to wait until you get called for interview elsewhere, have the day off, then come back and say: Sorry chaps - I've got another job.
    Sorry if you haven't had the answer that you wanted. But staffing prospects can change fast - suppose the Deputy moves to another school, as do one or two other leaders? (By the way, to say "all leader positions are taken" is a bit weird - of course they are! In every school!). Movement can always happen.
    Best wishes
    ______________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    E-mail Julia on advice@tsleducation.com for how to book a meeting with me personally.
    Look forward to seeing you!
     
  6. dav1970

    dav1970 New commenter

    Hi All
    Thanks for all of your responses, they make an awful lot of sense. I now have much to think about and will continue working hard and seeing what time brings.
    Theo, with reference to the 'all management positions are taken' quote, what I meant to say was that people in those positions will, or I think will, be there for a long time as it is not the type of school where people leave in a hurry.
    Kindest Regards
    D
     

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