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Disastrous Job Applications

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by the hippo, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    "Honesty is my greatest strength. And I will admit that when I get angry, I do hit the children"
    Said in an interview by one of my favourite people!
  2. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Lucky kiddies if they're only in for a battering. He threatened to shoot me. Then he decided to run over me with his JCB.I wish he'd make his 'mind' up.
  3. Wonder if those posts can be found.
    I never kept my death threat - can't remember if it was a gun or a running over. Maybe bare hands....
  4. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    RhianLouise. I do sympathize with your situation. I have been in your position waiting for a reply that never came. I can only suggest that you closely follow the advice given in this thread. At least, you will be sure that your application does not do you a disservice. In addition, I would recommend that you review your references to make sure that they are all positive. I recently heard through the grapevine that a good friend was rejected for a position because of a very negative reference. I do not think that he deserves such a reference and have warned him. One does need to be careful in this regard. Also, as a NQT, you should be quite flexible in your choice of schools. The competition for the leading schools in desirable locations can be intense. Many of us got our starts in less salubrious climes and schools. A quick review of this site will give you access to some interesting stories (search Nigeria for example). We paid our dues. Mind you, I am not encouraging you to apply for schools that are unprofessional and/or unethical, rather that you should consider school/locations that are not, perhaps, your first choice. Finally, it might not even be you. So many factors go into hiring a new staff member. Many times it can be a simple as there is a teaching couple competing with you, one of whom, for example, teaches a hard to fill position (IB Higher Level Physics and Further Level Math) and whose partner, with some adjustment, can do an adequate job of teaching your subject. This happens all too frequently (except for the part of finding an IB HL Physics/FL Math combo).
    I am, however, a bit surprised that none of the 30 schools you applied to have even sent you a rejection letter. I my opinion, that does not give a favorable impression of the professionalism of those schools. Perhaps, you are better off not in them. I am, admittedly, a bit sensitive to this, having not received replies myself, albeit never in such numbers as you. This might be a new trend in educational administration, but I do not think it gives a good impression of the institution. Since, I am now in a new school which wants to establish a good reputation, I try to respond to every letter of application, even to the mass emails or the Mr. Bongo Wongos (see above in this thread). It might even be a terse "Dear Applicant" ending with "I shall follow you future career with considerable interest", but still I send something.
    I encourage you to keep trying.

  5. I haven't read the whole thread but - have you tried agencies? And as Arepa says, stay away from NIgeria!
  6. No go on. Apply for a job in Nigeria. I dare you.
  7. Don't! It can send you a bit, well you know....unwell upstairs.
    How long were you there for OG?
  8. Just over the weekend.[​IMG]
  9. It was plenty.[​IMG]
  10. Its been a while since I have had the benefit of reading the wise words of PP but have to admit that the comments about the word *** ...well PP they were truly pearls of wisdom!!! And at the risk of bringing something off topic it reminded me of a story I think I read in a newspaper back in the UK a few years ago.
    An American firm made somewhat funky and jazzy wheelchairs for the sportier person wishing to have a lightweight set of wheels. They also had a gimmick by naming all their products ( think along the lines of Raleigh bikes and their Chopper) . They were so successful that they wished to break into the UK and European market and so designed a special limited edition wheelchair to mark the occasion Unfortunately they did not really sell very well as they named it the Spazz!
    Apart from wanting to tell you of this tale, I also wanted to say that the advice on this post has been super. Apart from the idea that schools will try to reply to all applicants which in this day and age I find hard to believe. This is partly due to the fact that most applications will end in the round filing cabinet located at the side of the desk, and simply because right now the volume of applications can be too diffiucult to deal with.
    The other issue I have a bit of a problem with is the idea that schools cannot provide all applicants with some infomration on packages they offer and the cost of living. It would only take a couple of hours to do so and would always be appreciated ... perhaps showing the applicant who has taken a lot of time and effort in tailoring their application for your post , that you care as well.
    Oh AND understand what they are going through when applying for a school 1000s of miles away from home, despite reading your web site which may or may not be suitable for teachers
  11. Sorry that should be Foney P rather than PP ... told you it has been a while [​IMG]
  12. Well said! As the principal of an international school, I receive many, many unsolicited e-mail applications from people who are guilty of all of the above, as well as glaring spelling errors in their cover letters .But the biggest nuisance is applications for positions for which the applicant is most oviously totally unsuited in terms of academic training and experience.
  13. But I have also found out that when I'm applying for jobs both in the UK and overseas that say A level teaching experience is preferable, but not essential that I am not getting shortlisted. How is someone meant to gain experience teaching A level if no one will cut them a break?

    I have met and exceeded every other criterion they required and my current head has cleared my letter and been asked for references a few times, however, nothing has come from it. She has shown me the references she says she's given me.

    I know overseas schools may not want to take risks, but then why put that as a non essential trait if it isn't really the case. uK schools aren't helping me either.
  14. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    What drives me to distraction are not the applications from teachers trying to jump to A Level or the IB in their subject area, but rather the Ph.D in English Literature, with no experience, who wants to teach Kinder or the gentleman with a certificate in Hotel Management who wants to try his hand at 1st grade teaching.

    I do not know the details of your situation or to what schools you are applying. My advice, for what it is worth, would be to open up your search options to schools and locations in the second and, perhaps, third tier (please research them carefully). Many international educators (peruse the posts on this site) have gotten their starts in less desirable schools and countries (I worked in Nigeria, which says it all). We earned credibility to future employers by demonstrating our flexibility, ability to adjust, and sense of humour. In addition, by working the international circuit you make useful contacts and can acquire good references from you SMT. Both your contacts and your SMT can often put in a good word for you. I have done so, quite successfully, in the past by personally contacting former colleagues and friends to put in a good word for a deserving teacher.

  15. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Also, if an open position prefers but does not require A level experience, that means exactly what it says. If 7 credible applicants have A level experience, then (unfortunately for you) applicants without experience fall to the bottom of the pile. A school simply isn't likely to hire someone without experience if someone with experience is available, assuming everything else is equal.
    So, two options. 1) Get into a school which has A level, but you accept a position that doesn't involve A level. Prove yourself, and when an A level course needs a teacher, get an internal reassignment. Schools are more likely to take a chance when they know the teacher.
    2) Make yourself more valuable by getting skilled in some rare area. It doesn't have to be HL Chemistry, not even a course of any kind. Maybe you can be an expert in the use of technology to enhance learning, and you'd be willing, eager even, to assist future colleagues in this area. If you look like you COULD teach A level, and you have some fantastic skill set the school really needs, your application will look much better next to the experienced A leveler who does nothing else but who in other circumstances would get the job.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  16. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Many people will be glad you admitted point 5!
  17. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    I read a statistic recently that said men will apply for jobs that they are only 60% qualified for and women will mostly only apply for jobs they are 100% qualified for. Do you feel this is, in general, the case?
  18. schmedz

    schmedz Occasional commenter

    Do check when you apply that the school is willing to employ a NQT, as many will expect a minimum of 2 or 3 years teaching experience before considering you. You can be the best NQT in the world, but without a track record of managing your own classroom, certain schools will not look at you.
    It is not unusual for schools to fail to send any sort of rejection/acknowledgement of application, particularly ones that receive 100s of applications. Try not to take it personally,and if there is a job you're really keen on, don't be shy to get in touch and ask for feedback (though this may also be ignored or take some time to receive).
    Best to focus on some UK experience first before venturing abroad - the sort of international school that would accept an inexperienced teacher may not well be the sort of environment in which you'd like to work anyway!
    Good luck.
  19. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I logged on this madrugada to find I had received a 'like' on this thread from the past. A brief browsing served to illustrate how radically the forum has changed. Backalong we were permitted to spice the useful tips with (mostly) amiable banter. Nowadays I feel Nanny perched on my shoulder whenever I post. What happened to Foney Pharaoh? Où sont les neiges d'antan?

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