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Experienced, so-called 'outstanding' - I can't get another job! Help!

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by NewAst, May 20, 2017.

  1. NewAst

    NewAst New commenter

    This is such a tragic story and I really am desperate. I was an AST and Year 6 teacher until my LEA stopped the funding. Then I tried for Deputy Head at my own school, but when I didn't get it, I realised it was time to move on. This was after 12 years, I might add. After much effort (we're a small authority), I moved to the LEA next door and got a deputy headship at an inner city school with a headteacher who was turning the place around (the deputy had been there for over 20 years, and was ofrced to leave for personal reasons). Little did I know what I was getting into. It was clear within two weeks that the head disliked me personally and wanted the assistant head to have the post instead. After a term and a half of intense, constant criticism and bullying, I walked out (and into the arms of my very supportive union). Luckily, I received full pay until August and a reference. I took the first job I was offered for September - it was maternity leave cover, but I loved the school and they claimed they were big enough that chances were they would give me a permanent post in Sept. I was happy. But at Easter, the news came that the budget was being squeezed and I had better start searching again. So I have. Last week, I had two interview (with lesson observations and tasks, etc. etc.). Both times my lessons were praised as outstanding. The teaching job went to an NQT - the school said I'd be an attribute to any school but they really felt I'd be great in management. The second, an assistant headship, said I didn't sound like I'd be assertive enough with staff if they refused to comply to rules. Now the job listings have petered out. I think I'm too expensive to be just a teacher, but clearly not good enough to be management. Where on earth do I go from here? I love teaching and I don't want to retire!
  2. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Why are you saying you can't get another job? What a strange conclusion to come to after only two interviews. surely it takes more than that on average, and in some cases many more!
    Pomz, Trendy Art and cb324 like this.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    There are still lots of jobs going - over 200 positions on my county website this morning - it's not like it used to be.

    However I do think you might find it difficult to get interviewed for standard teaching jobs having been in management but who knows in this day and age.

    I thought I was too old to change jobs three years ago but it turns out I wasn't.
  4. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    There will be many jobs after 31st May so that could give you some choice.

    You will be able to start in September when those applying but in post won't be able to give enough notice.

    Your face will fit somewhere, you just haven't found where yet.

    Good luck searching and let us know when you get a new post.:)
    dunnocks likes this.
  5. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    I've written a long post as I have been what you've gone through, @NewAst. So, I hope it's useful.

    Dunnocks is absolutely right. The interview process for assistant head alone takes a few goes. I should know having had three of them in the last three weeks.

    Practise the questions that are your Achilles heel with someone and see how you come across a leader (or not!). Get a friend, family or especially a SLT colleague to give honest feedback to you (I had some brutal advice I didn't want to hear but was game-changing!!). Reflect on what you learned. Try these:
    • How do you come across - yes you can teach outstanding lessons - but what is the impact you have on others?
    • How do you get colleagues on board?
    • How do you hold colleagues to account?
    • How do you manage a difficult member of staff?
    Changing jobs is stressful, no two ways about it, so your confidence is understandably low. You have 12 years experience, you do have the management capability - and now the challenge is to present yourself to a bunch of strangers in a new school with the practice you have in the most positive way possible. Tell good, engaging stories that show how you turned situations around to impact on the students.

    Make a one page mind map with examples of your success. It lifted my mood to see where I experienced success in my career and reminded me I was being shortlisted with good reason. See: https://www.tes.com/news/blog/using-mind-mapping-interviews

    As an AST - you're a teaching hero - tell a story about how you changed someone so they changed their practice - how did they respond to you? What changed within them?

    For now, yes the teacher transfer window is shutting, but I had my first SLT interview three years ago. I've been through interviews with internal candidates, "knows someone at the school", or had feedback where I'd like to stick a paper bag over my head. It's not that I was bad per se - it's I wasn't right for that school. Keep going next academic year, if need be.

    I went to gain more experience and examples to tell in those interview panels - showing I am someone who the school can work with, learns and can motivate others.

    And, thankfully, I finally got that post last week.

    Give yourself time, try not to be too hard on yourself. In time, you will get a job to remind you why it is better than all of the others.
    Pomz and dunnocks like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

  7. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    get an agency to do the searching for you, has worked for me twice, spread over 5 years or so. far far less stressful in every way and they matched me to suitable jobs before going, thus not wasting my time on a day when they only wanted NQTs anyhow!
  9. WildKyogre

    WildKyogre New commenter

    If it makes you feel better, I've been sending off job applications since February and am only being called for interview for the third time next week.
    As the deadline for September approaches, schools are becoming a lot less picky. Now is definitely prime-time to apply!

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