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How did you know your school was right for you?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by 11eggos, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. 11eggos

    11eggos New commenter

    Hi all,
    I’m looking to change schools. I jumped into the first school that gave me an interview and offer. I knew it wasn’t the school for me when I started but kept sticking it out. I feel now it’s affecting my own health and I need a change.
    However, I was just wondering how you know it’s the school for you. Do you get a ‘feeling’ or is it more than that.
    I don’t want to make the same mistake I’ve made before but I feel it’s hard to really know how a school is to work for just
  2. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    You absolutely know if it's not right for you. I got that feeling once and ignored it. Worst time of my career possible.

    You don't exactly KNOW it's the school for you because anything can change in a heartbeat, but you should be able to see yourself really living the school's values and working with the head effectively. If you get a bad feeling about the head or something they say, it's not for you.
    Catsoup and Slave1138 like this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No idea...I've always gone for the first school to offer me a post when I started applying
    None have been dreadful when I've arrived, but some have had a change of head or similar and then become something not for me.

    Do staff smile and greet the head when he walks your round on a visit? If they do so genuinely, then it's probably a nice place to work.

    Actually I have withdrawn from interviews a couple of times when it clearly wasn't the school for me. Once there were three applicants for my post and two for a different one interviewing on the same day. All five of us withdrew at the same point for the same reason.
  4. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I dont think you really know until you work there. But the atmosphere of the school when you attend interview or look round should give hopefully you a clue .
  5. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Look more at the staff you'll be working with. Find out whether the SLT are experienced teachers, and do they seem to care about pupils and staff? When they give you the tour, do they stop and talk to pupils? Do they seem to know about staff?
    Mr P-while we're walking round, he stopped several pupils, asking some about issues, and saying to one to go to him later that day-asked a teacher if her baby's cold was better.
    Yes, he was a caring man, and staff and pupils wanted to work well for him.

    If an HT hadn't taught for years, and only spent a couple of years as a classteacher, I'd be wary.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Don’t jump at the first offer. You can tell before you are offered the job. Teachers might look miserable; the people interviewing you might be off or oddly aloof; the school itself might have graffiti all over the place; the school might even pressurise you to take the job or other alarm bells might ring.

    I have walked out of some interviews after alarm bells rang. Eg Another candidate specially flown in and expenses paid for ; a strange head teacher boasting that no one ever leaves; unhappy looking staff. Another big test of course is how open the school is to pay negotiation once they have offered you the job ...
    Slave1138 likes this.
  7. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Things can change quickly. What started as a bit of a nightmare when I first went back to work, changed to being the best time I had in my teaching career. The promotion that followed was not a good match but the money was good and i stayed for 13years. I didn't regret it - it was my job, not the only thing in my life. Of course it would have been better for me if I had fitted in better but frankly some of that was my own fault.
  8. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    I've been at my current school for 14 years, and in that time it has been very good and very bad. One (senior) member of staff can change an atmosphere for good or ill in a very short period of time. One cohort of children can do the same. I don't think there's a 'trick' that can tell you what a school is like - certainly not one that will work for next year...

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I did a supply day. Students held the door open for me and said ' Thank you' at the end of the lesson. I looked in vain for St. Peter in gratitude.
    That said, behaviour post lockdown has begun to deteriorate as the physical restrictions placed on students takes effect. I agree that on SLT member can throw the dynamic into disarray.
  10. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    What is it about the school that doesn't suit you? This experience will help you to know what to look out for in order to avoid it in other schools.

    There are lots of tips above about how to spot a school that's generally not a nice place to work... but a school can be perfectly pleasant and still not the place for you.
  11. Catsoup

    Catsoup New commenter

    Great question!
    Soooooexcited has said it all.
    sooooexcited likes this.

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