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Recruiting, 2012

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by SMT dude, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Good, so the chair of t'board, who was coming to see me today (gossip? pay rise? summary dismissal?) has cancelled - plenty of better things for him to do on a beautiful morning like this - and I have time to moan and whinge and bore for Ruritania.
    Many posters - most recently the oldgit, who raved about junkets and hookers - think that the recruiting trip is a frightfully jolly little excursion for those overpaid, incompetent and devious fat cats, school 'leaders'.
    Would it were so.
    This last time, RurAir boarded an hour after schedule, then blithely said we'd missed our 'slot' at Heathrow, which allowed passengers to get thoroughly familiar with the interior of the aircraft for another hour before taking off into a bouncy head wind. Fighting this for just under three hours before sighting the fairest isle, we settle into a holding pattern, the same green and pleasant expanse visible eight or nine times as we circle. Eventually thumping down on the remotest runway - possibly somewhere in Yorkshire - we taxi for an eternity. The stairs take a similar time to arrive, and once the buses are crammed full of people and noxious fumes they glide away on another tour of the tarmac, decanting us only a forced march of a kilometer or two from passport control, where the sullen automata at their desks are invisible behind line after snaking line of passengers. Beyond this maze, the baggage handlers have the case on the belt in less than half an hour. The Heathrow express (only Other Ranks travel by tube) is plagued by signal failure and takes forty-five minutes to Paddington. Its driver, a cheerful, well-spoken woman, says "Thank you for your patience" eleven times and "Please bear with us" eight times.
    After a ritual pause for powerful childhood memories at Padders, the tube cannot be avoided, and a brief third-world nightmare among litter, i-pods, junkies and tabloids brings me to a cut-price hotel, where the tiny room is not yet ready. The first interviewee will arrive at a nearby rented office in just a couple of hours.
    Over the next day-and-a-half, Brilliant Colleague and I see candidate after candidate. But the field is not strong. Where are all those miserable or unemployed but superb teachers when we want to offer them €33,000 per annum plus rent and lunch allowance to teach gorgeous children in a beautiful city? (No, don't get smart and ask about tax, or cost of living, or the imminent likelihood of the Euro being worth 2p)
    We evaluate our victims earnestly in short breaks between tricks. There is time, on the second evening, for a pie and a pint with Distinguished Younger Brother, also visiting London for work and also exhausted - but no bookshops, no opera, no panty-raid at M&S... and then the travel rigmarole begins again. Sunday morning sees us mailing offers to three lucky people. By Tuesday, two have grabbed this chance of a lifetime, but the Historian takes a full week of resolute silence to reject it, by which time the only other good candidate has also gone cold.
    As if that were not fun enough for one week, the same period sees a Mathematician announce that her husband has been posted to Borrioboola-Ga, and a Year Six colleague decide that his mid-life crisis involves leaving the profession. An English teacher continues to 'dither' about joining this motley exodus, so we'll have to commit a Crime Against Humanity by touting a vacancy that may not exist.
    We will now disburse another fortune on advertising and look shoddy into the bargain, for it is common knowledge that only fourth-tier schools recruit in April and only tenth-rate schools have so many posts at once. And another funpacked journey lies ahead.
    I did warn you it was boring.
     
  2. Bet you wish you'd stayed on the shop floor.....
     
  3. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    If our problems don't get sorted I'll be back there soon enough, teaching English and History as well as running the asylum.
     
  4. The moral of this story is never to fly Air Ruritania. I flew with them often enough both out of some perverse sense of loyalty to the country paying my wages at the time and because they went from the North of the country to Heathrow. Rarely were they on time and the cartoon Mr Bean which was the only in flight entertainment gave rise to murderous thoughts.
    SMT Dude- do you think the Euro woes are putting people off? My better half wasn't keen about me applying to a city where one the teams gained a creditable draw last night against the Barcelona globetrotters.
     
  5. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Much of a muchness, really, with Britain's Flagships plying the same route. Very slightly higher eye candy factor on the local airline, which is what this permanent adolescent seeks.
    Acho que sim, hitthecity, I do indeed.
    Oddly enough, although we expected everyone to ask about it, fewer than half of our candidates did so. Looking back, it was all the intelligent, employable ones, the ones we suspected might occasionally open a book or a newspaper, who did...
    I don't think economic misery is much more palpable here, or in the city your better half didn't fancy, than in the UK, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the European Project and its currency surviving. (Are you listening, Angela, mein schatz? Love ya, big girl, love ya!!)
    But the British media, quite properly concerned with telling their public that the garlic-grinding work-shy waankers of Southern Europe are having an even worse run than the Brummies, have been painting a picture which no doubt makes punters think twice.
    A shame, because the school I represent, and the one (if I'm correct) that tempted you in Città Calcio are splendid places to work, and if they ever go under, the whole of Europe is definitively fottuta.
     
  6. I think, if some of the media reports are to be taken seriously, that potential staff are probably worried about their overpaid neo-colonialist heads being paraded through the streets on spikes by the campones (no accents easily found on this English keyboard).
    Incidentally, I have just spent my lunchtime speaking to a pleasant Ruritanian supply teacher (certainly the first I can remember) who has had to flee to try and find work along with the rest of the huddled masses in London . She's covering French for a few weeks (as she's foreign and the Ruritanians are quite good with languages...).
     
  7. Reading your posts really makes me smile... Very selfishly I hope a lot of good schools are in your situation... I thought I had a job for next year but now it seems I probably won't so only starting to look now (which makes me look like one of the rubbish candidates who have not been able to find a job before...)
     
  8. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Haha, that would certainly be worth travelling out to watch!
    Transatlantic traffic to the land of 'order and progress' has also been brisk, I'm told.
    The Ruritanians as well as being good at languages have always travelled cheerfully in search of betterment. Come to that, so have the Brits - so wake up, everyone!
     
  9. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Well look at our ad and see if we have something for you. But wait until tomorrow when I hope they will have sorted out the complete mess they had made of it when last I looked.
    'When sorrows come, they come not single spies...'
     
  10. Sitting in the Business Lounge of Paradiso airport, The Dude reached for his blackberry to send out a few messages.
    Firstly, he had to ensure that his favourite boutique hotel had laid in his favourite brand of baby oil and that Priscilla and Mai Tai would both be available for the next couple of days.
    Secondly, he had to tell his old pal from Dumbshert Pagnell, that in return for giving him his first handlift up the ladder, he would of course be employing his son and heir, but would he please not make this public as he needed a few days 'recruiting' to make the whole thing kosher.
    Lighting a fine Havanna - a gift from a hopeful applicant - from the hopeful applicant's hand written, flawless, no spelling mistakes, application form he congratulated himself on how wonderful he was.
    Next he called Mr Smeagol Ph.D (Failed), his ever faithful Deputy and reminded him that he would like the whole set of policies and procedures revised by the staff before he got back and that should there be any difficulties with the staff over this, he should remind them of his generosity in allowing them to bring in cushions to kneel on during morning briefings.
    'Honestly,' he thought to himself. 'The ingratitude of the people I employ is truly saddening. Why, I haven't had a hickey on my a&rse for nearly a week now. Just what is the middle management coming to?'
    Feeling a bulge in his trousers, he stroked lovingly the bundle of Euro notes that a grateful oligarch had handed to him just the other day for the 'development fund' and wondered if his villa in the South of France could plausibly be hidden in the accounts as the school's outdoor education centre. A quick phone call to Mr. Ivan T. Terriblovsky, the Chairman of Governors confirmed that it could be - as long as it wasn't built too near the environmental education centre (which mere mortals knew as 'the yacht').
    The blackberry was deployed again, this time to ensure the integrity of the admissions process; it did seem a little retrograde to insist on an ability to speak a language, count or address a teacher as anything other than 'Oy! Serf!' as really firm criteria for new students. "Yes," he thought, feeling the bundle of assorted currencies in his other pocket. "That sort of selection is really something that we, as an academic top-tier, first division school ought to look at again. How on earth will we ever attract the truly corrupt if we go on insisting on things like...well...standards?"
    This was a difficult question and a hard one to answer. Fortunately, his mobile internet allowed him to download one from somewhere. Without reading it, he forwarded it to Mr.Smeagol with the instruction that all staff were to have it be heart by monday.
    Or he would have to go on a recruiting trip again.
     
  11. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Wonderful stuff, oldgit - it is never too late too re-invent oneself and I will try to live up to this, as soon as possible.
     
  12. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    such as
     
  13. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Funny - could have sworn that earlier today there was a post from sidinz drawing embarrassing attention to the number of vacant posts in a certain country.
    Was it pulled to spare our blushes? Or does the very word Ruritania now strike terror into human hearts?
    No need. Neither school is in crisis, and the country is shouldering its burden stoically. And unlike some nations, we have no recent tradition of righteously slaughtering each other.
    Why, last time we had to go to her office and show our Daily Report Card to headmistress Angela, she graciously wrote "B(+), some signs of progress." on it.
     
  14. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Strange. I also seem to recall such a post. Something along the lines of Ruritania having 10 positions going and some establishment changing its leadership.
    Somebody, somewhere, seems to be worried about people being able to read the jobs section and realising that if two schools in the same country with the same name and the same address advertise positions then they are probably the same school.
    How bizarre.

     
  15. "I say Mai Tai," said the Dude reclining on the red silk sheets. "Do you have any...er...professional contacts over in Ruritania. I thought we might send Mr.Smeagol a present."
    She thought a moment.
    "No - scratch that," said the Dude decisively. "We'll send him a spelling mistake. He'll like that better. Falls for it evry time."
     
  16. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    "Look here, Mai Tai", said the Dude, brushing the lapels of his charcoal Calvin Klein hand-finished wool suit, a gift he had earned by writing a ToK essay for the son of the chairman of FC Foulplay Ruritania, "I mean to say I'm getting awfully fond of you, you know."
    "You're... you're really just exactly the kind of young lady my mother and my housemaster told me to avoid, but dash it all I just, I really don't seem... I can't get enough of you, that's what it is..."
    Mai Tai's black eyes, hair and nails gleamed inscrutably from the rumpled red sheets. The colours combined with her pearl necklace and flawless cinnamon skin to play unbearably on the jaded senses of the Dude, who turned away from her to the mirror, confronting his flushed countenance and greying hair.
    "Mai Tai... dear ... would you come back with me? To Ruritania? I can find you a lovely apartment between the marina and the shopping centre, and we..."
    "Wulitania no good," interrupted the princess, her habitual purr almost a snarl. "Poor people there same-same Mai Tai country. Earn eurlo-money no good. Dude come to Wondon, Mai Tai love him big long time, big big pound sterwing. Mai Tai no go no way Luwitania."
    The bedside telephone bleeped discreetly. Before the Dude could move, Mai Tai's exquisite hand swept it to her beautiful ear.
    "Room 101?" Reception here. There's a Mrs Dude on the line, I'll put her straight through..."
     
  17. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Nope.
    Nothing at all to do with the Owner/Head/Principal/Chair of Governors of any school having any concerns about the number of posts being advertised, worrying that people would assume that these were the sort of schools where staff just upped and left.
    Although they might be of course.
    [​IMG]
    But everything to do with the fact that the posts included a specific piece of information that would enable an individual school to be identified immediately. Remember that bit from Gail at the top of the Forum?
    Sorry, we can't allow any references to individual schools, colleges or agencies - or their staff - whether by name, or identifiable by a pseudonym or any other means, as we have no way of verifying the information. If you see any such postings, please click on ‘Report abuse’ and we will delete them.
    And it wasn't a request for deletion from the Owner/Head/Principal/Chair of Governors.
    It was from me.
    [​IMG]
    I asked the TES team to review it to see if it broke T&C, they decided that it did, and deleted.
    If they had thought that I was just being an interfering old busybody of a retired Headteacher who should go back to preparing my part-time teaching in now-strike-free Andalucia, then they wouldn't have deleted it.
    [​IMG]
    You don't have to be too much of an amateur Sherlock Holmes to identify quite a few people or their school; even Dr Watson could manage it sometimes.
    But this was just a bit too obvious!
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     
  18. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    P.S.
    Dude - will you remind Mai Tai about next week's booking please?
    Thanks.
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     
  19. I love this. [​IMG] Nice one Dude! A true text to entertain.
    Ole tú Sr Griff! I wish I had thought of doing that.
     
  20. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Booking Mai Tai for next week, you mean?
    [​IMG]
    She's probably exhausted after the Dude . . .
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     

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