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Sitting on applications for months

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by David Getling, May 10, 2011.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    I've recently been chasing up, by phone, some schools that have had positions [that I applied for] advertised for months. An explanation from one was that they had a teacher who just couldn't make up his mind whether he wanted to leave or not. However, I got the strong impression that others were just going to sit for MONTHS on their applications - and I really didn't get the impression that it had anything to do with the quality of the applications. I don't think they had really started looking at them.

    So, how common is this practice? Surely such schools must realise that many applicants will have found another job by the time they get round to considering them. Is this a sign of a school one might be better avoiding?
     
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Established commenter Community helper

    As usual, some perceptive comments from Mr. Getling.
    The real cause of the problem is, I suspect, what I have in front of me right now: a laptop computer. The widespread use of computers and applications by e-mail have had a radical effect on how international teachers apply for jobs. So many teachers are now adopting "the shotgun method" to applying for a new teaching job that it is not surprising that so many schools are receiving hundreds and hundreds of applications. How do school principals then process all of these applications, even if we assume that they have nothing else to do with their time? Perhaps this explains why the "better" schools still prefer jobfairs and / or face-to-face interviews.
     
  3. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    I may have mentioned Application Forms before, much to the disgust of some folk. It has made a huge difference to the quality of applications I review as the lesser mortals automatically tend to exclude themselves.
    I have to do a third round of recruitment soon due to larger than expected numbers, and have found the AF method with face to face interviews has been very successful at finding very good quality staff. My VP is fantastic and she was hired by me via AF and F2F.
    As to David's problems in finding the right response to his applications, I believe it has been mentioned on these forums before that you need to consider tendencies in you employment record which will exclude you from the more popular schools. I advise going for a lesser school, at least in terms of pay, to strengthen your CV, then perhaps you'll have a more positive experience in future applications. Applicants dealing with me are clearly told about deadlines and that once deadlines are reached you should presume you haven't been successful if you haven't heard anything.
    I've never attended a job fair for my own employment needs and the one time I used one for recruitment for a school I was rather underwhelmed by the overall quality.
     
  4. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Well not disgust, more disbelief and disdain. Don't forget there are some real dinosaurs on here, and arrogant ones, too, the kind who smirk to themselves when they hear the phrase 'UK best practice'. Eejits.
    BUT
    NOW you're talking, Sir Alex (belated humble congratulations, by the way). If that is an effect of using AFs, then I'm listening, too. But how, exactly does that process work, this business of the AF deterring the second-rate as well as the sexually criminal? Is the application form written in French or Latin?
     
  5. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    One doesn't want to count chickens before they're hatched, but the likelihood of top spot is rather high.
    In and of itself is enough. Perhaps those who mock in disbelief or disdain should give it a go and see the difference a well written AF makes. Having begun my recruiting experiences using the old CV approach and then moving to AFs after my training, I saw a notable difference.
     
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    MM, you (deliberately?) misread my post. What I clearly said was that I got the impression that certain schools had been sitting for months on ALL the applications they received.

    I fully accept your explanation about any problems I might personally be experiencing with applications. However, really good mathematics teachers are hard to find. So, suppose someone told you they knew their subject inside out, could teach it very successfully at the highest level, and that kids really wanted to be taught by them. Don't you think it's a little perverse (maybe even negligent) to not even bother to make a quick telephone call to a referee in the same time zone?
    A couple of students on my intensive HL revision course are going to be asking their director of studies why their school didn't check me out, as they found me vastly better than their current teacher - makes you wonder what's important doesn't it.

    The AF method has been debated at length, but for those new to this forum let me give my take on it. You will certainly reduce the number of applicants. BUT, you will lose many good people who don't like to have their precious time needlessly wasted by some inconsiderate and inflexible head teacher. Maybe you think your VP is fantastic because when you say jump she asks how high, and if she should also shake a few pompoms.
     
  7. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Your ignorance is outstanding.
     

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