At the risk of over sharing, I just wondered if there are any mid forties teachers out there who have done a long stint in one job, then left, shall we say, rather quickly, and then are finding it very hard indeed to get a job? In fact, just feeling very depressed as as if they have gate crashed their own career? It must be my teaching that is stopping me secure posts, but how am I supposed to update it in time? The whole culture and expectations of education has altered entirely. It's as if I speak French and everyone else speaks Swahili with a special local accent. I keep getting shortlisted for top schools, then bombing. Recently, a good post at an Academy. The Academy feedback was very helpful...apparently I didn't ensure that I invoked all the kids in my opening section of a twenty minute lesson. Yes, twenty. I had decided not to do much of a starter so I could power on to the main bit. I did an inventive differentiated task which came straight out of one of those good new books on talkless teaching...that they liked. But eveything I did, they disliked. Other fail lessons include providing too much material for the kids to get through. Oh dear! Time was, you went in, delivered, yes, did talk a lot, gave the kids tasks as well, but led from the front. It just doesn't seem like this any more. I cannot tell you how demoralising it is. A dentist can move to another dentistry job fairly easily. They are not grilled and asked frankly stupid domdom questions like 'what book would you like to take to your desert island', and 'now tell me about your worst lesson.' I am fast losing respect for the profession because all my experience is being discounted...a bit like the trend for younger cheaper staff. Plus I am really rubbish at executive summaries. I do them ok, and am getting shortlisted, but have discovered, to my cost, that ONE stupid error ensures the rejection of the entire application, which, let's be honest, I have had to squeeze in between work and a pig of a commute. I know I should check every syllable, but I am frankly not used to such big and self promoting documents, I am applying for lots of jobs, and it is so easy to miss a reference to a school from your last application. Agh! This is why, I feel, the older system of a covering letter was better. Less bull, less risk of glaring errors! Things have hit rock bottom today when I was told mid morning that I needn't stay as I'd been sifted out. Just feel that I am being fired out of my own profession by those 'in the know' who know all the new dance steps whereas I still have the old moves, am developing arthritis, and cannot afford a new teacher. Schools seem ageist and intolerant places now. I didn't get asked to stay at my current temp contract post, which went to an Oxbridge 'ever so exceptional' external. Turns out there was an executive summary stuff up there too, which infuriated my current employers. Who I have to work with till July, knowing that they have essentially rejected me. This is threatening to trigger my reactive depression. It has now started to grind me down. I just do not understand why I am suddenly seen as so poor when I held down a full time career and enjoyed it for years. I suppose that by their standards, I am ****. Which makes me feel really, really ****.