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Tough question: should I apply to this job?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by princesstulip, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. princesstulip

    princesstulip New commenter

    I feel very nervous asking about this - not sure I should even be considering it, feel guilty and I've seen that some people on here asking about similar things recently have had bad reactions. But here goes!
    (Will just point out in my defence that I'm only wondering about this, not going ahead already, I know it's probably a bad idea, just seeing if I can get some advice).
    I started a job just after Christmas. My first teaching job and permanent contract. I know this makes me VERY lucky. So I'm unappreciative and I don't mean to upset anyone still searching. I found the job hunt depressing and I'm happy to be teaching at all.
    This week just by chance I saw an advert for a teaching position at a school which I was actually interviewed by before being offered my job. Permanent position starting in September. The head told me that I was their 2nd choice at the interview before and said he would "consider me in the future".
    That was pretty much my dream school in terms of ethos, curriculum, standards, atmosphere, staff, location...
    There is nothing exactly wrong with my current school. Also I've only been there a few weeks! Hardly any time at all. In many ways they have been supportive and I really appreciate the help my NQT mentor gives me. However, I'm finding it hard to settle in. I'm not working in the key stage I prefer. It's already been made clear to me that movement between year groups is very rare there and favour is always given to longer-serving members of staff (it's a small primary school and most of the staff have been there 5 years or more and don't want to change year group). There seem to be a lot of underlying problems in the school, which are not discussed openly, but I know SLT are panicking about LA inspections and a pending Ofsted inspection. The message to all staff is to just get the basics done and worry about creativity and new ideas later on. The head is leaving at Easter and we haven't met her replacement yet.
    To get to my point finally (sorry!)... I'm starting to vaguely consider applying for this other job.
    I know a lot of people, especially going by recent posts as I said, will be horrified. The general consensus will likely be that I should be happy to have a job and should get on with it. The school are obviously expecting me to stay for some time as it's a permanent contract and most staff have been there for years. They have put extra money and time into my NQT induction and will undoubtedly be annoyed if it turns out not to be a longer term investment. As I said, I really appreciate my mentor and feel guilty even thinking about this.
    On the other hand...I just LOVED that other school and I'm almost certain (as certain as I can be without being psychic!) that given the chance I could develop my skills better there and enjoy my career more. I could tell from my time there (visits, interview day and a day of supply) that the atmosphere is totally different - creative, inspiring, friendly, supportive, strong values, open forum for ideas and discussion. It is Ofsted outstanding. The job is for my preferred key stage. I know from comparing with a friend that their LA NQT programme is of much better quality than mine (which seems to be having real issues). Another minor point, it is MUCH closer to home.
    Now, getting to the real questions:
    • Should I even be considering this? My school will be expecting me to stay for AT LEAST a year, so wanting to leave after only 2 terms (January to summer) seems very rude. I may turn out to be wrong about some things I'm worried about there now. Then again, just because of the difficult job climate, do I have to keep putting my own happiness and professional development second to the needs of my employer?
    • Is it likely that the head was just being polite when he said I was his 2nd choice and would "consider me in the future"? IF (and I mean IF) I decide to apply, would it be a good or ridiculous idea to contact him first to remind him who I am and ask if it's worth me applying?
    • Would the head of this other school think negatively about me wanting to apply so soon into a new permanent contract and part-way through my induction year? Or would he likely understand that it's because of how I feel about his school?



     
  2. princesstulip

    princesstulip New commenter

    I feel very nervous asking about this - not sure I should even be considering it, feel guilty and I've seen that some people on here asking about similar things recently have had bad reactions. But here goes!
    (Will just point out in my defence that I'm only wondering about this, not going ahead already, I know it's probably a bad idea, just seeing if I can get some advice).
    I started a job just after Christmas. My first teaching job and permanent contract. I know this makes me VERY lucky. So I'm unappreciative and I don't mean to upset anyone still searching. I found the job hunt depressing and I'm happy to be teaching at all.
    This week just by chance I saw an advert for a teaching position at a school which I was actually interviewed by before being offered my job. Permanent position starting in September. The head told me that I was their 2nd choice at the interview before and said he would "consider me in the future".
    That was pretty much my dream school in terms of ethos, curriculum, standards, atmosphere, staff, location...
    There is nothing exactly wrong with my current school. Also I've only been there a few weeks! Hardly any time at all. In many ways they have been supportive and I really appreciate the help my NQT mentor gives me. However, I'm finding it hard to settle in. I'm not working in the key stage I prefer. It's already been made clear to me that movement between year groups is very rare there and favour is always given to longer-serving members of staff (it's a small primary school and most of the staff have been there 5 years or more and don't want to change year group). There seem to be a lot of underlying problems in the school, which are not discussed openly, but I know SLT are panicking about LA inspections and a pending Ofsted inspection. The message to all staff is to just get the basics done and worry about creativity and new ideas later on. The head is leaving at Easter and we haven't met her replacement yet.
    To get to my point finally (sorry!)... I'm starting to vaguely consider applying for this other job.
    I know a lot of people, especially going by recent posts as I said, will be horrified. The general consensus will likely be that I should be happy to have a job and should get on with it. The school are obviously expecting me to stay for some time as it's a permanent contract and most staff have been there for years. They have put extra money and time into my NQT induction and will undoubtedly be annoyed if it turns out not to be a longer term investment. As I said, I really appreciate my mentor and feel guilty even thinking about this.
    On the other hand...I just LOVED that other school and I'm almost certain (as certain as I can be without being psychic!) that given the chance I could develop my skills better there and enjoy my career more. I could tell from my time there (visits, interview day and a day of supply) that the atmosphere is totally different - creative, inspiring, friendly, supportive, strong values, open forum for ideas and discussion. It is Ofsted outstanding. The job is for my preferred key stage. I know from comparing with a friend that their LA NQT programme is of much better quality than mine (which seems to be having real issues). Another minor point, it is MUCH closer to home.
    Now, getting to the real questions:
    • Should I even be considering this? My school will be expecting me to stay for AT LEAST a year, so wanting to leave after only 2 terms (January to summer) seems very rude. I may turn out to be wrong about some things I'm worried about there now. Then again, just because of the difficult job climate, do I have to keep putting my own happiness and professional development second to the needs of my employer?
    • Is it likely that the head was just being polite when he said I was his 2nd choice and would "consider me in the future"? IF (and I mean IF) I decide to apply, would it be a good or ridiculous idea to contact him first to remind him who I am and ask if it's worth me applying?
    • Would the head of this other school think negatively about me wanting to apply so soon into a new permanent contract and part-way through my induction year? Or would he likely understand that it's because of how I feel about his school?



     
  3. I have to say I'm not sure why you're so worried! You have more than enough time to give your notice if you did get it and if you dont you havent lost anything. I dont think he would say 'we would consider you in the future' if he didnt mean it as theres always the danger you would apply again! But no, I wouldn't ring as that might look odd. Just go for it and see what happens.
    You're not entirely happy and you're looking around. But you havent handed in your notice without a job to go to so I dont see why anyone would critise you and say you 'shouldnt be considering this'. Yes two terms is not long to stay but so what? They may be annoyed but, if your conduct is proffessional and you work hard, there's nothing they can do about it.
    There seems to be so many reasons to go for it and so few not to.
     
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Unlike Tills, I'm personally a bit wary of the phrase "You were our second choice" as it's all too easy a thing to say to someone to 'let them down lightly.
    I once heard it said, "Everyone should have at least one tough school on your resume" and commitment to staying at a school, even through difficulties, is itself a way of 'growing' as a teacher.
    Have you got a staff colleague who can help you decide if leaving too early on might cause problems with a 'less than favourable reference', in which case you might like to take that into account.
    However, should your Head be OK (and you are going to discuss your application with them aren't you? You don't want the first they hear of it to be when they are asked for a reference!) you can lose nothing by applying. At the very least it will be good practice for future applications, now you have gained some experience.
    Also be careful, how you pitch it to your Head. No-one likes to be considered 'second-best' and if you didn't get it, you'll be there a while!
     
  5. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I started a job in September, and I am starting a new one at Easter. The main reason for this is because of possible lack of security if we convert to an academy - on my letter - however I am so relieved as I just wasn't in love with the school. I found the staff very difficult indeed, and I didn't really take to many of the children.
    I applied for the job I've got now because I wanted a job - I got the job I'm starting at easter because I wanted that job: a small difference but a big one!
    I've been told I was second choice before - I know the Head meant it as he'd narrowed the field down to two of us from six but he went for the lady with more experience in the end (grr!) I think a lot of the time it means that there wasn't anything you did badly, just something someone else did better.
    I'm honestly not sure what to advise as i am a firm believer in following your heart and I have changed schools a number of times and it has never done me any harm so I think my general advice is to go for it if you genuinely feel you would be happier. x
     
  6. princesstulip

    princesstulip New commenter

    Great answers, thank you! You have all given balanced argument but in a positive way. I was worried, having searched for similar topics and seen how harshly some other people were recently spoken to here for voicing a possible wish to change jobs during NQT year.
    I do feel really guilty and it I will have to find a lot of courage from somewhere if I end up having to tell my current school I want to apply elsewhere. The head and my mentor have been nothing but kind and supportive. From that point of view I don't want to do this. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the other staff so far, and the head, definitely the person I most get on with there, is about to leave so I will be losing her support!
    It is perfectly possible that the head of this other school was simply trying to break bad news kindly. However, he came across as a very genuine man... the situation was the same as badger_girl has described - he narrowed it down to 2 of us and the other candidate was more experienced.
    Would it definitely be weird for me to contact him before applying? Applicants are welcomed to do so in the advert and his contact details are given. I thought I'd just remind him of the history and see if he is interested in me applying, because if he definitely isn't, I'd end up telling my current head absolutely for nothing! (Of course that could be the case anyway as he could say yes and then get far better applicants, who knows!)
     
  7. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I think the most tactful way of going about it is just to say to your current Head what you have said here - that he or she have been nothing but kind and supportive, you love working with her but as she's leaving you've been considering what your options are (hopefully she will be flattered!) and since you liked the school last time you had an interview there you're considering applying and would she mind being your reference.
    I think with the head at your dream school I would email him, say how much you liked the school and is there any information that would be relevant to your application.
    You may well find this is perfect to be honest. I really struggled to secure a HOD-ship during last spring and summer as I was a 2nd i/c and I was up against other experienced HODs all the time. I would do a great lesson though I say so myself, make the first lot of cuts then be told nicely "oh sorry, mr x or miss y had more experience." Eventually I got my post in a school that isn't ideal in all honesty but having that experience meant I could interview so much more confidently about leadership and management - you may find it is the same for you in terms of teaching.
    Good luck with it! x
     
  8. I just want to say - go with your heart - be happy - quite brave I know but I did it, twice, and have been happier by doing so. Nothing is worth being miserable for, if you get the job, well done you, if you dont you have a job there so dont worry. Be you. Or you will not be happy!!!!
     
  9. I'm with Lara i'm afraid - 99 times out of 100 "you came a close second" is just something they say. One time i was told this, i applied again the following year to not be shortlisted at all! Another consideration - my current Head automatically bins applications if they've only been in post less than one academic year, because she finds it suspicious! There's only one way to find out in your case, but i would urge caution. It's easy to think the grass is greener and keep checking the ads on TES but i think staying where you are and using the opportunities to develop will put you in a stronger position for the future - if you and this school are really meant to be then maybe something else will come up there in a couple of years!
     

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