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Visiting another school-what to say/what not to say

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Lara mfl 05, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Depends on how many people being shown round, may be to too many to 'get noticed' and may be better to be the quiet one?
    As it's a pre-application visit I suggest you approach it as a 'having a look around to see if I think it could be the right school for me' exercise and not as an 'impressing them' one. That in itself shows a certain professionalism.
     
  2. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Thank you, there is me and one other person. I have had a good look at Ofsted report and school website but its that balance of impressing a little but not being over the top. I only ask this as I know a lot of HTs in my local area who shortlist on what they thought of the candidates at the time
     
  3. I once looked round a school with a woman who kept on and on about all the initiatives she'd led in this subject and that, how she'd done this production and that, updated every policy you could imagine. It was sickening to listen to her. Turned out she was an NQT, or about to be!!! i thought that if she was up against me in interview I wouldn't want the job where someone could consider her. Luckily she wasn't and I did get the job.
    So don't come over all big headed is the only advice I'd give. It puts people off big time.
     
  4. I would say that no matter how people may seem not to care about their own school, or even be quite down on it, they are proud of it and its kids so certainly you would make a good impression by being complimentary here and there (within sensible limits, of course!!).
    Also, liking and being interested in kids would make a good impression, so if you get a chance to speak to them, do. Smile quite a lot - people like happy, approachable people.
    I don't think you'd be thought better of if you ask a bunch of questions clearly arising from a preusal of their Ofsted and website, though the fact that you are familiar with both may come up so it's good that you have!
     
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    If there's just two of you, that will potentially make you more memorable, so I agree a pleasant disposition, don't try to be 'too clever' and a genuine interest will go a long way to creating a good impression.
     
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Show interest in the children and their work and you won't go far wrong. Also - be nice to the office staff on arrival. The rest will be down to your personal judgement. If the other person wants to show off, let them - it's a demonstration of poor judgement. Don't be drawn into a competition with them. Good luck.
     
  7. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Agree with the above, especially interest in the kids.
    Some years ago, we had HoF interviews. One woman never shut up and she had the mosr grating voice. She was all me me me and drove the rest of the faculty crackers at break and lunch time. Another candidate asked only one or two questions and listened carefully to the replies, seeking clarification on a couple of points. She got the job and was brilliant at it. Had the gobby one got it, I think we'd have all resigned!! [​IMG]
     
  8. I've visited 8 schools and applied to 4 of those. I was shortlisted for each one.
    I didn't go around commenting on everything I saw or asking questions about every initiative under the sun. I went with an open mind- no pre-conceived questions planned- and asked questions if they presented themselves and I was genuinely interested in the answer. I reacted to information with genuine reactions- none of this "Wow! That's such a good idea!" nonsense. Just a smile and nod would suffice at times.
    Just be yourself. There is nothing wrong with stepping back and letting the annoying ones steal the limelight. The information you gain on the visit by quietly observing will give you lots to add to your application.
    Remember- you're judging them too! You are under no obligation to apply after all. That thought can take the pressure off.
     
  9. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    Middlemarch posted re. this on the jobseekers forum, and pointed out that she had never not shortlisted someone because they were during the visit, but had regularly had people talk themselves out of being shortlisted.
    Seems to be the consensus of opinion.
    Good luck
     
  10. Same as all the above - don't try too hard - don't ask too many questions or talk about stuff you've done or so too much.
    But do pass a couple of genuine compliments when you can.
    Everyone likes to be complimented.
    And even if it makes you decide the school is not for you at least you know you've said something good and bridges are built rather than not.
    And make sure you don't burn any bridges by negative or subtly critical comments.
    And don't forget that seemingly impressive "Iwould do" or "i did" type staement can come across as critical.

    Enjoy the experience as a way to find out if the school is right for you.
     

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