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What to do?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Englishweasel, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Hey lovely.lady,
    Exactly same thing for me except I was hoping my Masters would be considered as PD. I picked out course modules that focused on curriculum development to anticipate any such criticism. As for standards would exam result alleviate a prospective school's fear of low 'standard for pupil achievement'? (which could mean very different things depending on head/teacher/smt)
    Interested in SMT comments on that one...
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    It seems rather unfair to me that the OP is being tarred with the same brush as her "second division" school. The job ought to go to the best teacher, not the best school. How much practical use is CPD anyway? Not a lot, in many cases.
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Make yourself stand out. If nothing in your CV suggests that you're better than your school, a Head will never know. Talk up your masters work. As far as I'm concerned it is PD as long as it's related to your responsibilities. And if you've gone the extra mile to seek out and fund your own PD after your school didn't provide any, that speaks highly of your interest and commitment. Make sure you sell it in the right light.
    You need to walk a fine line. Go too far and you'll sound like you're badmouthing your current school, which is never a good idea. Don't go far enough and you'll be lost among the mediocrity for which your school is apparently known.
  4. Unfortunately you have fallen victim to people who you ought to stay well away from. They are probably the same sort of people who say that you need to have experience in a 'second tier' school before you come up to their self-regardiung standards.
    take comfort in the fact that you have done good work and be proud of it and remember that 'academic' schools usually select so viciously that they have little to fear about gaining good grades for their kids.
    You also ought to ask the question about organisations that do not regard higher learning such as a masters as CPD and when you have pondered the answer, stay away from them.
    feedback is one thing - but you need not believe it. As numerous posters here have pointed out, recruitment is a random game and attempting to shoehorn yourself into a particular box is probably not a good idea. Your CV might have failed to impress this bunch of officious twerps but it might well be thought excellent by more sensible types.
    Good luck.
  5. Diddysan

    Diddysan New commenter

    This may just be my opinion, but I would take any feedback for a rejected application with a grain of salt. The reasons for not short-listing you may have more to do with reasons they are reluctant to state rather than the stated reasons. Also, It sounds like the person who rejected you has an axe to grind vis-a-vis your current school.

    That is not to say the suggestions given by the other posters are not good. I just feel there is more to this feedback than meets the eye.
  6. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

    The Problem with this feedback is that it comes from a 'known' course, well sort of! This principal used to work at the same organisation that I did a couple of years ago. I don't know this person myself but I do know their previous principal when they were vice-principal.
    They said that when they looked at my application they were attracted to it BUT...they had 126 applications for 6 positions. Criteria set was up to date PD and a recent experience in a high achieving school and as they had a lot of choice then I fell down on these 2 points.
    It is hard to accept that I might be stuck in my current school and be tarred with a sticky brush as a result of bad management if I don't get out this year.
    There is no axe to grind this person has not worked or even applied to current school - I know this because there has been a lack of management vacancies and that is the major problem - dead wood! Cut n paste curriculum which is at least 10 years old without reflection.
    I actually believe the rumours but what do I with this information? I want out but do I face the principal and inform him what I've been told and ask if he will help me with 'creative solutions' to my applications. BTW they know I want to leave!
  7. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I agree with Oldgit (I think I'll go and lie down). You should not be so gullible as to swallow this patronising view of your present school. My niece is currently working (and miserable) in the kind of power-dressing 'initiatives' factory where they reinvent the curriculum every five minutes and every child matters but her own. Look before you leap.
  8. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Second that.
    They had a busload of candidates, they had to tell you something, and what they came up with, killed two birds with one stone - unanswerable (and gratuitously disconcerting) 'feedback' for you, plus a snide toecap-in-the-groin for another school. Charming people, how pleased with themselves they must feel.
    While obviously a school needs to provide CPD for its staff, its efforts should be evaluated in terms of quality not quantity. Given the massive amount of advertising that streams in all the time, I could make the school look superficially sexier by doubling the percentage of its income spent on staff development before breakfast tomorrow.
    But how good are these courses? Who runs them? Too often the answer is, people who got out of teaching to do something easier and (they hope) more lucrative.
    Or some University whose business manager has decided to 'raise global awareness of our brand overseas by rolling out a robust suite of quality initiatives targetting the rapidly expanding international market'.
    CPD is a neutral term, like 'Food'.
    All of us need 'Food' and feel rather sad and poorly without it, don't we, children?
    But there is nutritious 'Food' that's great value for money and makes your muscles big and your hair glossy, and there is 'Food' that's fine for others but doesn't agree with you. Then there is luxury 'Food' for an occasional treat or show-off, and there is lots and lots of bland workaday food that just keeps the organism running.
    Unfortunately many people also want to sell you nutrient-free contentless pap 'Food', or even toxic harmful (but insidiously addictive) crapp 'Food'.
    All these versions of CPD are in your local supermarket today. Buy with well-informed discretion.
    The same goes for Masters degrees, some of which I've seen dramatically enhance a colleague's contribution to teaching, learning and the wider life of the school... and others which are solemn, futile exercises in data-gathering and category-mongering which do absolutely nothing but distract the teacher from proper work, giving him/her a sense of vainglory into the bargain.
    We just sent two future school leaders to an absolutely inspiring gig in Prague run by COBIS, who can usually be trusted to deliver the goods. Worth the expense and the time away.
    But this year has already also seen an expensive and futile session, which professional considerations (SMT ratlike cowardice) prevent me from naming.
  9. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

    I hear what you are all saying and the logical side of me does say to me that this is an act of vengence but knowing what I know I still can't help but feel slightly concerned. I have never had these sorts of comments before and I really never thought 'professionals' would or could stoop so low but there's always a first time!
    We have neither here - quality or quantity! Inset days have been one long meeting with no planned events; some teachers catching up with social activities and marking/planning; longer lunches - and to be brutally honest I have not worked hard over the last 10-12 years to jeopordise my career! I take my role as a teacher very seriously regardless of location (UK or Overseas)
    Its the proactive side of me that has triggered my further study at masters level which I'm hoping will interest a head, somewhere soon!!
  10. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    And transparently a roman à clef. Having on occasion sat at the feet of the impenetrable Dr Brighouse I experience an eerie sense of déja vu in reading your portrait of Professor Pecksniff.
  11. A cautionary tale indeed. My God! I nearly creped myself when I heard that name.
    Is it still allowed? What other dark things from the Midlands madness are out there waiting to come back to haunt us?
    I met that Sir Mike Termalin - Sen once; it was like shaking hands with a wet fish fillet.
    Nope - if you are going to do an MA or something higher, do something that doesn't end in .Ed.
    As the Woodenhead said - "I've never come across a piece of educational research worth the paper its written on."
    And he also thinks Ofsted is sh&t so he can't be all wrong.
  12. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Stop it off, Owd Git. Ahm beginnin' to waarm to thee. An' we doant do much waarmin' in Wiggin.
    Apropos de another thread, didn't Sam Goldwyn say something similar about a verbal contract?
  13. Brings to mind the HOD who strutted around brandishing his MA in Applied Linguistics in an Eastern European staffroom. Hardly a day passed without reference to his enormous masters.

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