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Withdrawing from a job offer - advice please

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by studentteacher90, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Hi all,
    I realise that this is a question that gets asked a lot, but I wondered if the circumstances under which I was offered the post provides any mitigating circumstances.
    I arrived at the school, and taught my sample lesson almost instantly, then was instantly interviewed by the head (alone). Afterwards they asked if I was still a serious candidate, at this point I was, as I assumed a tour of the school and meeting the department would follow. However I was taken aback when they said that they would be in touch.
    They got in touch within a couple of hours and offered me the job, I accepted but said that I wanted to make a revisit to meet the department that I was working with and the head said that this was fine. However, I do not think I managed to convey quite what I wanted to convey - that I would only accept the job subject to what I saw but I now realise I made it seem like a firm offer.
    The more I have thought about it, the more that doesn't add up, particularly being offered a job without meeting a representative of the dept and now my gut instinct is that I should withdraw and keep looking. However I realise that this would be a such an inconvenience to the school and I do not want to put them in such a position nor do I want to disadvantage anyone from the same training institution applying in the future but I am really reserved about signing a contract on the grounds of what I have seen / lack of. Especially as this is my first job.
    Thank you for any advice.
     
  2. Hi all,
    I realise that this is a question that gets asked a lot, but I wondered if the circumstances under which I was offered the post provides any mitigating circumstances.
    I arrived at the school, and taught my sample lesson almost instantly, then was instantly interviewed by the head (alone). Afterwards they asked if I was still a serious candidate, at this point I was, as I assumed a tour of the school and meeting the department would follow. However I was taken aback when they said that they would be in touch.
    They got in touch within a couple of hours and offered me the job, I accepted but said that I wanted to make a revisit to meet the department that I was working with and the head said that this was fine. However, I do not think I managed to convey quite what I wanted to convey - that I would only accept the job subject to what I saw but I now realise I made it seem like a firm offer.
    The more I have thought about it, the more that doesn't add up, particularly being offered a job without meeting a representative of the dept and now my gut instinct is that I should withdraw and keep looking. However I realise that this would be a such an inconvenience to the school and I do not want to put them in such a position nor do I want to disadvantage anyone from the same training institution applying in the future but I am really reserved about signing a contract on the grounds of what I have seen / lack of. Especially as this is my first job.
    Thank you for any advice.
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Too many people get an unhappy experience from being in the wrong job.
    If your heart isn't in it, withdraw now. Do it fast so that they can try to contact their second choice.
    Don't worry about them being prejudiced against other students from your course - that would be just daft of them, they won't.
    But they won't be too keen on you if you apply there in a few years' time - I guess you can live with that!
    Draft an e-mail tonight, read it again tomorrow morning, then send it.
    N.B. Tip for next time - write Dear Theo in the title - I don't always have time to opem every thread.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     
  4. You can still back out as Theo has said. But now you know you can and are not trapped just take a few minutes to really think about it. What was your impression of the children? The atmosphere on the one corridor you must have walked down? Sometimes schools do without the tour/meeting the dep to save time. What skeleton in the cupboard could there possibly be? What's its ofsted report and results like? If you pull out, how likely is it you will secure another post?
     
  5. Thank you very much for your advice. I can certainly live with not applying again but have read some worrying posts about being blacklisted from an area for breaching a verbal contract, which I want to avoid where possible, as well not wanting to upset people in the process!
     
  6. Just saw the second reply, as I was teaching period 1, I literally turned up and taught almost simultaneously so didn't get too much time to take in the overall environment, before being whisked to interview and going home. I enjoyed teaching the class who were a very enthusiastic (year 7!), group, I just wish I had the opportunity to see or speak to a few more students.

    The school has four successive Outstanding Ofsted ratings, so I have a feeling that it will be a very high pressure environment, and there was talk of teaching during holidays / Saturdays for intervention etc (it was an Academy). Of course I am willing to put in countless hours if the students' best interests are at the heart but also want it to be for the right reasons and of course to be in a supportive department for my NQT year.

    This was my third interview, I have been lucky enough to be shortlisted for each of the posts I have applied for so far, at the other two I have been a really close second and it has been experience which has been the given reason for choosing another candidate and so I hope that I will be able to find a post which I feel a bit more at home in, though there is lots of very impressive competition so it is a high risk strategy when I have a job offer. I'm not sure if I am being overly suspicious but something just doesn't feel right.
     
  7. Ok if you're sure. But if it's an outstanding school and you enjoyed teaching the children i wouldn't withdraw. Go and visit - it might put pay to any niggles. The Head will be probably never have had someone withdraw from a job on the grounds they didn't meet the teachers - quite unusual! Remember, teaching isn't like other jobs where you work closely with colleagues, you're mostly teaching in your own classroom as they are. I've worked in schools where there's been some really annoying people, but it doesn't really matter! There's always some nice ones too. Just don't look a gift horse in the mouth - if others have started there and done their nqt years there, why should there be a problem? This is not a failing school!
     
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    But i understood that you hadn't accepted? Therefore no contract.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     
  9. lizziegrace

    lizziegrace New commenter

    Sorry - but I disagree with the last post about colleagues! I think the team you work in is essential, and certainly working in one with difficult people puts a lot of strain on you when you are experienced, let alone an NQT. Maybe my view from the Arts faculty is different but I have always had a great deal of working closely with my colleagues (albeit generally not in the same room at the same time) but the planning. marking, moderating, reviewing, resourcing, inspiring and letting off steam was always collaborative. I'm not saying this school is hiding anything, but if it is such a good school, surely the SMT appreciate that you will be entering as a professional as part of the team...?
    Lizzie
     
  10. Well...this is the grey area, while I didn't accept unreservedly I said yes but I would like to revisit the school. I'm now worried that if I visit the school and for one reason or another hate it, then I have still said yes. I'm not sure if I should have phrased it more carefully as a deal breaker and said yes, subject to x, z and y when I visit the department. I phoned the head this morning to express my concerns and she was happy for me to make a revisit but pointed out that I had entered a verbal contract. It was more that I felt that I wasn't provided with enough information to make an informed decision.
    Out of my two teaching placements one department was much more supportive than the other and it made a huge difference to me, so I would feel much more comfortable if I knew that I was part of a supportive deptartment throughout my NQT year.
    Thank you for your advice.
     
  11. For what its worth, I think it sounds as if you are just panicking because your interview didnt quite pan out as you expected. Be brave, go and talk to the head and the department and be positive about the situation.
    It may be that you actually need to start this job and resign later if it isnt what you feel is right for you. The reality of being the teacher is vastly different to be being the student and you wont really know until you get there.
    New jobs can be very scary for all of us, as well as exciting!
    Good luck and congratulations!
     
  12. dizzymai

    dizzymai New commenter

    I wouldn't withdraw. I would accept, even if you haven't see the school. If this school has had successive Outstandings it is doing most things right and probably has embedded good practice. An outstanding school would be a great place to do your NQT yr, I;m speaking from experience here having done mine in a far less than outstanding school and receiving very little support. The interview didn't go as you expected- that doesn't mean they are trying to hide anything.
    Visit, by all means, but you only really know a school when you work in it. Some would say there is more pressure in schools that are NOT outstanding than in those that are, because there is a lot more work to be done and therefore you are a lot more scrutinised.

     
  13. Linda555

    Linda555 New commenter

    I had 2 very mediocre schools for my placements (and that's being generous) and then was offered a job in an outstanding school for my NQT year. I can't deny it was very hard work, but at least they knew best practice and could mentor me, demonstrate it, could show what was required, set targets etc so that by the time I was finished, I realised how weak I must have been when I first arrived. I would certainly recommend it, although there were very tough moments. For that job I only met the SMT (who were in the interview). For a job I didn't get a few months ago, I spent the day in the school, meeting virtually the entire staff, they were so worried about a good fit. For my current job, I was given loads of opportunity to tour the school one to one with the head, then the deputy on interview day, spent time with the teacher who is leaving, met some of the others - they too were very worried about someone fitting in. I think a lot depends on how important the management thinks it is for someone to fit in, sometimes affected by one or two bad experiences they have had. On balance, I think I'd go for it - there are lots of people who have submitted many applications and are still waiting. Good luck - hope it works out for you.
     

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