The Price of Experience

Posted: 04.07.08 in Blogging

Another day, another day without a dollar. I had an interview for a job as a Post-16 Tutor at Gosforth High School. I say "interview", there was a challenging ‘carousel’ of activities. Amongst those activities was to present a twenty minute tutorial on revision techniques, have an interview in front of existing post-16 tutors, answer the questions of a student panel, write a reference for a fictional character with some given information, and then to face a formal interview in front of a panel of four senior members of the post-16 team.

The tutorial could have gone better. I had gone into the tutorial with an idea of trying to get the students to talk as much as possible about their experiences of revision so that they can discuss together how they could improve their revision techniques. I managed to make it last the twenty minutes (further than some others had reported) but it became a little fragmented towards the end. The interview in front of the post-16 tutors and the student panel were more fun, and I felt I did well in those. I also did rather well in writing the reference, though I did not manage to finish within the twenty minutes (and I made the schoolboy error of forgetting to write my name on the paper…).

The final interview was also much more relaxed and comfortable than I had anticipated. They gave me scenarios of some things that could happen in the course of the job. I think I coped rather well.

However I did not get any of the jobs that were available. I did well to be in the shortlist of ten from the 111 that applied, but it seems in the end not having school experience was again my downfall: the other candidates apparently had been in positions of similar roles in other schools.

It’s unfortunate. They were quite clear and accepted that many of those applying want to get paid experience in a school in order to eventually become a teacher; and that any decision they would make would not be impacted by my desire to teach in the future. In my feedback I was told I would make a good teacher "without doubt", but it’s looking even further away now.

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