I believe strongly that teaching is not a profession to be taken lightly. The trend is that people fall back to teaching when they have run out of job options. They have searched high and low and have been unable to get a job, so the only thing left to do is to become a teacher. How sad! I do know it will take a cultural shift to change this, so while we are working on that change, let’s do what we can to *find and fix* things.
After landing a shortlisting, what do you do next? Call the prospective school. Find out the nature of the interview. Ask key questions. Will there be a test? What test? Will there be team activities? Will there be face to face interviews? What do you need to take along with you?
Furthermore, research the school. Talk to people who know the school. Visit the area where the school is located. Don’t just show up there for the first time on the day of the interview. Do they have a website? Visit it and comb through. If a school does not have a website (really??), then you know what you are getting into. Is there a Facebook page? Is it active? If there are photos, what impression do you get? Do the children look happy or terrified? Are they well dressed? Do they look cared for?
Why all this research? Our workplace is a huge part of our lives. This is where we spent most of our time. You want to be part of a place that you can be proud of, thrive and make meaningful contribution. Teachers need take their workplaces seriously. There are teachers that talk down on their bosses, the children they teach and their work environment. Don’t be like that. *As an inspirational teacher, understand that the work of your hands is an extension of your personality.* If you keep on criticising your workplace, it means that you are no good as well. Instead of critiquing and moaning about what is not working and why things are not working, be an agent of change and make things work! Find out what you can do to fix things. Perhaps not the entire school but do your absolute best with the part that has been committed to you. There is no perfect workplace, so don’t go looking for where the grass is greener when you have not mowed your lawn.
Back to the job hunt. Prepare for the interview. What questions are you prepared to answer? Do you have examples to back up your answers? In the last article, I talked about *what have you done that works?* Get someone to conduct a mock interview for you so that you can rehearse your answers. Be prepared. On the day of the interview, please dress well. It sounds like a minor thing, but first impressions matter. Look professional. Remember, you are being watched from the moment you walk through the gates.
To be continued…