Sunday, April 22, 2007

Job Interviews

I had an interview in a middle school in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon. It lasted a long time - close to two and a half hours - although a good part of that time was my sitting around waiting while interviewers ran about taking care of administrative duties. I feel that nearly each bullet point on my resume was discussed, and I wasn't given the chance to ask any questions, but I must have given enough of a good impression because I was asked to come back to give a demo lesson. I e-mailed the assistant principal on Friday evening with the dates and times I'd be available to come back; my schedule is a bit messy the next couple of weeks. I was asked to come in on Monday for the aforementioned demo lesson, but truth be told, I need more time than that. I told her so, and I suspect that worked against me, but during the rest of the interview she seemed to value my being upfront with her about what I did or did not know, so I'm hoping the honesty will win out.

I have an interview at a middle school next Tuesday, and another the Friday after that. I'm rather pleased that I have so much lined up. I ran into a former classmate this past week, and she'd only been invited in to one school to give a demo lesson.

I've applied to a lot of schools here on Long Island, and if I've received any responses at all, it's been in the form of a notification, via postcard received through the mail, which served a receipt of my received resume. Not exactly encouraging.

Aside from the apparent lack of local interest (and the realism in wanting to work in a school whose schedule and proximity would not cause me to be consistently late for classes next semester), I wasn't too impressed with the schools here on Long Island. Certainly the teachers are paid a lot more; the students tend to do better overall and have families who are more involved; there is less poverty and all that comes with that. But the schools that I tended to enjoy more, even in my field experience and student teaching, were the so-called "high needs" schools. The students were rougher, but were those teachers in charge. But because these are rougher schools, with students who get lower test scores, and the worst pay in the state, there is a higher turnover of teachers. (Of course, the high school in which I student taught was just a badly run school; the school where I was interviewed on Friday seemed very different, with good faculty, and the students were lovely.)

I was asked twice on Friday why I didn't look for jobs in Long Island; I was told that students in this age group (i.e., grades six through nine) are more difficult - which is true - and that the the pay isn't as good as it is for Long Island teachers - which is also true. But I have yet to meet anyone who goes into teaching for the money, and I'm more attracted to the students who put up a fight. There is a minimum pay scale for teachers that I know I could survive on well enough.

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