Under Pressure

Where is my weekend going? Why is it rushing past at light speed when I have so much to do?

Last month, after weeks and weeks of dithering, I finally decided it was time to think about looking for a new job. Postings here were a bit sparse as I spent time rejigging my CV, writing a ‘supporting information’ letter that I can adapt for different jobs and looking around at what was on offer. I found one job that I really liked the look of, applied for it and (result!) I have been offered an interview tomorrow. I’m trying to finish preparing for this interview, a process that I would expect to feel far more relaxed about than I actually do.

Like most teaching jobs these days, there will be a mixture of small panel interviews (some with students), a tour of the school, a meet the department session (which always feels rather stilted frankly, but I’d still rather have a slightly formal meetup than none at all), a lesson to teach and finally the big formal interview.

The snag? Well it’s an advanced skills teacher post, so I’m feeling under a bit of pressure to be amazingly good. Somewhat illogically, although I know that I am a perfectly reasonable candidate for such a post, I’m left with the feeling that I will somehow be unmasked and found to be totally unsuitable. I think we’ll just call that nerves.

Anyhoo, this lesson. Preparing lessons really isn’t a problem, after all, I do it all the time. Preparing for a lesson where I will be formally observed always takes longer, simply because the planning is done in so much more detail when you are writing it for someone else, rather than just making enough notes for a personal aide-memoire. They haven’t asked for a formal lesson plan tomorrow, but I have every intention of providing one.

Tomorrow I have to teach for 25 minutes, not long at all. So why do I keep redrafting my plan?

Some of the problem is that I’m climbing well out of my comfort zone. I have one brand of interactive whiteboard in my current school, the same as in my previous school. The school that I am applying to has a different brand. I know that the two are not entirely compatible. On Friday I went to see if I could connect up my own laptop to their whiteboard setup, but sadly it turned that I couldn’t, thus some redrafting of my original plans is required.

The upshot of this is that I’m going to try to demonstrate that I can teach effectively, whilst working from a memory stick on someone else’s laptop, using an unfamiliar whiteboard with unfamiliar software. Gulp. Obviously I’ve found out how their set up works and thought about a fallback option if things really do go horribly wrong; however I still feel somewhat under-prepared, but that’s just how it goes.

I’ve never done an interview for this type of teaching job before (in fact it’s five years since I did any sort of interview), I can predict some likely questions, but I suspect I will be asked about things that I hadn’t even considered. To be honest, I would be surprised if I do well enough to get offered the job. I’m still planning on giving it my best shot though. If it all works out, that’s great; if it doesn’t, it’s all good experience for next time.

Wish me luck, I might need it!

5 comments to Under Pressure

  • Yokshire Pudding

    “If it all works out, that’s great”… it bloody well will be given the ridiculously high salaries that ASTs earn without the usual responsibilities! Good luck anyway! Who knows – it might be my school! Why somebody else? Why not you? Go for it girl!

  • The very best of British luck to you!

  • Thank you all, you’re luverley.

    It wasn’t your school YP, but I’m pretty sure I saw pictures of your shiny new buildings displayed on the staffroom wall. (Assuming my elementary deductions about which shiny new buildings you inhabit are correct.)

  • Way too late but – good luck!

    And I’m not surprised you kept re-writing the lesson plan. It is always a bitch to try to cram into one lesson all that you are good at, and want the observers to note. The worst thing is, you over-stuff the plan and then don’t get anything done. Think small…and I’ve realised that you’ll have discovered this already, or not.

    I’ll shut up now :^)