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“You did really well, but…”

The devastation I feel right now is… devastating.
I’m writing this blog not long after hearing that I had been unsuccessful in my first interview for a teaching post. The devastation I feel right now is… devastating. It was such a lovely school, with such an interesting role (teaching both EYFS and KS1 – sometimes at the same time!) I’ve vowed to write this blog today as I kind of self-help therapy session. So here it goes.

There’s positives to take, obviously. I felt my lesson and subsequent interview went well. I was honest and truthful in what my teaching philosophy is – and as such I actually felt quite calm during the actual interview. My opinions seemed to tally with those of the governors and the head, and I left knowing that I’d done all I could.

Unfortunately – and this is something I see a lot of other NQTs (and soon-to-be ones too) complaining about – I didn’t get the job because somebody else had more experience. It came down to me versus her, apparently. It was a tough decision to take, but taken it was. While it’s comforting to know I came so close to getting the job, it’s also a little demoralising to know that I had just missed out.

I’d told myself beforehand that if I didn’t get it, not to worry. It would be great experience, and the feat of achieving an interview is something to be proud of. And I’m still telling myself that now. Yet I can’t help but feel a great sense of frustration.

Thousands of teachers will have been through the exact same experience
I’ve more jobs to apply for, and will be summoning up some enthusiasm to write a personal statement or two this weekend. There’s lots to look forward to next week too – I start teaching on my final placement with what seems to be a great year group and I know I can’t let something like this get me too down. Thousands of teachers will have been through the exact same experience – and ultimately I’m sure the children at ‘the one that got away’ will be getting a great teacher.

I just wish it had been me.

I’ve returned to this post and a whole two weeks after first trying to put into words how I felt. I’m still disappointed, especially as I’ve yet to be offered any more interviews. Yet I’m quite an optimistic person, believing in a sort of fate: that job wasn’t for me.

So very tiring! I’ve been losing my voice, my memory and my sleep pattern
I’ve been able to immerse myself into my teaching placement, now in my third week of regular teaching. It’s enjoyable, but tiring. So very tiring! I’ve been losing my voice, my memory and my sleep pattern, but it’s half term next week. As much as I still look forward to the teaching, and still don’t mind the hour journey, I can’t bloomin’ wait for a lie-in next Monday morning.

So to finish, a few quick points of note for anyone thinking of routes into teaching, seeing as a couple of friends have asked me recently about it.

Firstly, the P.G.C.E is difficult. It’s manageable, sure, but if you’re one of those people that thinks teachers work from 9 until 3.30 (and by work I mean drawing and colouring pictures of Ben 10), and have 49 weeks a year off, you’ll be in for a shock.

Secondly, all those adverts crying out for people to train to be teachers? They worked. Quite well. Which means there’s lots and lots of people looking for less and less teaching jobs. They’ll always be a need to teach, and they’ll always be children to be schooled, but there’s certainly no shortage of trained teachers. So be warned that you won’t just walk into a job after training.

Thirdly, and most importantly for now, get to know your ‘group’ and add them all on Facebook if you can – having people to talk to who are going through what you are, who appreciate how much hard work it is, and who find stories about children calling you ‘mum’ funny, is a big help. Plus when you see ten ‘I feel so ill!’ status updates in the space of an hour you know you’re immune system is no worse than others!

Author: Michael McHugh

I am a P.G.C.E student and I'm just about to embark on my final placement. I will be blogging about the trials and tribulations of being a trainee teacher as well as sharing useful links and resources that I have found along the way.

2 Comments to ““You did really well, but…””
  1. I can feel your pain,I was rejected by 250 schools and now I am running an educational website which is providing free revision notes, lectures and tips. Maybe it was in my destiny to teach.

  2. Hi Micheal,

    DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED! I am an NQT at the moment and have a temporary job doing maternity leave. I didn’t get this job until my third interview (after making countless applications) and this seems to be the experience a lot of trainees/nqts have had.
    Consider your first interview to be a good practise run and don’t feel too down-hearted. Did you get any useful feedback from the interview? If so do take it into account for the next interview. At the end of the day it seems that interview panels aren’t just interested in what you know/ how you teach but also how your personality will fit into their team. I always used to think “well at least I don’t have to work in a school where I won’t fit in and will feel out of place!”.

    I hope this helps (although i’m sure you’ve already heard it from your mentor etc).

    I am sure the right teaching post will come along soon enough and when it does they will snatch you up 🙂


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