Michael

Written by Michael

I am an Irishman living and teaching in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. After many years travelling I am now in my third year as a maths teacher. I love teaching, discovering and exploring with students. If there are two ways of doing something and one is more fun I will take that route every time. Work hard, be happy and be awesome, always be awesome! For more stories from the chalkface see my blog; http://goddividedbyzero.blogspot.co.uk/ @Chuckieinalba

Saints are sinners who kept on going..

SUCCESS!! I now have a permanent full time job starting next August. All the hard work going over and over applications (37 applications in total since this time last year); the many interviews, mock interviews and reflection have finally paid off! When I found out it was a great relief, followed by a sadness that has not quite left yet. The relief comes from not having to do another interview for a long time, knowing that the summer holidays will only be six weeks long and I have a job to go to afterwards! I have felt this sadness before when I got my current job and had to leave my last school but it will pass – it comes from working with great people and teaching and learning with wonderful students. I have been lucky enough to yet again work in a wonderful department with fantastic people. I have learned off each and every one and it would be unfair to name but a few. In my opinion, in teaching, you are on a permanent learning curve and the day you stop learning, or wanting to learn, is the day to hang up the boots. It’s easier to learn if you work with enthusiastic people who love their profession, care about their students and have a good (or unusual) sense of humour. The sadness comes from loving the students, the school and the people I work with. I will miss them all but we don’t get to plan out our route in life and you have to trust that what is meant to be is what happens.

 It was another big week, and it’s only half over! Four interviews in three days was a lot but I think it benefits people like myself – the more I do the better I get. It took many interview applications before I finally started getting regular interviews. It took me about three interviews last year to be confident in my ability and good enough to be able to talk about myself to get the job I am in now. And it has taken five interviews to get to the point of being offered this permanent job. This week has again been a great experience with both ups and downs. It started on Monday with two very different interviews. The first was a traditional interview but because of a mistake by someone in the school’s administration the job had only been advertised internally and as a result only two candidates had applied. Two in comparison to seventy for every other job I had applied for. This was the school which I needed my ‘Good Catholic’ approval for! The interview was ok but I had not quite hit my stride yet. The school decided to re-advertise the position for all of Scotland and rang me to let me know that I would be considered for two positions when this happened. The tiny pessimist in me says that if they thought I was good enough I would have been offered one so I decided not to hold my breath. The second interview in my opinion is a far better format than the traditional interview. It consisted of three parts and is more like the interview process that happens in public (private) schools in Scotland. The first thing you had to do was prepare a presentation about an unseen topic in fifteen minutes to then go on and give a five minute presentation. The topic was pretty vague and I made a mess of it. It was about equality and diversity and assuring parents that their children will do well. The interview itself consisted of students asking questions, then the presentation, and finally questions from the two interviewers. I like this format especially giving the students an opportunity to ask questions; I think students are just as good at analysing a teacher as, to be fair, they spend more time with them than any and their opinions should be included in the process. I will remember this if I ever have to organise an interview. The interview I got was, as you can imagine very good; the two interviewers made me feel at ease and I really enjoyed it. Good times.

I am tired now. I had not realised how much effort I had been putting in to try and get these interviews right and find this job. Since I have come home, I am just shattered. The sadness is still there but there is also a great sense of relief. I am now looking forward to the last few weeks with my colleagues, friends and students in my current job. There will be plenty of time to look forward to the challenge that my new post will bring shortly. It’s going to be exciting. I am a huge believer in karma and faith and it has not let me down so far. I have worked with some amazing people in many different jobs, in many different countries, and have had a wonderful life so far. My journey has taken me as far south as Australia and as far north as Ullapool (just south of the North Pole!) and it has been fantastic. I have no reason to believe that the next chapter will not be as good so once again its onwards and upwards…

I would like to thank all my friends and family who have helped me and continue to help me on this wonderful journey. To those that have helped out and those that have made me smile. Remember it’s the small things in life..

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