Weekly Reflection – the job search game

I would remiss in my Weekly Reflection if I did not mention the Rugby World Cup. The school where I am currently completing my Teaching Experience is right on the edge of Auckland’s CBD, so the students and I were right in the thick of the action of Friday’s opening ceremony. During the week the students and I could hear helicopters buzzing overhead and every day I walked to and from school I ended up helping some of the thousands of tourists in the city find their way around central Auckland.

The highlight of the week was definitely Friday.  The school I completed my first Teaching Experience came for a visit to do a performance as part of the PR gig to attract year 6s from my current placement to enrol for 2012. I knew that my former students were interested in music and cheer leading but I had yet to see them in action. To say the children were phenomenal would be an understatement. Even the MC was brilliant at engaging with the little ones, though I swear he’s grown 6 inches since I’ve last seen him!

The rest of the day was spent having a sports day with our classes breaking up into the different nations of the rugby world cup. It was hot and tiring work but it was great to see the older students really supporting the younger children in the activities and making sure that they made it to the different rotations. Like many central Auckland schools we ended the day early to avoid contributing to the chaos that was the Auckland. Even with the early finish, I still plunged headlong into the madness of hundreds of thousands people making their way into the city for the opening festivities.

But rugby isn’t the only game in town for me right now.

Operation Job Search is also moving into swing into action with applications being lodged and nervous waiting ensuing. Searching for a job very much feels like playing several games of musical chairs at once. Being at the right time at the right place seems just as important as having the right skills. When I started out at the beginning of my course I was very much focused on getting a teaching position, any position, because I’m a Beginning Teacher in a market where I know there are teachers with many years experience getting knock backs.

During the July holidays I did some thinking about where would be a good fit for me and started researching. It’s amazing how much of the conversation about the use of social networking is fear-based, watch what you say online because a prospective employer might be watching you. Did no one stop to consider that job seekers can and should use the internet to aid their job search?

Because as a job seeker I’m finding that social networking is helping my job search both in terms of finding job leads and also researching job applications. The digital footprint left by the leadership of one school has left me with a huge wealth of information about how might compliment and contribute to the culture of the school. In fact I found myself checking books out of the library because the authors were mentioned as influences on the school website. My nerdiness knows no bounds.The bonus of all this reading is that I find myself thinking more and more about what makes good learning and how to create environments for great learning. In short I’m learning to be a teacher while I look for teaching jobs.

Although I don’t want to jinx it, operation Job Search seems to be progressing well. My Teaching Experience is ending a day early due to a school flying me in for a visit. As a lowly Beginning Teacher I felt honoured and a little surprised to be considered worthy enough of a callback. I knew there had been huge amount of applications and being from out of town would have been an easy way for someone to put me in the ‘thanks but no thanks’ pile. Nevertheless I’ve got some work to do to push through to the next round and start generating, dare I say it, job offers.

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