Weekly Reflection: Prioritizing, prioritizing

My week-long break seems to have flown by.

Did it feel like a break?

Not really.

I’m still currently on the job market which means I’m busy visiting websites, schools and writing job applications.  This job hunting business really does feel like a game of musical chairs.  I find myself torn between the scatter gun approach of applying  anywhere and everywhere under the ‘you gotta be in to win’ generic approach however I think I do both myself and any future employer a disservice by this sort of thinking.

I figure if someone is taking the time to read my application, then the very least I need to do is find what the school is about and tailor my application to fit the needs of the position. Ideally I will physically drop by to have a nose around and think really hard  ‘would this be a good home for me?’ before I send in my application. The problem with this approach is that it takes a lot of time to prepare applications and vacancies are being advertised thick and fast at the moment.

As a result I find myself being selective about where I apply. If a school is looking for someone to take responsibility for Sport/EOTC, I figure I’m wasting everyone’s time applying as this isn’t an area where I have expertise. However a  mention of ICT/e-learning/languages will get my attention because those are areas I’m passionate about.  I’m hoping this tightly focused approach to job hunting will pay off.

My thinking is that by limiting myself to a few well put together applications that really speak to what it is the school is looking for is better than aimlessly firing out applications of poor quality and hoping someone decides to put me on a short list. After all those sorting through the piles of CVs aren’t  just randomly pulling applications out, they want the best person on the market for their school. Why shouldn’t I want the same for where I work?

Ok there’s the small matter of being a Beginning Teacher in a market with hundreds if not thousands of grads looking for work, but I’m hoping this gamble will pay off.  The good news is that I am getting on short lists which is promising as I know there’s lots of BTs out there are the moment who haven’t gotten that far in the process. However I still need to convert all this job searching activity into an actual offer.

Next week I will be even busier as I’m back at varsity.

Due to the crowded coursework, the Primary student teachers are getting the call back to varsity a week earlier so we can become au fait with the all the different learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum. As I look into October and November I realize I’m just going to have suck it up and grind on through because it will be learning at its worst, jamming bits of information into my head in order to pass exams.

With so much content and so little time, I doubt many of student teachers will have time to really engage with course material. Which is a shame, because I’m really interested in some of the course material and want to learn more. But before I know it the week is up and its time to move to another subject area meaning the momentum is lost.

During the last semester a bunch of us made a joke when finished our exams, that we didn’t need to bother thinking about maths and literacy as we were done with that part of the course. And there in lies the problem with our education system, learning is viewed as a product to be consumed. This means new teachers, the very people we want to be energised and interested in learning, are being switched off.

Perhaps I’m not the only one who needs to prioritize.

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