At some point during my twenty-seventh teaching interview, I began to lose focus. I gazed out of the window, at the empty playground, the brightly-coloured things to run around and climb on, and wondered why I was really there in the room at all.
I carried on talking, obviously. I talked about my passion for teaching, how those lightbulb moments made me excited about children’s progress, how I wanted to get the best from every child no matter where they started from, and so on and so on, and I think I meant it – I’m pretty sure I meant it – but I knew that I was settling back into a familiar routine, of trying to persuade people that I wasn’t going to persuade that I should do the job that they weren’t going to give me. I sipped my coffee and knew it wasn’t going to end well. Maybe a phone call later that evening; maybe a sad little voice message; maybe something else, or just nothing at all, or a bit of helpful “feedback”, but it was going to end the same way. It always ends the same way.
This time, the feedback was that the interview was “faultless” and the lesson was “brilliant”. I didn’t get the job, obviously, but it wasn’t because I lost focus, or thought I wouldn’t get the job, or because of some lingering negativity, which you might already be hoping is actually the reason I didn’t get the job, and maybe if I corrected that and was just a bit more jazz-hands then everything would be ok… no, that’s not going to work, I’m afraid. It was just the same as it always is. I’d be a terrific teacher… at someone else’s school. That’s what they all say nowadays. Oh, you’ll get something very soon, you’re bound to… but I don’t.
Having listened and learned and grown as a teacher for the best part of three years, I’ve reached the point where my interviews are exceptional and my lessons are great and I’m still not getting the job, because… well, I’ve given up guessing about the because, or the how, or the why, and frankly who cares? I don’t give a shit anymore. I’m fed up with playing the game and ending up with the same result every time.
At the moment, I’m bouncing along from one interview to another, one little flickering candle of hope to another, which is quickly removed. Soon I’ll be having to go back to schools for the second or third time. I’m running out of schools where I haven’t worked or been interviewed. So what? So it’s humiliating, every time, and every time it gets a little bit harder. I go into schools as a TA for a day because I need the money, and I work with teachers who quite frankly do not have a clue how to do anything, and they got jobs and I didn’t, and it’s depressing, and I am finding it harder and harder to get over it.
It’s getting to the point now where each little rejection is a bit of a relief. Thank goodness, I think, another school where I won’t be working. Another job that is never going to happen. Because it brings me closer to a point where I can just chuck this in altogether. And although it’s sad, that’s where I am, and that’s where it’s going. And it’s not likely to change very soon.