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Dr. Les Potter has over 53 years in education in the US and Egypt with 45 years in school and university administration. Currently Les is retired from full time employment but is a consultant at Core...
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Tips for Teachers: Disappointment

All of us have experienced the disappointment of rejection from our dream job. Even though we thought we were perfect for the position. Our CV was on point as was our cover letter and we nailed the interview. What went wrong? Do not take the rejection personally. Often the circumstances surrounding you not getting the job has nothing to do with you.

I have been in school leadership for 45 years and involved in the interview process from the school house to higher education. Unfortunately there are factors that go into the expectations for the candidate that you have no control over. Sometimes school boards, school owners, and government agencies put certain criteria on the hiring. This can include: gender, race, nationality, experience, age, etc. of course, this may not come out on the job description nor during the interview. Nothing you as a candidate can do to change these criteria and you will not know this during the interview nor after you are rejected.

I have been on both sides of the interview as a candidate and as an interviewer. I also taught human resources and personnel at four graduate universities. Often teachers or administrators have already been selected unofficially but they have to go through the interview process. This means that other candidates are invited to the interview. They have no chance of being hired but interviewing three or four candidates is a requirement of the district, university or school. Unfortunately, I have been involved with this unfortunate deception.

This is of course not fair but this is reality of education. If you ask, don’t be surprised if HR or the interviewing committee do not provide you a concrete answer of why you were not selected. So what can you do? Make sure you are always prepared for each position you are applying for.

Experience will come. But develope realistic career goals. If you are a teacher and want to be an assistant principal, understand what it takes to become one by earning the necessary graduate degrees and the needed certifications. Lead committees at your school and be involved when you can. Shadow your school administrators and see what they do. Read! Get a mentor to help you with your career.

Keep working hard for self improvement and don’t get discouraged. Your time will come!

Les Potter, Ed.D.
Founder of Potter’s Educational Services
Assisting with CVs, interviewing and career guidance
A free service for educators
[email protected]