I went into “application mode” yesterday. It’s a weird mental zone teachers must enter to fill out their pages and pages of job applications. Adults in other professions, give me some perspective. Do job applications in other fields come with an average of 12 essay questions attached? (That’s a literal number, not an exaggeration.) In addition to the standard questions about training, work history, and individual strengths and weaknesses, do you have to elaborate on things like educational philosophies, disciplinary and instructional strategies, and hypothetical interpersonal situations for pages at a time? Or are teachers alone in this? And of course, the questions are just different enough that I can’t simply copy and paste answers between one application and another. I shudder to think of the number of hours of my life I’ve spent simply on job application essay questions.
The crazy thing is that I’m not really looking for a job. If I were, I should have launched into this mode months ago. I should have been checking job websites daily, keeping tabs on all the area schools and associations that could lead to employment. I haven’t, and I’m totally cool with that. And yet I spent most of yesterday afternoon/evening writing e-mails, creating a writing sample, refreshing reference lists, and updating not one, but two different online employment profiles. Weird, huh.
It started with a letter I got in the mail related to one particular association membership. I logged in to my profile out of curiosity, and one thing led to another. I e-mailed administrators about my employment eligibility (I thought my membership in that particular organization had lapsed, but the letter I’d gotten made me think that maybe it hadn’t yet?) I did actually apply for one job, too. It’s an online position, something I could do from home. I’ll explain more if anything ever comes of it. Oh, and it’s completely unrelated to the organization that sent me the letter. I just knew about the opening and was in the zone, so why not?
Odds are, though, I’ll still simply be a stay-at-home mom next year. I’m open to the idea of teaching again if the right opportunity comes along, but I don’t really have any plans otherwise. I’m not sure why I snapped into “application mode” yesterday. Once I start, it’s hard to stop, maybe? Or maybe God has plans in store and He needed me to get those profiles up to date for some reason? I don’t know. All I know is that from 3pm to 8pm, that’s almost all I did yesterday (with short breaks for dinner and baby care).
Whatever does or doesn’t come of it, it did get me thinking about the nature of teacher applications and how much writing goes into them. It’s like we have to answer the interview questions before we actually get to the interview. I am seriously curious. Is this normal to the rest of the professional world?
And to my aspiring teacher readers, because I know I have a few, consider yourselves warned. 🙂