Friday, May 26, 2006

More musings on education and employment

So, I'm still unemployed. Also trying not to feel like I'm unemployable. I'm working on it. The latest interview was at a rather snooty establishment that mis-represented the job rather badly, gave me three days notice of a selection day, were extremely discouraging during the interview-proper (although I could have done the job with my eyes shut while standing on my head eating toast), disadvantaged me by being extremely disorganised over the teaching practice, and then didn't even bother to tell me that I hadn't got the job until I eventually got bored four days later and rang them demanding to know what was going on. Nice. Despite not getting it, I was too good for them. They just didn't know that. Back to the jobs pages, then, although I'm starting to get some vague ideas about what's going wrong and why I'm not getting these jobs. I interview extremely well, but I get nervous having to teach classes I've never met before and I think that leads me to seem a bit lacking in confidence. Working on that, too. Next interview here we come, etc - ignoring the fact that summer draws ever closer and there's nothing waiting on the other side of August.

The Girl, who has just brought me tea because it's a ridiculously early hour of the morning (and no, I don't know why I'm awake) points out that it's been a long time since my last post. In my (rather pathetic) defence, I've been busy, between preparation for the two doomed interviews and the last big anxious push towards abject failure with my A-level classes. However, it's suddenly reached that very odd time of year where teachers, in Further Education at least, do close to nothing at all, having spent the previous nine months trying to pack sixty or seventy very crowded working hours into every week. This sudden, terrifying change of pace occasionally makes me a bit jumpy. Yesterday was my first day since September with not enough to do. After two hours of exam invigilation this morning (which is easily the most boring way anyone can spend a morning, and I say this with much experience of Sunday church services), I spent the rest of the day wandering around the department looking for the crisps, Coke and chocolate that inevitably crawl their way out of the final class parties. Which, by the way, are generally quite depressing situations that get rather awkward. I liven them up by asking students to write little notes to each other, and me, with goodbye messages on them. This leads to some fantastic comments - everything from the amusing ("When I heard we were getting a new teacher I was worried, but then I found out how young you are") to the banal ("Have a lovely summer") to the surreal ("This quote reminds me of you: 'The world knows my fame - I am Oedipus'") to the sweet and very memorable ("You're a great teacher - you never let me quit"). Four envelopes full of little messages, then, has been the only useful thing to result from the last week. Since the interview was a waste of time, anyway. I'd go so far as to say that it's not like the revision lessons have done anyone any good, except that I won't know about that until August. Still, it seems that the students appreciate me. Even if only for my youth.