Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday ramblings from a seeker


Christchurch Prep School
Originally uploaded by Florence3
I'm about to violate a cardinal rule about blogging: Focus your post on one thing only. This post, at least in my mind's eye, is shaping up to be all over the map.

About my current employment situation: Unlike some teachers still in the hunt for a job, I'm not about to be unemployed. I have a federal civil servant job at a mid-grade (albeit a senior mid-grade) level. My job is, flat out, the bomb. Phat, totally. I'm an organizational performance consultant with the Coast Guard. Basically, I do leadership & management consulting, teaching, and facilitating. I choose my own clients. I choose my own work. I choose my travel. I choose my work hours. In many ways, it is the perfect job.

"Why leave, then?" you ask. Simple. The thrill is gone; I'm not making a difference; I'm not excited about the work. However, that being said, if I don't get an offer that fits the bill, I'm not going hungry and I'm not loosing my home. Would I rather be at an independent school? Yes. Am I going to retire-on-duty as a civil servant; not on your life. I'm a professional, and happiness is a choice.

About my job search: Several people have either commented on the blog or sent me email to provide counsel about how to conduct an independent school search. Said one person:
I have been reading your blog for awhile. I have worked at 3 independent boarding schools. I got all my jobs through Educational Resources Group or Carney Sandoe. I know many schools use those organizations to "filter" candidates.
Another person wrote,
I'm happy to add you to my network. If you are looking for a faculty position, you should contact Carney Sandoe. For a Dean of Faculty/Students position Independent Thinking is a great bet.
Career services are great, but in my experience they don't want to deal with me. I'm only looking at small, boarding schools. The entire population of schools I'd consider number less than a hundred schools. I've made contact with most of them. Services, at least from what they have told me, can't really help me. Although, yes, that information is slightly old.

About the current situation: I have two active prospects, figuring that if I haven't heard from someone in two weeks, the prospect isn't really active.

Prospect #1 is looking for an English teacher who can coach crew and lacrosse. I visited this school last year for an interview. When I saw the opening posted, I wrote the dean:
I do hope the summer is going well for you. I saw on the NAIS job site that your are still, or perhaps again, looking for an English teacher. I'm still engaged in my search and would welcome being considered.

As you know, I have 9 years of lacrosse coaching experience, and I'd love to get back in the coach's box to help young men learn lacrosse and practice sportsmanship. As to crew, I never rowed, but I (a) went to Trinity College and (b) know my way around boats. Sadly, I've never spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express.

Anyway, I'm still interested in being a part of the St. Swithins' team and would love to be considered for the English faculty position.

May you have the time to enjoy summer along the Big River.
Okay, the thing about the Holiday Inn Express probably didn't do me any favors, nor did the misspelling in the second sentence.

Prospect #2 is looking for an assistant dean of admissions. The reply I received back today:
I enjoyed reading your resume, story, anecdotes, etc. When is a convenient time for you to talk further regarding your interest in our Admissions position at West Saint Swithins?

Let me know when you are able.
24 by 7; 24 by 7.

About settling for something else: I don't need to. I guess that's the bottom line. I am very keen on what I am looking for in terms of a school community. If I can't land a place in a small, boarding school community, where I am is plenty good. I don't think that taking a job at a school that doesn't meet my criteria would help me in the long run any more than staying as an internal consultant will. In many respects, I'm in the driver's seat.

However, contrary to reports, I'm not being courted like the prettiest girl at the ball. I may be in the driver's seat, but the engine has fallen to the ground and this car isn't going anywhere right now.

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