So it’s been a few weeks since the allocation dilemma landed at my feet. I’ve been through the whole 7 stages of grief since then.
Shock: First day or so I was feeling. I know that I had to select 5 authorities to work for but I honestly never expected to be placed out with my top 2. It took me by surprise and I did feel quite numb. I even briefly questioned the whole teaching idea as I felt so let down.
Denial: There must be some mistake! This can’t be right! There must be places in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire!
Anger: At this stage, I really was questioning the whole process and how disillusioned I was with the process. The GTCS maintain that their process is designed to be fair. How can you be fair if you don’t take into account anyone’s personal circumstances when sending them off to work somewhere? Thankfully I did calm down a bit before I spoke to the Union and emailed my complaint to the GTCS. Its not wise to piss off the people who sign you off as a fit teacher.
Bargaining: Time to make a few phone calls. Who can help me? Are there any roles out there? Thankfully I was still at Alford Academy when this was happening, amongst some incredibly supportive colleagues. They shared my denial and my anger, but more importantly, they pointed me in the right direction; they gave me application, c.v. and interview advice; they gave me confidence in my ability; they made sure I didn’t panic. If you are in a bind, these are the kind of people that you need around you. My teaching has benefited massively from that faith and support.
Depression: Thankfully this stage didn’t last much longer than feeling a bit sorry for myself over a couple of beers. With a family to support, decisions and plans needed to be made.
Testing: With no reponse from the GTCS I started applying for jobs. The good news is that there were a few out there. A phone call from a friendly voice also helped me out. The Head Teacher from Buckie calling me to say that Moray had moved my allocation to them made things appear more manageable.
Things were on the up and it started to look like I had options for the year ahead. I was able to start thinking positively about it all again and believe that I had control over the situation. I investigated schools; I spoke to colleagues at school and University; I practiced my interview relonses; I brushed up on my theory and policy.
I was ready to put myself out there on the interview stage.
Acceptance: It finally came to the stage that I knew I had to “take the red pill” and go the flexible route when I got a great offer. Teacher interviews are scary! Going up against experienced teachers when you have only 18 weeks placement teaching behind you is daunting. Thankfully I did myself proud and found a school willing to give me a role and all the support I’d expect as an NQT.
Along with that acceptance comes sorrow, I had to say no to Buckie, a school I really enjoyed working in; a department of good teachers; and a HT who believed in me wholeheartedly. That’s not a good feeling.
What this does mean however, is that I have a job, I have a classroom and I can’t wait to get going. Time to relax and enjoy a bit of summer holiday with the family. Come August, Mr Kinnear will be teaching in an Aboyne Academy science lab!