“Miss, why do you keep walking around? What are you doing?”
This was what I was asked yesterday and it was a good question, as for the past five to ten minutes I had been peering into the meeting room down the corridor, walking upstairs, coming back down, sat on the steps and then repeating this again when I got restless.
The explanation for this is that yesterday morning I had an interview for a head of year position at my current school. This interview was due to start at 11.45am in the ‘boardroom’. However, when I went up to what I thought was the boardroom, due to the sign on the door saying ‘boardroom’, there were two members of staff already in there and they said the actual boardroom was the meeting room downstairs. Off I went, however this room was also empty.
When I asked another teacher where the interviews were being held, he said it would probably be in the meeting room but to just wait on the steps until they came downstairs from the office they were currently holding a virtual interview in; ‘they’ being the new headteacher and assistant headteacher who would be interviewing me.
As instructed, I sat on the steps waiting, however I felt a bit silly and also paranoid that they had maybe come down the back set of steps to the meeting room, so while I was waiting I also wandered back and forth to check, as well as upstairs to the office to double check they weren’t waiting for me there.
Meanwhile, there was a group of a few students and two teaching assistants sat around chatting who had also been witness to this crazy back and forth routine, hence the question at the start.
When I eventually decided to just stand and wait with them, they involved me in their conversation where they were basically asking each other lots of different questions. This meant that I got some pre-interview questions to answer too, such as ‘What’s your favourite film?’, ‘What’s your favourite food?’ and ‘What makes you angry?’. To the last one, I answered ‘When you keep asking me questions!’ but luckily they understood it was not genuine, just my great (questionable) sense of humour.
Eventually, I was able to have my actual interview, where weirdly they didn’t care about my favourite film or food at all. After some pretty standard interview questions which I was able to answer convincingly enough, I had a 30 minute task to complete in a separate room. This was an ‘in-tray’ activity where I had to prioritise a list of tasks which a head of year may be faced with, followed by identifying a list of under-achieving students from a spreadsheet of Year 9 data and coming up with a brief action plan to support them.
Luckily, the interview must have gone well because not long after this, despite initially being told that I would receive a phone call later that day, the headteacher told me just before I left the school that I had got the job as head of year 9! Unfortunately, my reply to this news was a quite unprofessional “Are you joking?!” because I was very surprised to find out so quickly, so the sceptic in me was sure that it must have been a cruel joke. Thankfully, he was not joking so I was able to walk home feeling ‘on cloud nine’- get it?
This role will begin in September, which I will be taking on as an extra TLR (teaching and learning responsibility), in addition to my main job as a science teacher. One of the reasons I applied for this is because I have now been teaching for three years and although the job of a teacher is never exactly ‘easy’, I have been craving a new challenge which this job will definitely bring!
This also means that I can spend some time during the approaching summer holiday reading, researching and preparing for the role as much as possible. Although, from what I have observed of the previous heads of year in my school this year, something tells me that no amount of research will be able to really prepare me for what is ahead…wish me luck!