Well, I was hoping to post again in the 'Progress' section, but unfortunately, I did NOT get the position that I really, really hoped (and thought) I'd get...

It's a program where I've been a substitute music teacher for TWO YEARS.  Everyone who taught there got the job through subbing, and I'd thought when one of the teachers left I would be permanent (all the other ones tend to be in their 20s and once they graduate from conservatory they head off to bigger and better things....).  The first time one of them left and a new teacher was hired, I thought, well maybe they just didn't realize I was looking for a permanent job.  So I told them that I'd like the opportunity to interview should someone else leave....  When they called me in to sub for the first time last year, once again:  a new teacher.  Then I thought, ok - I'm old.  They don't want someone with grey hair and kids....  they want twentysomethings.  But they kept calling me in to sub, and the chair of the department told me that I was always his 'first choice' for his studio.  The kids really like me and I believe I made a big difference with some of them.  (ages 9-18).  I felt good about myself seeing them on TV or professional sporting events and thinking, "Hey-I taught those kids!"  I'd smile when I'd come home and find sidewalk chalk hand prints on the back of my blazer from the kids who run up to me and hug me when I arrive. My heart broke when a 14 year old student gushed effusively about a wonderful new food he tried for the first time due to a new subsidized lunch program at school:  Salad.  And I cried when I found out CPS had taken a student away from her grandmother, and she was no longer in the program.

My interview was fantastic.  I was interviewed by the Director, and then I taught a lesson for her to observe.  Everything I suggested showed immediate and obvious improvement.  Then the director talked to me some more, asked me a lot of questions about working with kids in the small business I started 2 years ago, (she had gone to my website and had read everything) and told me that she really liked the way I taught and the way that I spoke to the student (12 years old) as I would any adult, and made him feel comfortable and respected. 

When she called today, I could tell I didn't get the job immediately by the sound of her voice.  She told me that it had been a 'really tough decision' and that this was a 'hard phone call' for her to make, but they found a candidate with better credentials (pedagogy - I just have a BA in Music and a Masters in Vocal Performance, but no 'education' degree).  She said she loved our interview and was glad to have a chance to get to know me better etc. etc. and she said the kids love me and they'd keep me on the substitute list, but she would understand if I didn't want to sub anymore.  I thanked her for calling, and said that yes, I could still be on the sub list (because after all - I need the money.  the job I got last week is only part time). 

But, here's the question:  Why would I NOT want to be on the sub list?  In addition to needing money, I also love the kids and the job, and it seems like a no-brainer that I would still want to work there even though I couldn't be faculty.  Is there a social cue that I've missed?  Of course, it's embarrassing.  Of course I am disappointed, I am CRUSHED, in fact.... but was she hinting that I should just go away?  Like, "he's not into you - give up!  Stop embarrassing yourself!"  kind of thing?

First, sorry you didn't get

First, sorry you didn't get the job.  You sound perfect for it!  Second, I don't think you missed a social cue.  And if it was a cue, I think it's totally fine to ignore it.  

Pbartender's picture

"But, here's the question: 

"But, here's the question:  Why would I NOT want to be on the sub list?  In addition to needing money, I also love the kids and the job, and it seems like a no-brainer that I would still want to work there even though I couldn't be faculty.  Is there a social cue that I've missed?  Of course, it's embarrassing.  Of course I am disappointed, I am CRUSHED, in fact.... but was she hinting that I should just go away?  Like, "he's not into you - give up!  Stop embarrassing yourself!"  kind of thing?"

Sort of.  Think of it more like the professional equivalent of telling someone you "like-like" them and asking them out on a date, and them telling you that they like you too but not in "that way"...  that they'd rather just stay friends.

For some people it'd be hard to keep the friendship after the embarrassment and disappointment of the rejection.  Likewise, for some people it's hard to continue working in a job under a supervisor who's rejected them for a promotion.  Or also, some people choose to leave and pursue the possibility of a better job offer somewhere else if they are turned down for a promotion at where they currently work.

Take it for what it is...  She was simply saying that you were good (and still are good as a sub), but they found someone they liked better for the position.  She wants to keep you as a sub, but understands if you feel too uncomfortable working with someone who had to make the decision to not choose you for the position.  That she wouldn't be personally insulted, if you made the decision to leave and look elsewhere.

Also, don't be afraid to ask her for advise on improvement for the next time.



That's what I thought....

I figured it was that.  Yes, I am embarrassed... humiliated, even.  But I need work, and I figure while I'm applying for other stuff, i've got to keep paychecks coming in from wherever I can.  I don't have the luxury of being too proud for anything.  I can't imagine saying to DH, "I've been called to sub for the next 2 months, but I am too embarrassed to go."



ellamenno, It sounds like


It sounds like you're taking this hard because you love your work so much.  We have long-term/long-time subs in our building, and there's been more than 1 occasion where there's an opening for a permanent position and another candidate is chosen over some of the WONDERFUL subs in our building.  We rant amongst ourselves on how the sub knows the building, knows the kids, knows the procedures, knows the educational climate, knows their field really well, is a great teacher, and so on, but administration inexplicably went in a different direction. 

From everything you said, it sounds like you're the type of teacher any school would be lucky to have.   REALLY lucky to have; you clearly have a big heart AND (equally important) KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING.  It doesn't sound like it's personal AT ALL.  I don't know what your state is like, but where I live, there are several alternative routes to teaching certification.  Check out your state's education website to see if you have alternative certification.   Don't be afraid to reapply later once you've gotten closer to your certification;  and yes, I mean at the same school.  I have seen people "rejected" from one position, only to get hired later on.  And just because they hired someone else, doesn't mean they made the right decision!!  I have definitely experienced the "What were they thinking?" after a new hire gets into the classroom. 

Hold your head high.  From everything you're saying, it sounds like it WAS a difficult decision, which means you must be pretty damn good.  Maybe they just didn't feel like dealing with (I'm serious, here) getting you certified, and that was the only difference. 


P.S. I used to take this stuff really personally, too.  At least for me, having struggled so much with executive functioning gave me an inferiority complex, and I personalized things a lot.  I felt (and sometimes still feel) like any setback I had was a reminder of how much I struggled/how inferior I was, when in reality, EVERYONE has setbacks.  No one gets every job for which they interview, even if they're already "in the system."

I hope things eventually work out for you.

I'm sorry Ellamenno...

It sounds like you are perfect for the job. I wish I had some great wisdom to tell you now, but it does not sound like you missed any cues to me.

I'm sure it is just a very tough market still.

Hang in there, or better yet, lets all meet at ADD Island and discuss further ;)

MagicSandwich's picture

It's not you.

"But, here's the question:  Why would I NOT want to be on the sub list?"  Yep. If something like this happens again why not ask that question directly? First of all you could not have been clearer to these people about your interest in a permanent position; a fact which makes her faux-empathy about possibly removing yourself from sub list very weird indeed. Secondly, if the department chair says you're good enough to be numero uno on the sub list at this place, why wouldn't you be good enough to teach full time? Even when you factor in the lack of an "education" degree to accompany your Masters, it just does not make sense. 

The first incident when they skipped over you in favor of a new hire is very telling because you mentioned a concern that the school might not want to hire somebody "with grey hair and kids" in favor of hiring twentysomethings. That's not OK.  Age discrimination is still illegal last time I checked and discrimination cases being filed against school systems are on the rise. Earlier this year the Chicago Board of Education was busted for trimming the budget by firing teachers who were on the verge of completing their 20th year in the system.  Before they got wise to what was really going on the teachers were all asking themselves the same question, "Is it me?"

Just something to consider.


I know...

but, as DH points out:  it's very difficult to prove age discrimination, and I don't have the money for a lawyer.  It doesn't pay enough to justify the expense of the fight right now.  Can't get blood out of a turnip.  (I've tried soooo many times!)

thanks everyone - y'all are great.

ok YYZ, I'll meet you on the Island.  Except instead of meeting for happy hour at a bar, we'll meet at the track at 6AM with our travel coffee mugs, k?

Island Coffee

Coffee Power Walk!!!!!!!! Who's with us????

I'm a big talker about drinking at bars... I have not even had a beer in three weeks ;)

Ellamenno you will catch a break one day soon, because you are too nice not to get noticed.


Age discrimination

is illegal, but it is legal to discriminate against, say, mothers of preschool kids. (I know that's your situation.) And yes, age discrimination is a very tough thing to prove. I am so sorry that happened to you, Ellamenno.