Ugh! That’s what I have to say about yesterday. First, let me say that June has been very interesting indeed. Steve’s birthday was on the first, so we saw Prometheus (and as you can read from the review, that didn’t meet our expectations at all.) Nonetheless we spent ten days together where we celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at home. Since it was a national holiday all of the bed and breakfasts in Alnwick were filled up, so we stuck around home for the rest of the week. We took a trip to Cullercoats as well. Lovely place.
During that time I signed up with a teaching agency in town, and another in the city. I was surprised to find out that the first teaching agency I had signed up with a year ago was sort of known for never giving any jobs out. Plus, the recruiters from both of new agencies I signed up with were former employees of the teaching agency I signed up with previously. (That tells me something right there.) After our fun vacation of lounging around, I went to work, actual work, at a school in the city during the students’ GCSE exams. I was one of about 15 exam invigilators (the Brits have such a great way of making everything sound better – I was a test proctor, as we call it in Florida.) I just hung out in classrooms and watched over the kids with a school staff member present. I worked a whole 3.5 hours too. My first actual job in the United Kingdom!
After being happy that I had some kind of work and talking to recruiters who seemed they could actually help me (and finding out from other substitute, or supply, teachers that full time work is hard to come by for anyone) I got another opportunity. I had applied as Head Librarian of a school near our house and was excited that I was called in for an interview last week. However, the interview ended up being really tough with a whole day visit to the school, two separate presentations and one written task, plus interviews. I almost chickened out but after I had such nice letters of recommendation written for me and a good, solid idea of what I would say at the presentations, I went in.
There were four of us and, of course, the other three candidates had jobs already with 20 some years experience in libraries. However, I really had a good feeling about how I was doing when the headmaster said he wanted someone who could work well with children. Well, I’ve taught and worked in schools. I have a good grasp of what the modern school library should be like. I really had a good vibe about the school too (seriously, everyone I met there was nice, especially the kids.) I ended up being a finalist and when I left the school I was sure I had the job.
Yesterday when we went up to see the torch, I got the call from the school saying I didn’t get the job. Again. It’s so frustrating and, honestly, very humiliating to not even be able to get in anywhere even for a job making less than $30k a year and requiring experience and a library degree. So after we saw the torch go by, Steve and I chased the Olympic torch bearer down and I slipped on a wet, grassy hill. I fell flat on my bottom and back and slid all the way down (in front of the whole town, mind you.) I found this extremely fitting for the day I’d been having. Still, I got this photo (you can see that stupid hill in the background) so it was worth it. A once in a lifetime piece of history. I’m very happy to have been able to see it.
When I got home, I had my little pity party. I took a long nap, ate ice cream, talked about the stupid job and why I should have gotten it over and over even though Steve hurt his back (stupid hill – at least he ran down the dumb thing though.) Now I’m getting back to the land of the living. Tomorrow I’m signing up with another teaching agency so I’ll have three working for me when school starts. I have work to do at home, especially JuNoWriMo that I am completely behind on by now. I know there will be a nice, big, fancy career job out there for me one day. I just have to keep trying and keep doing what I can do at home and not worry about it.
I will say, however, that I did learn that there are some really great schools around here. Plus, even though I’ve not worked in the British schools and don’t have a ton of library experience, that doesn’t mean I don’t stand a good chance of being what a Headmaster wants for his school librarian. That’s a huge relief to me. I also now know that I can handle intimidating interviews. Phew.