Thinking Differently

Recently, I have applied for a Teacher of Chemistry position at two independent schools in the UK. I was successful in obtaining an interview at both of them, but sadly I was not successful at the interview stage and consequently rejected.

Sitting back and thinking about what happened during the two interviews, my thoughts went immediately to, “…there must be something wrong with me…”. Now, this is something that I consistently do – my anxieties and personal paranoia making their positions loud and clear. It is hard to shut off the anxious thoughts as once they start they become louder and louder. Often the musical stylings of Cher help to quieten down these thoughts.

My application form was spot on – if it wasn’t then I guess I would not have been called for interview. I had done the research into the schools, looked at their policies, standards and most importantly, their ethos to see if it all aligned with my personal views, and to make sure it is somewhere where I wanted to work. When I apply for a job I put 100% of my effort into getting that job.

So, I must be doing something wrong. There must be something wrong with me. Until now, I have not been able to ascertain what exactly it is that is wrong. On Friday, a very good friend sat me down and helped me understand a number of things that have been happening. Some of these things were very, very hard to hear and I’ve spend the past 36 hours trying to process them.

When it comes to dealing with difficult things I am a textbook case. I follow the Kübler-Ross model. She proposed that there were five stages of grief:

Denial: I spent the better part of my drive back to my home thinking how utterly crap it was. No, what was said cannot be true. I am not that sort of person. This lead quite rapidly into…
Anger: Dammit I have spent many years trying not to be that person. How and why have I become that way? What am I doing?
Bargaining: Sometime on Friday evening, whilst sprawled out on the sofa, I decided to simply ignore it. Maybe if I did that everything will go away.
Depression: Well, I don’t think I need to go into too much detail here, suffice to say that a large bag of crisps, a bottle of wine, Chinese and two bars of chocolate came in handy on Saturday evening.
Acceptance: Writing this post. I asked for honest and raw feedback and I have received it. Now I have to do something about it. I want to do something about it. I need to do something about it…but how?

Hard lessons need to be learnt. Difficult ones that require a change of thought, habit, and approach to life. Sometimes what you need is someone brave enough to tell it how it is to actually make these changes.

Right now, as I finish typing this post, I am getting out my application forms, supporting letters and other job application documents, and I intend to review them all and see where I can make changes to improve. I am going to reflect and review my approach to interviews. If I don’t then I could spend a lot of time without a teaching position.

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