So, I didn't manage to post last weekend, because I was having a really lovely weekend off. I'd had two interviews the week before and ended up not getting either of them. I really didn't do a great job with the teaching session on the first one - combination of nerves and over planning and they ended up going with an internal candidate who, to be fair, was probably more experienced than me as well so that was fine. The second one went fairly well, I thought, but I ended up not getting the job, which I guess is just how it goes sometimes. I didn't actually get any detailed feedback on that one, although I probably could have asked for it, but I was feeling a bit battered by the week. I'd forgotten what an up and down, stressful experience interviewing can be and two in a week took quite a lot out of me.
As such, I was quite pleased to have the chance to completely forget my job hunt for a bit and go to London to graduate. I had occasionally wondered this term why I was going to all the trouble of going to the ceremony but actually, I'm really glad I went with my instinct and did it. I even got quite choked up by the whole experience - partly, it was that time of the month, but I have always found the OU message that education is for everyone to be really inspiring and it felt really nice to finish off my degree with something a little special like that.
After the ceremony, we went for a really rather good dinner with my folks before seeing them back to Liverpool street and onto their train and heading for a hotel in Kensington for an overnight stay. On the Saturday, it was a really perfect day for me to enjoy myself - sunny and bright but with just enough spring chill in the air to make walking a pleasure. We headed out with no real plan in mind other than to end up near Imperial college and to catch some pokemon and ended up having a gentle saunter through West Bromwich cemetery, which was just lovely. I find Victorian cemeteries like that fascinating - the ways the memorialised the dead speak of such different ideas about life and society from mine that I find them fascinating.
After that, we ended up making our way to the V&A where we spent an absolutely lovely 4 hours or so wandering round, enjoying their beautiful Islamic Art gallery, admiring the costumes through the ages (I think if I time travel, the only era where I'd quite like the the clothes I'd have to wear would be the 20s) and being fascinated by the Rapid Reaction Collection, which has a selection of items acquired in the last 5 years which the musuem staff have collected as saying something interesting about design or culture, including a 3d printed gun and a pussy hat. Definitely recommend it for your visit to London, elyssa
. We rounded off the weekend with an evening at the Festival of Bad Adhoc Hypotheses, where I learned that aliens are using our junk DNA as long term storage to back up their kittie pictures, and other, equally fun suggestions. On the way out of London, I caught the last Magikarp needed to make a Gyrados literally from the bus and all in all, it felt like a really perfect day and a wonderful way to recharge my batteries.
And I really needed to recharge my batteries because on Thursday I'd fired off a speculative application for a teaching job in a village school which I hadn't managed to visit, what with everything going on, but which mentioned developing a leadership role in the description and sounded potentially interesting and on Tuesday I found out that I'd been shortlisted for an interview on Friday. I actually found it the easiest interview task that I'd had to plan because they'd been quite clear in what they wanted to see without being too constraining - pick a topic (space, mountains or chocolate) and teach a lesson to develop writing skills in the area of poetry, characterisation or setting and then in the interview tell us how you would develop it from there. I particularly liked that they acknowledged when setting the task that you might not get to a written outcome in 30 minutes - it all added up to something where they'd clearly thought about what they wanted to see and whether you could realistically get at it from that constrained 30 minute teaching experience. I ended up doing Space and teaching a session where we created some colonists to go on the Mars One colony expedition, which would lead into lots of story writing as well as a tonne of cross curricular stuff if you made it a unit and they were very happy with how it went. In the interview, they explained that the job would be as head of KS2, 3rd SLT member in a small school and teaching Y5/6, all of which fit very well with what I'd been imagining when I first started job hunting, and they'd be offering a chance to do leadership training as well. Overall, by the time I headed home after a tour of the school with the head teacher, I knew I wanted the job so I was back to the up and down stress rollercoaster feeling but this time, everything clicked into place right and they offered me the job! I was so happy to be able to accept and now the only thing I need to think about is how much handover work I'm going to have to do!