House fires

The last candidate, the Ph.D. guy, was really very good.  Shame on me for making assumptions.  He taught a “regular” (non-AP, non-post-AP) senior class, and then he came and sat in on my smallest ninth-grade section, eleven students.  We were reading poems and he joined the conversation quite naturally.  Everyone liked him at lunch, and we were all getting very enthusiastic.  There was some agreement that ninth grade probably wasn’t his natural level, but Dr. Tea, Elinor, and I all agreed that he showed every sign of being able to adapt, and that like me, he would probably enjoy taking the higher grades for one or two classes a year as well.

So it was a disappointment to realize that GGE, the high-level administrator who does the hiring (GGE because I’ve previously characterized him here as the Good Gray Eminence of our department, a fiftysomething man who teaches one English class in addition to his considerable school-running responsibilities) had already offered a position to the person whom I characterized as the current frontrunner, and to hear, on Friday, that she’d accepted.   She’d had other offers on the table, and it was apparently a situation where we would certainly lose her if she didn’t have an offer from us.

Now, I knew that it wasn’t up to the English department, really, which person we hired as an English teacher; that’s just the way it works in most schools.  GGE, in particular, is usually quite good at sussing out what the school needs overall, not just what a department thinks it needs.  I suspect that one thing he sees when he looks at the English department is that we’re starting to tilt toward having more of the seasoned faculty and away from the junior folks.  I know from talking with him that he wasn’t persuaded by the ninth-grade-appropriateness of the last candidate: “a natural teacher for seniors” was his assessment.  And one advantage of the new hire is that she shouldn’t need any special coaching about teaching ninth grade, and we won’t have to give her an upperclass section as a sop.  (Which may also mean that I won’t have to teach tenth grade as I’m currently slated to do.)

Still.  I wanted Ph.D. Guy!   Dr. Tea feels he will get snapped up this hiring season, but I wonder.  There are only so many schools in the area that would be better than being a full-time NTTer at NLNRU, and they’re not all hiring.  NLNRU has actually developed a pretty functional system for its NTT faculty as regards benefits and promotions and perks like travel and research funding, and from what I can tell, Ph.D. Guy is pretty decently settled in it.  (And yet his reasons for wanting to make the move to secondary teaching were entirely legitimate, not to mention that SA would probably offer him at least $10,000 above what he makes at NLNRU, plus benefits and funding and so on.)

I also hear that the headmaster really, really liked Ph.D. Guy, and I’m wondering if we might not have seen the last of him after all…

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Makes me wish I’d applied. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Oh dear, too bad about Ph.D. guy. It’s been an adjustment to realize how little control a HS department may have over hiring; I was temporarily up in arms last spring when our head of school summarily (in my view) made an offer to a candidate while we were still interviewing, but then a more seasoned HS colleague told me that this was completely standard and that in fact the FGS English faculty seem to get quite a lot of input compared to other schools. And in fact the person whom the head of school offered the job to has turned out to be great, so I think you’re right that the various good gray eminences of the school are often looking for what the school needs overall and may have a better sense of who will work better.

    Anyway, what I started this comment to say is that yes, my sense is that people whom a key administrator likes may indeed find themselves getting a hiring phone call further on down the line.

    Reply

  3. Posted by meansomething on May 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Bardiac: It would be so much fun to teach with you!
    WN?: It makes me feel better to hear that the same thing happened at FGS. And as the days go by, more and more I think that Ph.D.G. wasn’t quite right for this opening. I do think we’ll stay in touch.

    Reply

  4. […] Ph.D. Guy?  I am happy to say that the GGE offered him, and he accepted, a position for next year. […]

    Reply

  5. […] head of school this year, has announced that he will be leaving SA in June.  Introducing him in this post, I referred to his “considerable school-running responsibilities,” and in the last […]

    Reply

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