I worked at KIPP Foundation full-time (More than a year)
Great leaders and team. Great work environment.
Low pay. Management was always stressed.
I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at KIPP Foundation (New Orleans, LA).
I was "poached" for an interview in New Orleans after nearly a year and a half of KIPP emailing me and telling me "how amazing" they have heard I am as a teacher. I declined an interview initially because I was out of state. They contacted me 6 months later, and I agreed to interview with them or have more of an informal chat, since I did not apply for anything. The initial phone conversation was with someone in HR who did not look at my resume prior to our scheduled appointment. She said, "You don't have classroom experience, correct?" In fact I had 7 years of classroom experience. After a disjointed conversation, she said she was going to, "create a position for me, because I'm so AMAZING." I was hesitant, but asked her to send me a job description once she had it. The HR woman also suggested I get a (second) Masters, which KIPP would pay for.
The second "interview" was with the principal of the school that the woman in HR referred me to. At the start of this conversation, I still had not seen an official job description. The principal acted as though this was a formal phone interview. He asked, "What club or activity would you like to start to promote leadership?" I told him that would be based off of a needs assessment of the children, and I'd have to meet with them and see what their interests were before I could answer that.
He also wrote that I don't have experience with large groups of middle school aged students, when KIPP themselves said they needed me to teach middle school. Another comment he wrote, "Many of her questions surrounded workload and structure/logistics. Didn’t seem to ‘jump’ at the opportunities for autonomy/flexibility and our ‘find a way or make one’ philosophy."
My questions were about workload and logistics because I've heard KIPP teachers spend 80 hours working a week for about 50K a year. If by autonomy/flexibility he meant, "Living, sleeping and breathing work," and if by 'find a way or make one,' he meant, "Make stuff up and don't voice any concerns," then he certainly made the correct decision in not hiring me.
The principal said he'd call me back within a week, and never did. I asked him to send a job description and he never did.
Two weeks later, I emailed him to follow up on my request. He wrote that I did not get the job. When I asked him why, he wrote that he respects that I want to know how to do better on an interview. He then emailed all the questions he asked me, and all of my responses. His notes included that I "didn't have initiative," because I didn't have an idea for a "leadership section" of his class of students I haven't met, for a job that I knew mostly nothing about, for a Foundation that begged me for years to teach for them.
This was the most colossal waste of time, resources, and money that I can imagine. If you are going to constantly badger someone to interview with you, then offer them something wonderful.
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