So far, it's hard to see how things could be going any better. Forgive the bullet points, but I have to break down some numbers.
- My application package has been sent to about a dozen schools across the country.
- Nine of these schools will interview in DC.
- I sent letters of interst to four of these nine.
- Five schools have requested interviews.
So if you are scoring at home (or if you're by yourself) I'm batting 5-for-4, which is as impossible in baseball as academia. (As I said to a friend in the field, "Remember the year you had interviews with your top five schools? No, me neither.")
It's also possible that there are more interviews to come. I received a request to interview for a department chair position. (I declined it due to location and cost of living issues.) And more schools are registering for the conference and posting jobs. (Right now there are about 200 schools registered.)
Now, one reading of this is that I'm totally awesome. But I don't think that's true. I think that the correct reading speaks to the differences between the prep school and academic job markets. For college teaching jobs, a doctorate, publications, and years of teaching experience might not get you in the door. For prep schools, all of these make you stand out from the twenty-somethings who are looking for their first teaching gig. You might not get the interviews, but you will be noticed, and in my case my CV has clearly worked in my favor.
That said, I've been through the academic wringer too many times to think that a job is in the bag. Conference interviews won't necessarily lead to campus interviews, and campus interviews won't necessarily lead to job offers. But they're a start, at least.