Okay, sorry about that last post, and thanks so much for the supportive comments. I read recently about a piece of software that keeps you from sending emails when drunk. I need one that keeps me from blogging when freshly rejected.
There is an aspect of the secondary search that I have been puzzling over for some months now, but have not written about it, less out of fear of appearing foolish than the fact that I had a question, but no answer. As you, dear reader, have probably figured out, one of the major differences between the academic and secondary markets is the timeline. By this time of year, all but the most tardy and muddled-headed search has wrapped up. (I'm talking to your employer, Eliza!) But secondary schools are just heading into the on-campus phase, and it will be another month before these positions close.
But there is a bigger difference than this, and here is where I become confused. In the world according to my Carney Sandoe rep, the vast majority of teaching positions have been announced. (These positions, it should be noted, are positions that schools have known about for the better part of a year.) To fill these positions, CSA had their big conference last month, and if your ship hasn't come in yet, the odds are very high that you'll be standing at the dock for another year.
But when I ask prep school teachers, I hear something completely different. Every one of them agrees that next month, a second wave of searches will begin. This is because schools are only now offering contracts to faculty for the 2011-12 academic year. Thus it is only now that some faculty will announce their retirement (or that they have taken the job that I had my eye on). As a result of these retirements/moves, there will be another set of openings in April and May (and even June or July). (Unlike colleges and universities, independent schools don't have to wait a year to fill a position. Got a vacancy starting in the fall? Fill it.)
The question then becomes, how do we explain the discrepancy between what Carney says, and what teachers say? If this second wave of jobs is a reality (and I'll keep you posted), why doesn't CSA go after those as well?
All I've got is an educated guess, and I'm happy to hear from anyone who knows better. My thinking is that CSA is powerful, but they work on volume. (Why? For the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks: "That's where the money is.") They can handle the block of jobs that come out in January and February, and funnel them into their big conferences. These are the low-hanging fruit. But the spring jobs come out in dribs and drabs over three or four months. For a guess, they require more resources to fill, and are thus less profitable.
So both stories are right. Carney's season does end in March, but the rest of the world's does not. The pace slows, to be sure, but that doesn't mean that things are at an end. So even if you are signed up with CSA, keep an eye on the NAIS listings, for there may be jobs there that CSA doesn't handle.
And good luck out there!