Post # 1
I’m in my last semester of a Masters of Teaching and will be applying for jobs soon. I also just got married! I know there’s a lot of competition out there for graduate teaching positions, and I’m a little worried about being overlooked for jobs if employers know that I’m married.
I know it’s illegal to discriminate on the grounds of marital status or pregnancy, but I’m worried that employers might see my wedding ring and think “well she’s probably going to have babies soon so let’s not hire her”. DH and I will be TTC in a couple of years, but certainly not in my first year out as a teacher, and I’d go straight back to work after I had the baby. I just don’t want to be overlooked or not thought of as a good candidate due to my marital status.
Have any other Bees experienced this? Is it maybe worth taking off my wedding and engagement rings before I go for an interview?
Post # 3
I wouldn’t think this would be an issue at all. I got my first job while engaged, and I just got hired for a new position while married. Almost all of the teachers I work with are married, and many have had kids. They just took maternity leave and then came back when it was over.
Post # 4
@littlebeanpole: I’m in the same position and have the same worry! I was actually in an interview where an administrator “jokingly” asked, “Not going on maternity leave any time soon, are you?” Umm, not funny!!
Other thoughts on this from teacher bees?
Post # 5
I think even if you take your ring off the question will come up in the interview. It has for me. If they want to know they’ll ask or mention it in one form or another.
Post # 6
@MrsSparkle: How did you respond?
In the country where I live, that question in an interview is flat-out illegal under anti-discrimination law and can get the employer fined. The only way you can legally come close to that is by skirting around it, eg “Can you commit to the company for two years?” not “Are you married and do you want children?”. On top of that, I’ll be applying for public schools where all candidates literally have to be asked the same questions in the same order under merit and equity guidelines.
However, there is nothing to stop an employment panel from looking at your wedding rings, making an assumption, then not hiring you because “there was a candidate better suited to our school” or something.
Post # 7
@littlebeanpole: I believe it to be illegal here as well, though I’m not certain and assume that people in general won’t make a fuss over it unless they really thought they deserved the job and didn’t get it. not right either way….
I responded by saying we had no plans to have children. Not that that’s true but I believed it wasn’t right they were asking and it really wasn’t anyones business anyway.
I was also asked when I wanted to go back to school and had to go through an interview process. I thought that was completely inappropriate to be asked in that sitution as well. I actually was shocked when asked. The individual interviewing me had the nerve to ask me how I would be paying for the course if I would be getting help from the goverment programs available…when I said “No, why how much does it cost?” she answered $350. I said “Oh that’s what I though you had me thinking it was thousands and thousands, lol. She then asked how my husband and I could afford it. Ummm…what?! I said my husband was employed, we could afford it. She then asked me if I was sure my HUSBAND wouldpay for it and asked if I was certain he was OK with me going back to school. What the HECK?! Sorry totally off topic rant. lol….Just go with your gut I guess.
Post # 8
I don’t consider this an issue at all. It might even go the other way – considering married teachers to be slightly more committed?! (Not that I agree with this point of view) I wouldn’t worry at all about it.
Post # 9
I got hired at 23 years old and I was married at the time (and I don’t know the job market where you are, but it’s really competitive up here). Don’t worry about it. You’ll be fine. 🙂
Post # 10
ugh, illegal or not, I’ve heard of things like that happening here. At my old position, a girl was leaving to move across the country with her boyfriend (who had also worked at the school, but was being laid off). Her assistant principal goes, “What are you, pregnant?“. She wasn’t. Sometimes people are rude – so just ask yourself- do you REALLY want to work for an administration who might make this assumption and judge you negatively for it? Trust me, you don’t- as scarce as the jobs are, do your research and really try to be in a place that you’ll be comfortable at.
I would not take off my rings, but I would be particular in how I answer questions. Make it clear when you respond to things that you’re in this for the long-haul. Saying things such as interest in professional development, interest in long-term projects (like helping with the school musical or sports teams), expressing committment and excitement to be starting your life-long career – all will help get the message across. Also, in teaching, its pretty common for there to be a small turn-over with people getting married/babies – and if they were to discriminate based on assumptions they’d have a pretty hard time hiring!!
Post # 11
I think people tend to view married teachers as more stable and committed to the community. They think you are less likely to move away with your boyfriend, because they presume your husband is committed to the area. As for the baby thing, tons of teachers go out on maternity leave. I would just try to give the impression that you see yourself staying in the classroom and committing to education long-term. When people ask where do you see yourself in ten years or what are your areas for devlopment, talk about ways to continue your professional development/become more proficient in an area of teaching.
Post # 12
I don’t think it’s an issue. If anything, it seems to be a plus. It shows maturity, stablilty, you know where you are at in life and where you are going. You know what you want and you are in a great part of your life so you are putting your best foot forward. Good luck applying for jobs by the way! 🙂
Post # 13
I’ve never heard of this being an issue, but in a field dominated by women (even though there are more and more men becoming teachers) I would hope that someone wouldn’t be dumb enough to ask you a question like that. I became engaged during my 1st year of teaching and am getting married in 3 months. It didn’t even come up in my interview. If it is a goo district/school, they don’t care about your relationship status, just your skills and knowledge of teaching. Good luck!
Post # 14
I never had this be an issue. None of my fellow teacher friends had it come up either. Since, by law, employers cannot ask about family planning in interviews, you don’t have to answer any of their questions. I’d just not mention being recently married in the interview. Think of it as one of those don’t ask, don’t tell situations, except they can’t ask, so you don’t tell.
Honestly, since teaching is such a female dominated profession, if employers never hired women for fear they’d go out on maternity leave right after getting hired, there’d be even more of a teacher shortage than there already is. Try not to stress too much. If you feel more comfortable, don’t wear your rings but I don’t think you need to take them off for fear of not getting hired.
Post # 15
This reminds me of a story one of my education professors told us when I was in college. It was her first interview – she was super nervous and had spent days preparing for every imaginable question. When she went in, she said the principal had a tobacco stain on his white shirt and his feet propped up on the desk. She was recently married as well. He just looked at her for a minute and asked, “You gonna get pregnant?” She just stared in disbelief and said, “No.” Then he told her he’d see her on the first day of school. Apparently several teachers had ended up taking maternity leave the year before. Of course, it probably wasn’t legal.
My professor was terrified of the principal. Especially when she ended up pregnant toward the end school year. Lucky for her, the principal ended up ransferring to a different school the next year, so she kept the pregnancy a secret from him.
I’ve never heard of any stories of things like this happening today though. I mean, that was YEARS ago. Honestly, I’ve never thought of hiding the fact that I was married. I actually had an interview today for a 5th grade teaching position and it came up that I was married in conversation. They weren’t prying or anything, just naturally came up. And it is definitely the BEST interview that I have ever had.