Marisa C. on April 3, 2019
I have been looking for a teaching job since I finished my undergrad in special/elementary education in May 2016. I've been working as a substitute teacher for almost three years. I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 1996, and have been NED for over 20 years. The treatments caused high frequency and general hearing loss (I wear hearing aids), and my growth was severely affected (I am 4-foot-6 inches.)
In 2016, right after I graduated, I had 6 interviews, 3 of them followed up to ask me for a demo lesson, but no offers. In 2017, I had 17 interviews, only 3 asked for a demo lesson, no offers. I had thought, since I wasn't being asked back for demo lessons or second interviews, that I was being discriminated against (due to my hearing disability and (more obviously) my height).
In 2018, I changed my cover letter to mention that I was a cancer survivor, to address and explain away my differences before they (school administrators) make those judgments. I only had 4 interviews, and none asked for demo lessons. I don't believe this is a random coincidence, I think my disclosure may have cost me a number of interviews.
Any tips and suggestions (for the disclosure or the discrimination) are very much appreciated. Thanks so much!