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Advice on applying for my first SEN post

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by splinters, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    I have been in education for many years and dealt with a range of SEN pupils but not really those you would consider 'extreme' in their behaviour; I have taught students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, aspergers and some with physical disabilities. In other words, I have worked in secondary and non selective independent schools. I am looking at a very small independent school where they want a subject specialist to work with very small classes. Having worked in independent schools I am used to very small groups; even one on one tuition and I fit the bill in every other respect of what they need (I am even pretty stocky and well built which is hard to explain eloquently against the 'physically fit' requirement of restraint/intervention).
    I am more than willing to undergo the necessary training (already have PGCE in FE, QTS and an MA) and this is an area of teaching I would like to move into. Experience of working with SEN/EBD pupils is in their desirable list but I really want to give this my best shot, however I wont lie or embellish how much experience I have had.

    Any suggestions for how to approach the application/covering letter? I feel confident that, if I can get an interview, I can impress with my enthusiasm, personality and subject experience but don't want this element to let me down....
    I already spoke to the Head who encouraged me to apply based on my background and experience and I am arranging a visit for next week but the deadline is approaching so I want to get it ready in plenty of time.
  2. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    I often visit special schools to teach circus skills.

    With the difficult nature of pupils in these schools, I guess it is even more important that the staff get on! Teamwork with the staff all working together does seem to be vital.

    Will you fit in to the team I would imagine is one question the headteacher will be considering.

    Just a thought.

    Kevin the Clown
  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I am sure that you have met with some challenging students in your time and may wish to think about how you, for example, applied the setting's Code of Conduct when addressing. Students who are ' labelled 'SEN / EBD ( think the revised definition now EMH ) can present with minor to major behavioural difficulties and I appreciate you won't know where on the spectrum these students might be until your interview. Do some reading about Behaviour for Learning ( rules, rights, responsibilities and relationships ). Crucially the school maybe acknowledging that it needs an experienced SEND specialist to help with staf training / address lack of provision / gaps in knowledge - you may be just what they are looking for !
  4. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    The SEN/EBD experience is on their desirable list and I clearly meet or exceed 13/14 of the essential criteria (despite being a teacher post they want the right candidate to coordinate a range of subjects within a faculty which was my last role for 12 years!). I know they have someone currently in place who isn't a subject specialist and he is moving on so the specialist subject knowledge is important. They provide lots of training and I am eager to learn new skills. I also have extensive experience of working with small groups and developing departments so it looks promising. Application going off today so lets see.
    Great advice by the way!!
  5. JWilco

    JWilco New commenter

    From experience of just getting my first SEN role, promote evidence of being resourceful, communicating with other staff and agencies, and really just showing enthusiasm. Everyone is there to learn how to best engage with the students so adaptability is everything. Good luck
  6. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Thanks, sent it off so fingers crossed.

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