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As a qualified teacher, I'm not getting anywhere with pastoral job applications. Why?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by impossibility, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. impossibility

    impossibility New commenter

    Some regulars who frequently read these forums will know that I have doubts about teaching, and I still continue to. For the past couple of months my search has taken a more pastoral route, and I have a lot more enthusiasm for this than teaching. When I say pastoral, I mean more like a personal tutor (sixth form mainly) than a teaching assistant.

    I've applied for several jobs in sixth forms as a tutor. It is labelled different ways but it is essentially a personal tutor, delivering personal tutorials to groups and dealing with students one to one. It appeals to me and I genuinely think I'd enjoy it.

    I have only got one interview, and I'm convinced that one was only because I knew the principal from a previous interview and he remembered me. I have had my applications checked and always been told they are excellent.

    From the teaching jobs I've applied to there has only been one job (out of about 13) where I didn't get an interview. How is it that I can get interviews for teaching posts but not pastoral?

    My dream pastoral job at my old college came up recently and I applied thinking there was a good chance I'd get an interview seeing as there were five posts. It closed yesterday at noon and they are interviewing tomorrow so I am taking it that I didn't get an interview, yet I met every single criteria. It is really frustrating as I just don't know why I'm not getting anywhere!

    Any advice or insight would be great. I appreciate most on this forum probably know more about teaching than pastoral but I thought it was worth asking.
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I'm sorry you're having such a frustrating time, but as you did ask, I suspect you are not getting interviews for two reasons:

    1. Possible lack of experience

    2. The question of why someone who has just completed a PGCE wants to change direction so suddenly without even competing the NQT year.

    Being a personal tutor for a 6th Form college can be as challenging as working in pastoral in a school. Bear in mind you are dealing with young adults and you may find yourself having to deal with extremely delicate situations - from pregnancy to drug use. You could find yourself being responsible for the care of young people at some very vulnerable points in their lives. I do have an acquaintance who is a "personal mentor" at an FE college - he is a former social worker. The College needs to be sure they are hiring someone who can navigate these areas.

    Theo was a Principal for a 6th Form College - I reckon she'll be able to give you better advice, but these are my thoughts.
  3. impossibility

    impossibility New commenter

    Thanks. Experience is frustrating because I can't get more experience in this without getting a job in it. Also most person specifications have listed experience of working with young people as only desirable. Which I do have for the year at least.

    Your second factor does concern me and I don't know what I can do about it. I worry that places will think I'm bad at what I do which is why I've decided to change direction, which is not true. I finished my PGCE with outstanding. I don't really know how to put that across though.
  4. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I suspect - and obviously I do not know who you're applying to - that its not because they think you're "bad", but because they think you have no real commitment to anything. The problem with completing a PGCE and then deciding not to teach is you will be questioned as to why you chose to change direction so quickly - remember, you have a year you have to declare on an application form for any job! Those colleges you're applying to may be thinking "OK, she tried a PGCE, now she wants to try this, in a year she'll be wanting to do something else..."

    You're getting teaching interviews because you were considered outstanding. The only option may be to just do the NQT year and use that as a springboard for other options.
  5. impossibility

    impossibility New commenter

    I did have a long reply typed out about how I do have a real commitment to education, despite not wanting to teach, but no-one ever believes me anyway.

    As a graduate who wanted to go into education but did not know in what form, I chose to do a PGCE. I feel this was a sensible option to investigate education and the differing roles. I feel I've been nothing but penalised for doing this, although I don't know what the alternative would have been. Ironically a postgraduate certificate in education seems to have made it harder for me to enter education.
  6. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I did not say you do not have a commitment to education. And if you want to believe no one believes you, well, that's your call.

    I merely pointed out that doing a PGCE and choosing not to teach could be viewed as the sign of someone who does not know what they want to do irrespective of whether they apply for jobs in education or not.

    I really think you might be better off going to speak to a Careers' Advisor, which your Uni hopefully provides for free.

  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I agree with CWadd. You are struggling to get interviews because you are not really set up for a pastoral job yet.

    1) You have done a PGCE. To many people in the back of their minds they will assume you are applying as you can't find a teaching role and will leave pretty sharpish maybe. How can you demonstrate commitment to a pastoral role when you have spent time training for a teaching role?

    2) There is a lot of potential applicants for pastoral role. Ex-teachers, social workers etc. burned out by current jobs, or wanting a decent job that allows them to bring up families etc. I think you have been over optimistic in expecting interviews.

    3) I don't know you, and haven't looked back on previous posts. Are you a mature applicant? Have you got experience from a previous line of work? If not, you may struggle. I agree totally with CWadd, this is a sensitive and difficult job you are looking at. If you are young, straight out of uni etc. they may be looking for someone who has more (1) life experience, (2) more experience of working with older teenagers (3) maybe is further away from them in terms of age. I don't know, and I don't know if this is not you either, but it is my guess. In a PGCE you have barely scratched the surface of pastoral issues.

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