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Can't get a job without experience - help

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by merturtle, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. merturtle

    merturtle New commenter

    Dear Theo
    I am a secondary NQT and starting to despair of ever getting a job. I have had one two-term maternity contract since qualifying, where I completed a term of my NQT year, but nothing since July. I am now getting interviews, thanks to your advice on including an executive summary, but am always rejected due to "lack of experience". This happens even when all the interview candidates are NQTs, and on two occasions the school has not appointed anyone.
    I am feeling very disheartened, obviously the schools know I am an NQT when they call me for interview, if they are looking for someone more experienced than an NQT, surely there is no point inviting me to attend?
    I have a strong academic background (good degree and masters in music) and good reports from my PGCE and the first term of my NQT year. Prior to qualifying, I worked as a peripatetic music teacher, teaching one to one and small groups (which I continue to do part-time), as well as whole class KS2; more recently, I have been teaching GCSE Music in a local school with no Music Department. Before that, I was a chartered librarian for several years, working in higher and further education libraries, and finally in a secondary school, which was where I got the teaching "bug". I love teaching and feel I have a lot to offer, but can't get that initial opportunity to show what I can do. I thought I had found my vocation, but am now wondering if I will ever teach in a classroom again. I have 30+ years of my career ahead of me, but can't even get started.
    I have been unable to get any supply since September, apart from 2 half day job trials, despite being registered with 5 agencies. I really miss being in the classroom and am worried that the longer I am out of teaching, the harder it will be to get a post. As I continue to teach part time for a music service on teacher's pay, I am being put up the scale every year, which will presumably make me more and more expensive but still an NQT (I would be happy to start at the bottom of the scale in a classroom post).
    What can I do to improve my chance of gaining a post? Would taking a cover supervisor post (should I be ale to get one) be seen as a backwards step by employers? Should I offer to work voluntarily to gain experience (I'm not sure if teaching unions would think this appropriate)? Any advice would be welcome!
     
  2. It's really tough out there at the minute. You sound like a very good candidate for any secondary music post so I'm not sure where you're going wrong - perhaps Lara or Theo might be able to help more.

    You may already be doing this but you definitely need to make this explicit on your applications:
    Hope you find something soon

    P
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, it's really painful for those in your position. And the bad news is that you are NOT ALLOWED to go down the pay scale . .
    CS posts are better than nothing, if you can get them, and if you make a point of using them as a learning experience - and say so in your applications. .
    Now, there is good news.
    You are clearly writing good applications, and have good things to show for yourself to write about, as you are getting interviews. You are letting yourself down in the interviews.ow about your experience when st you, so by using that as thre just letting you down politely. Applicants with lots of experience - which they also know about when shortlisting - get told twanted a NQT.
    So you need to improve your interview technique.
    You can get a friend - or even a bossy sister - to work on this with you, or you can e-mail Julia on advice@tes.co.uk and give her a phone and time to ring you back, and she'll talk to see if coming for an hour or a half day with me would help you out.
    In the meantime, remember that you write v good applications!
    Best wishes
    ___________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
     
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As Theo and others have said you are a good potential candidate and you<u> are</u> getting interviews. So weel done.
    Any reason they give you, as to why you weren't appointed is often 'something to say'. After all with all your peripatetic work, they can't really say you are inexperienced- in a classroom with whole classes perhaps, but probably it's just a reason, which won't bring any comeback on themselves.
    As Theo says , unfortunately you can't drop down the payscale- I've thought about this in the past.
    Are you making the most of your GCSE teaching? Have you got very good results to quote?
    Would taking a CS position mean you couldn't continue with your peripatetic work? In which case being Music, I would imagine an employer would prefer some recent experience in your subject.
    Even voluntary work is difficult these days- I presume because of the CRB issues. After the school where I've had most supply work the past 4 years closed, I'm having to re-establish myself in other schools and so far I've tried 4, all with no return phone calls!
    Have you considered Independant schools? Theo will tell you, yes you can do induction in one.
    With your good degree and Masters, they might be interested in your extra curricularpossibilities- choir, music festivals etc.
    It just IS very tough. Theo's advice about interview is good (this may be my weak spot too).
     
  5. I didn't know that, Theo. I currently teach on behalf of a LA. I'm not on the 'M1' pay scale but the LA one. Does that apply to me as well?
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I don't know - it's the teaching unions who have agreed national pay scales and will not let schools offer a job at less. I don't know about LA.
    But it can be daft.
    You want the job, you are M6, you would be prepared to take it at M3 rather than be unemployed.
    The school cannot afford more than M3. It wants to appoint you. It can't afford you so has to take second choice at M3.
    You want the job. They want to give it to you. The unions say No.
    Daft.
    Best wishes
    ___________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
     
  7. Oh dear. Perhaps I need to contact HR and find out. That puts a fire in the works, doesn't it?!
     
  8. merturtle

    merturtle New commenter

    Thanks, I think I am weaker in interviews as that was one comment I got from an application when I got down to the last two. I tend to dry up when asked to describe my teaching style etc.! So that is definitely something I could work on.
    However, the last two rejections were without being interviewed, so I feel I didn't even get the chance to "sell myself", so maybe it was actually my observed teaching that was at fault? In two high achieving schools I was told I didn't use AfL enough or stretch the G & T kids. In one case, I think I picked the wrong topic for my lesson, but in the other I had the kids performing 3 part vocal harmony with a pupil leading a vocal call, 2 xylophone parts and drums, all in 20 minutes! Perhaps just my experience, but it seems as though schools are setting higher and higher standards because there are a glut of candidates out there; I feel as an NQT with limited classroom experience, I can't hope to compete. All I want is a chance to start my career.
    I am very concerned about the pay scale issue. I started on TMS2 immediately on qualifying in January 2011 (I think because this was equivalent to my previous peripatetic salary), but have only just found out that I went onto TMS3 in September - when I expected to stay on TMS2 for another year, as I had only been on it 9 months. Is this correct, or should I challenge it? I don't want to go onto TMS4 this September and still not be working on my induction year. Just this week an agency has told me that I will be seen as too expensive by schools, aka unemployable!
    I do understand why the unions don't want teachers to accept posts for lower wages, but my teacher's pay is for peripatetic work, not secondary classroom teaching, does this still count? Or could I argue for a lower point on the scale if I gained a classroom post, on the basis that in the classroom, I am inexperienced? I am also considering part time classroom while continuing with my peripatetic work, could I be on two different pay scales? Who would I ask about this - my union?
    I feel that if I continue to rise up the scale as a peri, I will never be able to get a classroom post and complete my induction year, so will have to continue as I am - in an unstable job with part time hours that vary from year to year, with little chance of career advancement. Was I wrong to do a PGCE in the first place?!
    Sorry for all the questions!
     
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Help! Yes, loads of questions - and VERY hard to reply to loads when there are no numbers . . . next time I shan't reply if you don't number them!
    I am afraid that I haven't the faintest idea, as this is not a question that comes under the "Applications" area which is my specialism. I think that you need to consult the union about this.
    I am afraid that I haven't the faintest idea, as this is not a question that comes under the "Applications" area which is my specialism. I think that you need to consult the union about this.
    I am afraid that I haven't the faintest idea, as this is not a question that comes under the "Applications" area which is my specialism. I think that you need to consult the union about this.
    I am afraid that I haven't the faintest idea, as this is not a question that comes under the "Applications" area which is my specialism. I think that you need to consult the union about this.
    Yes, not me! I am not a Pay specialist!
    Well, this at least is a question that I can try to answer! At the moment things do not look good for people trying to get teaching jobs. I don't think that the problem is so much that you did a PGCE, but that someone (DfE?) allowed so many PGCE places to be filled while they were cutting school budgets. So the fault does not lie with you, although the worry and anguish certainly does, I'm afraid.
    I am very sorry for you and others in this very difficult situation.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th, and also the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 18th February
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
    www.tesweekendworkshop82.eventbrite.com
     

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