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Dear James.... Help planning for future jobs during the PGCE.

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by garyharrison, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. I am starting a Secondary PGCE in September at Chester uni and am nervous and excited but feel that I am as prepared as I can be. With the way that the jobs market is at the moment I was wondering if there is anything in particular that I should try and do that will enhance my job prospects. I know that the obvious answer is 'try and get involved as much as you can', but is there anything specific that you think will help, for example helping with the after school IT club to demonstrate how much I adore computers. Maybe the only answer is simply just try and get as involved as you can, but I was wondering if there is anything in particular that you think I should make sure that I do?
  2. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Keep an eye on the jobs market from early on - on past record, don't expect much by way of practical or informed support with the job hunting process from your college. Cover as wide a geographical spread as possible in your search, it will help if you're willing to move to where the work is. If you can sneak out on December 6, that's when Edge Hill are holding their recruitment fair (in Ormskirk), and that's a big one that a lot of the local authority recruiters go to. They tend not to mind people from other colleges sneaking in, though out of courtesy it would be best to contact the careers department at Edge Hill beforehand and ask if it's OK. But the key thing, certainly as far as the local job market is concerned, is word of mouth. Set up a network with your fellow students (including those on other courses) as you'll all be in different schools, and make sure that there's a grapevine to carry the word when there's a job coming up in a particular school - if a school is recruiting and they already know of a couple of decent candidates beforehand, they'll not bother with an expensive ad in somewhere like the TES.
    In terms of what you can be doing to build yourself up as a prospective NQT, they key thing is to do well in your teaching practice, of course. Though if you can develop a second string to your bow in terms of subject specialism over the year, it will serve as an enhancement.
  3. It is in part to involve yourself in the school, but the key is to be the best teacher that you can be on practice. Lots of trainees do get their first post in schools where they complete a placement. In addition one of your referees may well be one of your school based mentors, so they can give praise where deserved on the basis of your perfoprmance and team spiriut in school - there is also the 'grapevine' where details of good trainees are passed to other schools looking for a NQT, but perhaps didn't take a trainee. people who know people who know people as it were. A strong way of breaking into jobs.
    I will disagree with John in part, many coleges and universities do provide very practical help on the jobs from e.g. At sussex we:
    • Have union involvement in telling all trainees about CVs, jobs and interviews.
    • I run sessions for science trainees on jobs, applications and interviews (other tutors in other subjects do the same)
    • Our tutors will check over CVs, statements and letters to help trainees
    • We place informal job vacancies on our internal VLE, many in advance of those published in the TES and not just local jobs but any that come to us.
    • We have a feed on our internal VLE of the TES jobs that is automatically updated (science in my case)
    • We also provide help and advice on interview lessons
    • In individual cases we will run dummy interviews and help and advise on technique.
    Not quite sure what else we can do apart from attend the interview on behalf of the trainee.
  4. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Sorry, James, I wasn't talking about the guidance from teacher training providers in general, some of them have very good and supportive careers departments e.g. Edge Hill which is why I suggested trying to tag along to the fair there. There are others I could mention from my own experience of working with them, like York St John, Cambridge, Bedford and Canterbury to name but a few, who tend to be very much on the ball. Some, however...
  5. Thanks John and James, there is some really good advice there. It is quite an uncertain time to be undertaking the PGCE so I just want to try and make myself as strong a candidate as possible. Thanks!

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