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Dear Theo: applying for a new post after teaching out of subject area

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by coffeefiend, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Dear Theo,
    I taught at an independent school for four years before moving overseas. I achieved good results, good reviews, and I also have a BA and MA in my subject. I then took a post at a small international school; I was initially promised (via informal emails from the director before signing my contract) that, if I taught as a primary class teacher for one year, I would then teach 6th Form/IB English the following year, as that teacher was planning to retire. However, during my first year at the school, the director was sacked and a new director arrived; his wife, though a first year teacher, wished to teach 6th form and IB English, and I was told that I would have to remain as a Primary class teacher, as the new director planned to install his wife in the position she wanted. Our international school is so small that only one English teacher is needed. I have now been at this school as a Primary class teacher for two years, and I have been urgently applying for posts in independent schools in the UK since learning that I must remain out of my subject area at this school. I have not gotten any interviews, and my (good) referees have not been consulted, either. I know that my CV and application materials are well-written, and I also know that being overseas is going to weaken my candicacy, but I don't have the funds to return with no job. I am prepared to fly to UK for any interviews which arise, though. I know that being out of my subject area for two years is badly hurting my chances. I feel very trapped, and I know that the longer I remain out of my subject area, the longer it will take to secure a future post. How can I explain this situation in the application process in a way that will not sound negative? Honestly, is there any hope of getting back into my subject area in a UK independent school? I feel so trapped, and am very disheartened...
     
  2. Dear Theo,
    I taught at an independent school for four years before moving overseas. I achieved good results, good reviews, and I also have a BA and MA in my subject. I then took a post at a small international school; I was initially promised (via informal emails from the director before signing my contract) that, if I taught as a primary class teacher for one year, I would then teach 6th Form/IB English the following year, as that teacher was planning to retire. However, during my first year at the school, the director was sacked and a new director arrived; his wife, though a first year teacher, wished to teach 6th form and IB English, and I was told that I would have to remain as a Primary class teacher, as the new director planned to install his wife in the position she wanted. Our international school is so small that only one English teacher is needed. I have now been at this school as a Primary class teacher for two years, and I have been urgently applying for posts in independent schools in the UK since learning that I must remain out of my subject area at this school. I have not gotten any interviews, and my (good) referees have not been consulted, either. I know that my CV and application materials are well-written, and I also know that being overseas is going to weaken my candicacy, but I don't have the funds to return with no job. I am prepared to fly to UK for any interviews which arise, though. I know that being out of my subject area for two years is badly hurting my chances. I feel very trapped, and I know that the longer I remain out of my subject area, the longer it will take to secure a future post. How can I explain this situation in the application process in a way that will not sound negative? Honestly, is there any hope of getting back into my subject area in a UK independent school? I feel so trapped, and am very disheartened...
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, very common - they come as a package, so the wife gets the class that she wants in order for the school to get the Head that they want.
    I am not surprised. Actually sending in an application from abroad means that employers will be reluctant to interview you. They cannot afford to pay your travel costs, and will be concerned about you paying them and not getting the job. So not shortlisting you is the easy way out.
    people rarely think that their applications are badly-written (they wouldn't submit them if they were!), yet I have seem some pretty bad ones. I am not saying that yours are, just that it is difficult to judge them if you are not an expert in this.
    And are you really sending CVs?
    Yes, you are right here, and being out of the UK isn't helping you either, I'm afraid.
    It is actually pretty hard to get back to the UK after being abroad, because of having to be interviewed here, and because things are changing so much in education in the UK.
    I do not have any easy solutions here, not any useful advice, I'm afraid. You could try reading this thread for some ideas:
    End of contract and applying for a post in the UK for September?
    You should also set up a Job Alert here on the Forum to get notification of any posts that might be useful:

    * * * * How to set up a Job Alert * * * *To be very blunt, your two options are either to come to the UK and join the ranks of unemployed teachers while applying and hopefully getting a job, or get another job abroad.
    Sorry to be so negative, but there it is.
    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
     
  4. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful reply. The information you supply on these forums in incredibly valuable...

    No, I'm not really sending CVs. (I shouldn't refer to the whole process of applying as "sending in my CV").

    I did save quite a bit working overseas, and our holidays tend to fall at times when schools in the UK are in session. I have no problem flying to the UK for a week every other month when we are on holiday and staying with my parents there: would it be worthwhile to mention to schools in which I am interested that I will happen to be in the UK on (insert closest holiday at my school)? Or possibly hand-delivering application packs when I am there with the hope of casually mentioning the geographical situation?

    I will take your advice and seriously pursue posts at other international schools, while also applying for UK posts on the chance that something unexpected may happen. I suppose the case of my Head's wife should raise hope in all job seekers: sometimes maybe it really is who you know (or who you marry?). She doesn't even have a degree in the subject, or in teaching at all...
     
  5. I'm sorry that my last post is so difficult to read: for some reason the paragraph divisions didn't come through with the post.
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, do mention your availability. If you read the thread in Overseas, you'll see that mainwaring suggests a really nifty sentence for this.
    You could hand-deliver too.
    Best of luck!
    _______________________________________
    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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