Clarys, this is hard, really hard. Not even getting past the application stage - all that effort on doing the form and the letter, and you must feel you might have put it in the envelope and then thrown it in the river, for all the result it had. And then not getting appointed for the T.A. post! You must be completely and utterly FED UP with the whole process, with the school, with teaching as a profession. And I don't blame you. And I am actually quite annoyed. No, scrap that: I am very annoyed. I am very annoyed on behalf of all those teachers out there who want jobs, who are keen to work, eager to be in a classroom, to support children, to make their contribution, but cannot do this. They cannot do it because too many trainees have been taken on in recent years, and because the government has had to impose spending cuts that have meant that schools are reducing the number of teachers. I know just how you must feel about not being able to teach. As you know, I'm retired, but you may not know that I do voluntary work, general teaching, in a Primary School, a couple of days a week. If I didn't have the very good fortune to do this, I would be in despair, I think. And I don't even need this to balance my budget - it's unpaid and I'm getting a pension. So for you it is much much MUCH worse. That's my rant in response to yours. What specific advice can I give you? Precious little, I'm afraid. I can only give application advice, not general career stuff (Prof Howson on Career Clinic is your man for that - he has some great insights). Make sure that you are aware of every single job that's going, by looking daily at the websites of your local authorities, and signing up for JobAlerts here on the TES Jobs - do a separate one for state and independent. Try and compensate for the perceived disadvantage of one-to-one work (i.e. lack of class contact) by doing whatever you can that involves larger numbers of children. Does your LA run a holiday play scheme? Can you work for PGL or similar over the summer? Is there any scope for volunteering for a Brownie or Cub troup? And sit down and write out clearly what are your strengths, what are the things that a school would be delighted to have on board, and make sure that you set these out clearly in your application letter. I just hope that the after half term vacancies has just the one for you, and they are clever enough to recognise this! Kind regards _____________________________________________________________ TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service. I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate. New <u>Job Seminars</u> on Sunday 26 June. www.tesweekendworkshop29.eventbrite.com Probably more in the early autumn ready for the next lot of job ads to come out. Keep an eye out for the dates! A new <u>Moving into Headship and SLT</u> seminar is on 18 June. www.tesweekendworkshop29.eventbrite.com See the full programme www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars E-mail Julia on firstname.lastname@example.org for how to book a meeting with me personally.Look forward to seeing you!