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Dear Theo- work history too bitty and too much supply- help!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by yellow van, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. Dear Theo
    I’ve been qualified (primary) in 1998, but my work history is, i feel, deeply unattractive to employers: 2 years full time teaching (reception but pre-EYFS), 2 terms maternity leave, 2 terms part time job sharing, relocation then 6 years (ish) on short term contracts (all part time) and supply. I have finally come to realize that I want/need to be applying for ft permanent, but how can I make myself look like a serious contender (for eg, have not taught new PNS, had any whiteboard training( have picked bits up on supply), ECM training, been ofstedded or been a subject leader, am out of cpd loop though have studied for MA in Education with OU- result due in Dec) Is it enough just to read up on these issues? I really feel I’m in danger of missing the boat, although I badly want to be more than a “technician” minding someone else’s classroom on supply- and its right time of life for me to commit to that.
    <font face="Bookman Old Style" size="3"> </font> How do I present by work history? Do i list each school, each short contract or head it all under &ldquo;supply&rdquo;? How do heads IYE really view supply teachers? Will they take one look at the mish mash of short termness on my W.H. and dismiss me out of hand? Help! TIA.

  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Will be watching any replies with interest as I have similar problems with my work history.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    No, don't put them all down individually; put it as Supply, give agency name, and quote type of school.
    Now, how to show how good you are?
    Supply is no easy option and gives a great deal of professional development. I always have had a great deal of time for those who have done supply.
    Are you presenting this positively, therefore, in your applications?
    Let's look at what you gain from doing supply. The supply teaching has given you flexibility and versatility, allowed you to observe a variety of different classroom practices and learn from them,, improved your classroom management skills from dealing with a wide range of different pupils, from the too-compliant to the downright difficult. You have gained self-reliance, have learnt to work co-operatively with colleagues in different types of schools, you are able to deal with difficult situations (and difficult people), you have experience of a wide range of year groups. You have become a much more effective teacher than you were before, and are very grateful for these opportunities.

    Are you setting all this out in the letter, right at the beginning, getting it all in before you even mention the word "Supply"?

    Since successfully completing my PGCE in xxx I have been able to acquire etc etc etc through a series of contracts as a supply teacher. (You can easily write a whole paragraph on the benefits of supply and what it will enable you to bring to this school).

    Make sure that you get someone who you've worked for in a school to write one of your references, and get him/her to include the phrase "Would appoint without hesitation if I had a vacancy". Get into your letter that schools asked for you by name from the agency (but only if true, not if not!), that you had repeat postings because you were a valued colleague.
    In other words, don't be apologetic, supply is great preparation for the day-to-day of teaching.
    And I do hope that you are noting all those posters who say "the executive summary worked for me - I got no interviews until I used it"
    Very best wishes

  4. Thanks Theo. Have definitely noted exec summary.
    More qs i'm afraid: Some of my contracts were not with same agency and some of my supply work was direct with schools and various agencies, so I'm afraid of it being gappy if present agy say they have only employed me since Sept 07 with a two term gap iyswim, hence all the listing. What to do?

    I'm pretty sure schools do ask for me by name (had a run recently of covering same class for eg, and have schools I'm in regularly), do I have to ask agy if its ok to put that? Alsoi i'm INCREDIBLY shy of asking a head (deputy) of a school in which I supply for a reference, esp to include your (fab btw) key phrase. Is it what people do? Will the agy mind? Is it true that interviewing heads give no weight to agy refs?

    thanks again for your time.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Next time, next time I shan't answer when you give me such an awful post! How am I supposed to trawl through this and find where the questions are?
    Come on, give a bloke a break by putting your questions neatly!
    Q1 Try grouping them, it will look too messy if you put in too many
    Q2 If you are sure of your facts, no need to ask. If you're not, better get it clear.
    Q3 Yes
    Q4 Why should they?
    Q5 No, but often agency refs are minimalist.
    Best of luck.

  6. Thank you, that's really clear. Thank you for taking the time to trawl throgh my "awful" post! <embarrassed>
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Mrs TG complains that I'm a Grumpy Old Man . . .
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Bump this, as there are other posters doing supply
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    And up again
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  11. An excellent topic/thread...... so relevant to me at the moment!!
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    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 am timetabled for the October seminars - see you there!
  13. Dear Theo,
    I have read this thread before but have not notivced where you have written "...schools asked for you by name...". A very good point that I haven't put into my previous applications!
    My work history was very bitty (still is really) but I have been in the same school (although through agency) since May now and my confidence is growing. The school is an all-through academyand I have taught in all stages and subjects. The school keep asking for me to come back so I must be doing well!
    Do you know of any future "win that teaching job" course dates? I am unable to make 22/10/11 as I am working (in an estate agents - like to keep busy!).
  14. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Keeping busy is deffo A Good Idea! Contact the lovely Julia (say I said to) on advice@tes.co.uk. She arranges all this, and needs to know if there is a demand!
    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 am timetabled for the October 8th Moving into SLT or Headship seminars, and the October 22nd Win that teaching job seminars - see you there!
  15. I've just read this thread and am wondering if the same applies to working as a Cover Supervisor?
    I tried to get supply and found there was nothing (I'm guessing this is largely because schools now employ Cover Supervisors).
    Since qualifying in 2008, I have worked in a BESD school, returned to mainstream on a maternity cover for a year to develop my main subject (secondary English) and spent a year in a radically different mainstream school (all "pods" with 90 pupils/ 3 teachers/ 3 hour sessions). I took on far too much responsibility in my last post and ended up having a breakdown and this in itself has really knocked my confidence so I found I was not performing as well in interviews. Will this put prospective employers off? Am I better to try to go down the supply route or remain as a Cover Supervisor (which happens to be back at the fabulous school I did maternity cover for)?
    Many thanks in advance.
  16. Bump! Thanks TG! Using half-term week to get that job!!!
  17. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    And there will be fewer applicants now it's after 31 May, so Best of British to you.
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
  18. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  19. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  20. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    And another Bump . . .
    Best wishes
    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, every week in print in the TES magazine, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations

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