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English specialist seeks good home...

Discussion in 'Independent' started by CinnamonGirl, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. I have a decade of experience in State schools, have held pastoral responsibilities and am currently a Head of Department. I would really like to work in the Independent sector and know that I have a lot to offer but there don't seem to be many vacancies in my area, which is South East Wales (the border counties are also commutable for me).
    To date, I've seen one English Teacher role advertised and although I got to interview the feedback I received was that I should be applying for management roles as I am 'too good' to 'just' teach. Which, although being lovely feedback to receive, isn't helping me when management roles just aren't being advertised. I'd happily start working in an Indy school as 'just' a teacher and work my way up into positions of responsibility.
    My question, therefore, is whether it would be appropriate to send speculative letters to schools or would this be a waste of my time? Is there anything I could be doing to realise my dream?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. v12


    Might you consider working in a boarding school?
    You would get free accommodation in exchange for the occasional boarding duty in The House and most weekends could then be spent at your real home.
    My first 'indy' school was 80 miles from home, and to be honest the working week was great with no 'home' distractions - so I was able to build up a very strong department. The obscenely long holidays more than made up for the inconvenience of travel and working away from the family home during term time.

  3. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Have you been looking for long? Because contracts in the independent sector often require a full term's notice, vacancies tend to peak in the second half of the spring term.
  4. v12 - I would preferday schools but neither have been advertising in my area.

    I've been actively looking since about March. Have had two interviews, one in an IB school which I didn't get and one in a fab school in Bristol who gave me the above feedback. I have only seen one other school to apply to since March and I didn't get selected for that role. All these vacancies have been for English Teacher vacancies: nothing at all has come up with any responsibility.
    Realistically, I know it's too late for September now but I thought I should start seeking advice for next year...perhaps for a January start?

  5. Are you regularly checking the websites of all the schools in your area, in case there are vacancies advertised there which don't appear in the TES? I work in a school in the area you're looking in, and I know for a fact that at least one recent vacancy at our school has only been 'locally' advertised.
    Good luck!
  6. I've browsed websites but haven't checked them regularly as I guess I assumed they'd be advertised on TES/ eteach.com. Thanks for the heads-up; I will do this from now on.
    I know generally the advice on here isn't to send speculative letters but might this be a way forward in my case, so that I have made contact with the school(s)?
  7. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I don't think you have anything to lose by sending speculative letters, apart from taking a lot of time, but I don't have much experience so Theo might think the opposite! The only thing I can think of is the fact that the Easter term was very strange, being so long, so schools will have been very busy in March, trying to finish off all the exam courses etc - perhaps that's why there weren't many positions advertised? Just trying to feel positive! Best of luck in the job hunt! [​IMG]
  8. There are always the options to join Talent Pools for Schools on Eteach or Talent Banks on the TES. I like the Talent Pools for Schools as you can speculatively send your CV to a School bank for their reference if any roles come up. This included with a letter sent direct could provide some good contacts.
  9. I got a job at a independent school by making a speculative call asking if they were likely to advertise soon, and if so where, as I was keen to work for them. They told me to send a form and covering letter to the head, and I got an interview two days later. Turned out the TES ad came out two days later, but my early interest made me stand out for sure. Good luck!
  10. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    YESSS! I love stories like that! :)
  11. Me too! Thank you PETERPIPER, that sounds like a very good idea :)
  12. Glad to help. I got the job too!
  13. manc

    manc New commenter

    " I am 'too good' to 'just' teach "
    Blimey - that doesn't say much for teaching does it? Have I wasted my life measuring coffee spoons?
  14. I completely agree, manc. I had stated at interview I would happily step back (from HoD) to work in that particular school and that whilst I would embrace any future opportunies to take on additonal responsibilities, for now I would be happy 'just' to teach, as teaching is what I love. In that feedback, I was basically told it was felt I would be bored 'just' teaching and that my capabilities call for a position of responsibility. All very nice (though I know feedback often isn't entirely honest) but not helpful to me. Personally, I don't see anything wrong in 'just' being the best teacher I can be :)

  15. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I think it is not the case that there is anything wrong with being "just" a teacher ( that is where we all started ) but more a case of the step back, as it were.
    I would suspect that the school are worried that
    a. You might feel the need to take charge if the HoD does not do things the way you prefer
    b. You might get bored, see that there is no opening in your current school, and decide to go somewhere else
    Now, of course, both of these might be completely rubbish!
  16. I think (b) pretty much hits the nail on the head, Karvol, as the Headmaster pretty much hinted at that in his feedback.
    Alas, he was wrong!

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