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Have I got any chance?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Emma5234, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. I graduated with a teaching degree 7 years ago now, and for various reasons I never started a teaching job. Instead, I have been doing a job that has included me doing workshops and assemblies in schools (all Key Stages and in SEN settings), and preparing lessons and schemes of work related to sustainable education. I am desperate to get 'back' to teaching. Having put in over 20 applications for jobs for last September, I recently took two weeks off work to volunteer in a primary school (I want to teach KS2).
    My question is- have I left it too late to teach? Am I not being shortlisted because headteachers are worried about the amount of time I have spent out of the classroom?
    Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated :)
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Time out of the classroom could be seen as a disadvantage, so make sure you're making the most of all that voluntary work, assemblies etc.
    However that shouldn't pose that much of a problem normally, except that there are literally hundreds of unemployed Primary teachers trying for all those posts, some of whom will have more 'current training'.
    Have a look at Theo's thread Dear Theo- work history too bitty and too much supply- help!
    Somebody recently got a job on their 19th interview, after many applications. So the only answer is to keep trying, anything within education. 20 applications, really isn't that many. I, like many others are applying fot TA / HLTA/ CS whatever (despite many years of teaching experience) just to 'keep our hand in'.
    Best of luck!
  3. Thanks Lara. I had considered whether it was a good idea to apply for TA jobs too, so your advice is great :)
    Having been a 'lurker' on here for a while, I realised as soon as I'd posted that 20+ won't sound like much to a lot of people; what I should have said is I only started applying late in the year last time round, and not much has come up since.
    You're right too about the current training- I'm trying to compensate for that by subscribing to TES and Primary Teacher magazine, watching Teachers TV videos regularly and of course, reading the forums here, but nothing compares to doing it for real!
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Certainly this gives you two disadvantages: firstly you have not really had a chance to consolidate what you acquired during your training. And secondly, things have moved on a lot in the last 7 years, especially in Primary.
    Excellent! And to be frank, it's recent classroom experience that will count. Volunteer work is good, but of course real paid work is better - financially too!
    Supply work would be ideal if you could get it. If not, even being a TA or HLTA would ease you back into the profession.
    There is a great over-supply (AKA as a glut . . . ) of primary-experienced teachers, I'm afraid, so it is very obvious that a Head will prefer them over you - unless you have something extra to offer. Do you have any hobbies or skills that you could offer as a bonus? Piano playing is one of the best, but there might be something else.
    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.
  5. Thanks for your honesty, Theo. I must admit that supply work is an option that I'm a bit nervous about as I need a regular income.
    I am offering German and Spanish (good GCSEs in both and an A Level in Spanish), scrapbooking and papercraft clubs. The work I've done relates to Healthy and Eco Schools, Every Child Matters and Education for Sustainable Development so I'm highlighting that. I've also been working closely with Road Safety officers so I'm offering co-ordination of the Junior Road Safety Officer scheme for a school and Road Safety teaching for the whole school. I'm hoping that, particularly the latter, will help me to stand out...
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Certainly sounds as though there's a lot there to offer.
    Two other suggestions: have you read and followed the advice in the Welcome thread?
    This thread gives some insight too:
    Dear Theo ''application form horror!!''
    And secondly - are you considering Indy schools too? Go to the Independent Forum and read the clickables inside the Welcome thread there.
    Best wishes - I'm off now, see you all in the New Year.
    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.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    No. <u>What you need to do</u> is not look at what you can offer, but <u>what the school lacks</u> that you could offer. Read as much information about a school as you can to decide on their priorities and see how you could apply yourself to those.
  8. Thank you Theo - yes, I have been trying to take on board as much advice, especially from here, as I can. I hadn't thought of independent schools- I will now :)
    Lara, you're right. What I've been trying to do is look at each school's extra curricular provision and offering my hobbies as additional clubs for that (none of the schools I have applied for had a papercraft club). I've also been looking at what language(s) the school offers and talking about complementing French with German/Spanish, or being able to fit in well if they already teach German/Spanish. In my area, the council's JRSO provision has all but ceased so I'm picking up on that. I'd value your opinion though if you think I need to change my focus :)
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Emma, you've got some really good skills to offer for extra-curricular & club activities,but after all it's the main teaching in the daily classroom skills which a school is mainly looking for. The other things may sway them when it comes down to between you and another candidate but you need to get to that interview first!
    An ability to tackle all subjects across the full curriculumrange is an essential for any Primary teacher. Remember you're up against many other candidate, so can you teach <u>all</u> subjects? What's your experience of these which you can offer? How can you demonstrate your ability to do so?
    If you need a permanent income and can't therefore consider supply, look at a supporting role in schools. This will give you real insight into what classrooms in 2011/12 look like. They will be possibly be different to when you trained.You'll get to work with and learn from other professionals and see if you'd really liketo teachor whether you're in love with an unrealistic ideal of teaching.
    However remember my ideas are just one take on your situation- may not reflect at all your true situation. Do take on board Theo's advice, He really is an expert.
    Best of luck with your applications.
  10. When I'm writing my letters, I'm putting the extra curricular stuff in my penultimate paragraph. In the main parts of my letter I'm talking about the fact that I have done planning for all subjects using a topic based approach (sustainable development) and I've taught different subjects with this focus in several schools (I can see that my weakness here is that I've done predominantly one-off lessons rather than medium term work). I'm also talking about the fact that I have used a variety of AfL techniques, and worked with a range of different approaches to behaviour management. Basically, trying to put a positive spin on the fact that I have been in a lot of schools and taken different ideas from their way of doing things. I know the same can be said (and said better) for supply teachers, but that is my situation and I'm hoping that I'm not doomed to failure forever. I will apply for support roles as well as teacher posts this time around. The only issue I can see with that though is that I have virtually no experience of working with SEN children, which is what a lot of the TA jobs ask for. Do you think it's worth trying to do a course for this? Your perspective is much appreciated Lara, as is Theo's and anyone else who is kind enough to offer their thoughts, as it gives me things to think about that I haven't before :)
  11. That's not an option for me, I'm afraid Hippo. All my family and my husband's family are here, and my children are getting settled in school. It's a lovely idea, but not for me :)

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