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How did you know your school was the one for you?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by rugby_gal06, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. As the subject really, how did you know your school was the right one for you when you accepted your first post?

  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    My first school was the right one for me because it offered me a post!

    I imagine that is the case for most people. Especially now when primary posts are so hard to come by. If someone offers you a full time post for a year or more as your first post, then say yes! You can always leave later if it turns out to be wrong.
  3. katnoodle

    katnoodle New commenter

    I'm very lucky that I still like my school as much as I did when I interviewed there nearly a year ago. I felt it had the right mix of traditional, solid values (especially on behaviour) and progressive teaching ideas and facilities. But most of all I just felt at home there ... not something I can explain but walking round I just felt I could be there for years, whereas the other two schools I had interviews at previously made me feel uncomfortable (not desperately so, but uncomfortable nevertheless). Still feel very comfortable there 8 months into the job and I'm lucky to have some excellent colleagues.
  4. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    While there is logic behind the thinking that any job is better than no job... if you do end up in a school that isn't right for you, it can be a very miserable year. I didn't really understand about a school being 'right' until I began my current job. The school is very nice, colleagues are friendly and supportive, but it just isn't 'right' for me. I now have a much better idea of things I would want to ask about in order to avoid in a school - not because there's anything wrong with them, but because it doesn't suit how I like to work.
  5. As an NQT who has not managed to secure a post yet (and am on supply), part of me thinks that "it offered me the post" is good enough.
    However, having been around several schools in the area, I have learned to be more picky and am actively so when making applications, despite my desire to land a post. I've been to schools where I know I will go home in tears most nights for one reason or another. I know one school where their NQT left after about a month due to a combination of factors and have grimly watched as prospective NQTs arrived for interview...I didn't even apply (much to the headteacher's dismay).
    So while a "it will do" mentality is perfectly understandable, I am now much more careful about where I apply. For prospective NQTs, I would give one tip. If you go to view/be interviewed at a school and there are currently employed/supply teachers there too, that's probably a good sign (teachers who have been around the area are interested in securing a post, so the word must have gone round that it's a good school). If it's solely prospective NQTs, you may want to ask yourself why.
  6. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    I knew before I accepted because it was the one where I made the most effort in my application process; planned the personal statement section as if it were my dissertation at uni and did an executive summary where I was really careful to sell myself very specifically to the person spec.
  7. I visited several schools during the application process. I discounted several in which I noticed that the staff looked stressed and harassed, one NQT in particular looked as though she was about to burst into tears when we were shown her classroom, and one in which the Head shouted at a member of staff as she was showing us around and then proceeded to regale us visitors with tales of how she regularly falls asleep during staff meetings.
    I have recently secured my induction post for September and knew it was the one for me because all the staff, not just one or two, seemed genuinely friendly during the interview day. They couldn't do enough for us candidates and seemed to really care about our welfare and made an effort to put us at ease. I also chose it because the kids were well behaved and a privilege to teach. My final reason was to do with where the school was at and what I felt I could bring.
  8. Thanks for your responses.
    I'm still on the hunt for my first post. I had an interview a few weeks ago and the school sounded fantastic on paper, but something didn't feel right when I was there on interview day.
    I'm now applying for a post in a school that I am well known in and I'm about 95% sure that this is the one, but there is still a niggle about whether it is on not. It might be because I have read quite a few stories lately of people who have been known to a school and have managed to get an interview but not secure a post. I guess I'll know for sure if they offer me a job.

  9. In my NQT year jobs were scarce in our area, so I took the first job I was offered - a maternity cover. I liked the school, but from the off knew I was unlikely to stay. Fast forward to Christmas and I had applied for (and been offered) a fixed term contract for two terms in another school. Now I knew this wasn't the right school for me and the school had a lot of problems BUT it allowed me to complete my NQT year, something many of my fellow GTP trainees were struggling with.
    At the end of my NQT year (well April/May last year), I began to apply for other posts with the advantage of having completed NQT. I went for 4 interviews and withdrew from two of the posts because the school was all wrong and it felt like out of the frying pan and into the fire and I may as well have stayed where I was at the wrong school - they had offered me another year contract. In the end I was interviewed at a school I loved but did not get it, as they gave it to their GTP student. But I was the only person interviewed with no contection to the school, so the head recommended me elsewhere and I applied and got that job and have just been made permanent. I love the school. It is not without its own problems - which are unique to every school, but they are things I feel I can work within.
    The point is, as others have already said, getting your first job is more important than it being 'right' - I found myself at much more of an advantage later on having completed induction as I had been employed, than those who hadn't.
  10. slstrong123

    slstrong123 New commenter

    Maths secondary job adverts are quite common, so I guess I had the chance to be more picky. However, I went to a few interviews and I am glad for whatever reason I did not get offered those 1st couple of jobs because I am happy where I am now - because the school suits me and I suit the school.
    The thing that made a big difference was that the HoD took me to lunch in the school canteen. I wasn't hidden away in a staff room with posh sandwiches. I saw what the pupils were really like, in their own evironment. I met the staff in their staff room and they were all very genuine and supportive.
    If you go for an interview and other than the interview lesson, you don't get a chance to really see the pupils (and I don't just mean the 'nice' ones who stake interviewees on a school tour) then are you really seeing the school?
    Anyhow - I liked the school's openness - and still do. Nearly finished my NQT and don't have any desire to move on yet. Best of luck.
  11. I got that 'feeling'! Sounds strange but it felt like home in a weird way. Alongside this the school is going through an exciting tiem of doubling its classes so is growing and pushing forward for improvement and felt like the place to be to grow as an NQT as well.
    Out Uni tutors said we would get 'a feeling' and you really do!
  12. gsp06sk

    gsp06sk New commenter

    Remember interviews are a two way process. I currently teach in a 6th Form college in London & I love it. I'm competant & know I am good at my job. My family are in South Yorkshire & I miss them so I recently had an interview at a school there. It was horrendous & I actually withdrew during the interview lesson sayingI didn't want to work there. The class teacher spoke to the class for the first 5 minutes & they were chatting away as he was talking, shouting abuse to eachother, throwing paper around - all with the assistant head observing. The experience really shook my confidence but not all schools are like that, even though that one was classed as a good school! If it doesn't feel right, then withdraw.

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