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How to go the wrong way?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Leonin, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Leonin

    Leonin New commenter

    Dear Theo and others,

    For reasons that I'd prefer not to go into on the open forum (unless strictly necessary for a considered response) I have decided I would like to step backwards in my career.

    I have been a subject leader for a number of years as well as faculty leader and some short periods of time in SLT roles on fixed term contracts. I'm now looking at applying for class teacher roles with no responsibility and it has dawned on my that I don't know how to go about writing an application letter in this situation. Although it doesn't come naturally, I have become quite adept at selling myself in applications aimed at promotion but all of a sudden I'm worrying about to what extent I should highlight my skills, experience and achievements and should I leave things out?

    I know there will be questions raised about why I want to make such a move by potential employers, which I'm fully prepared to answer, but should I address them in the letter or wait for interview?

    Before anyone thinks I am after a pre-written application letter, I'm not, that kind of practice annoys me as much as I know it does many others, a few pointers on how to approach applying in this situation or a bit of advice is all I'm after if possible.

    Many thanks

  2. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Well, I left a job as head of faculty and department and there is a dearth of similar roles in my subject area. As a result I can either do casual supply work or take on a longer term contract until the next wave of job opportunities in the summer. To get to the point, I am struggling with getting class teacher jobs as (and I quote) im too expensive or over qualified. I find prospective employers seem to sense there is something wrong with my downwards move even if I try to explain my motives in applications.s
    So you might want to be prepared for that. I write books but when I use that as a reason for taking a career break it gives the impression that I might be more focused on that than the teaching role and again, no luck.
    I really hope you have more luck than I have had recently. Sorry I cant offer any more positive advice but feel free to message me if you want a chat, it might help to compare notes.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo there!

    No, don't give away too much info on here.

    Include those things that relate to their requirements. Omit those that don't.

    If you don't address them in the application letter or statement, this could prevent you getting an interview. people might think you were jumping before being pushed, you see. Or had been told to leave or else face Capability or Disciplinary.

    So you need to have a brief sentence or two explaining your motivation.

    You wouldn't get it here anyway! I do draft letters on Workplace Dilemmas, as you have seen, helping posters in sticky situations, but not for applications.

    If you come on down to Jobseekers Forum and post there, I can give loads of applications advice. But not tonight - I'm off to bed!

    Best wishes

  4. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    I have learnt one very important lesson on here.
    NEVER say you left to seek out a new challenge........

    As for what to include and what to omit, i struggled as many job descriptions referred to leadership qualities and even though you are looking for a class teacher role it will be hard to not make reference to your leadership experience without making it seem obvious. It may become the 'elephant in the room' should you get an interview. The panel may think the reasons pertain to struggling with workload, management etc.
    Its a tricky one alright and, should I ever find the ideal solution, will be more than happy to share it with you. :)
  5. Leonin

    Leonin New commenter

    Thanks Theo and Splinters for your responses.

    It's a shame splinters that 'price' seems to be such a factor in deciding who to employ these days. When did quality and experience become such a taboo? I too am thinking that supply may become my only avenue but the prospect of it scares the hell out of me with all the horror stories I've heard about scarecety of work an unreliability.
  6. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Indeed @Leonin i stuck with teaching as it was a career where you moved up the scale to reward your experience amd achievement and presumed that older meant wiser and more experienced. Sadly, thats no longer the case.
    As for supply, its not the amount of work that bothers me but the quality. I get offered long term contracts or general cover, the latter of the two is terrible in my opinion. Every day is like the first day at work but without a training day. You simply walk into the school then straight into a classroom to deliver work you have never seen before and often in a subject you dont teach. And you need to deliver this to up to 30 kids without them letting know you have no idea what the work is....now that is terrifying.
  7. cmbb

    cmbb New commenter

    I had a similar problem 7 years ago, when I was trying to leave middle management to have more of a life-work balance, and more creative energy for my own writing. Despite plenty of experience, and enthusiasm for making extra-curricular contributions, I couldn't get any interviews. As soon as I began applying for other middle management posts, it was a different story. Sadly, I think most places just don't have the money to want to spend it on highly experienced teachers. I have known colleagues who have been able to step down within their own schools, where their worth is already known, and management is supportive. I'm not sure how easy that is to do these days. There may be some places out there, and I wish you luck in finding them: sorry this isn't more positive-it is the world, not you, at fault here!

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