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How to sparkle during a school visit?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Keep.calm.and.carry.on, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Just wondering if anyone has any advice on how to 'sparkle' during a school visit. I have my first one at the end of the week and I'm thinking about the kind of questions I should ask and and potential questions they may ask me,

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Sport22

    Sport22 New commenter

    Good question, i would like some advice on this too!! [​IMG]
     
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Not sure how to answer this- depends how many other people are being shown round, but definitely not too pushy nor too retiring. I'd say just be yourself & show interest in the pupils & the school- they'll soon suss out any 'just want to impress ' candidates.
    Doubt they'll ask you questions- will probably leave that for an interview. A visit is just that- a chance to look round the school & decide if it's the type of school into which you could fit & see yourself working in!
     
  4. I have been on 2 school visits.
    The first one I was shown round by the business manager. She didn't ask any question just pointed things out. I asked questions about the class structure but that was it. At the end, I briefly met the head (shook hands and he asked general questions about my educational career). The whole thing felt slightly unorganised and done just because a school should welcome visits and not because they want to. I was selected for interview though.
    The second one, I was shown round by the head. The whole experience was different. Everyone knew why I was there. It was a very relaxed visit. The head basically pointed things out and we just 'chatted'. Again I was asked about my career, if I'd found teaching had changed much (I'd been out for 5 years) but it didn't feel like an interview at all. A little girl came up to me and asked me help with her coat so I chatted to her for a few minutes. In fact, it felt more like the head was trying to sell the school to me rather than the other way round. Was asked if I could lead art or music...I said I was rubbish at both! I was selected for interview and got the job!
    Both instances I have just been myself. I've been honest, asked questions only if I genuinely wanted to know the answer (rather than just trying to impress), made sure I was friendly with anyone and everyone.
    Good luck
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    So it depends on the type of visit . . .
    Many are in groups, and if you sound pushy, you'll stand out all right - but for the wrong reasons! Not any chance to sparkle there.
    If you get an individual one, treat it like an interview. Be yourself, be honest, but also be prepared, as for an interview, and be on your best behaviour.
    Oh, and dress up, folks - no jeans and torn t-shirts!
    If you do a SEARCH on this Forum for Visit, you'll get more info.
    Best of luck.
    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    There is now another seminar on Applying for Senior Leadership on 13th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop17.eventbrite.com
    E-mail Julia on advice@tsleducation.com for how to book a meeting with me personally.
    Look forward to seeing you!
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Should have added: when you do the search,. you'll perhaps find the thread where a Head warns against people asking questions like: How soon can we leave after the bell, How easy is it to get time off for personal things, How much marking do we have to do?
    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    There is now another seminar on Applying for Senior Leadership on 13th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop17.eventbrite.com
    E-mail Julia on advice@tsleducation.com for how to book a meeting with me personally.
    Look forward to seeing you!
     
  7. I am sure they do but I have never felt that visiting a school schould be a prerequisite of getting an interview but it does seem to be for some heads. Last year, whilst I was doing GTP, I really struggled to get time for visits, especially those schools who insist on 2.30pm on a Monday afternoon - I am teaching for crying out loud!!!!
    Some heads seem to think if you don't visit the school then you aren't interested but they need to seriously get real. Visits are useful to get to know the school and I try and do them where I can BUT I am working half an hour from home so I have a half hour drive to get to schools nearer my home (Maybe more if I leave at the very end of the day). Visits are often quite rigid and not aways after school - what about my current teaching committment? Heads don't allow staff time off for visits (so why does a new head think this won;t be a problem?) I do ring these schools and explain but I am never sure how well this goes down. Add the reality of the current job market and potentially you could be applying for a few jobs at the same time.
    I can see why they keep lists of who visits but sometimes you already 'know' a school or like last year I visted several of the schools, I can't see things will have changed that much in 7 months if it is the same head teacher so my time is better spent looking round a school I haven't seen yet. And then there is the internal candidate who is on a temp contract and has been doing the job for a year and they want to keep on and you realise you have wasted you time looking round and applying.
     
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, I agree that it's very unfair on those of you who cannot visit. Are people supposed to give up a whole day's supply pay for that?
    So if you cannot visit and they have said in their details that people are invited to visit, make sure that you say in your letter that you wanted to, but couldn't, however you have looked at website etc etc and school fits with your personal ethos of . .. etc etc.
    Best wishes
    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    There is now another seminar on Applying for Senior Leadership on 13th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop17.eventbrite.com
    E-mail Julia on advice@tsleducation.com for how to book a meeting with me personally.
    Look forward to seeing you!
     
  9. As a HT, I often have groups around rather than singles- currently have 25+ visiting in groups of 5 each time for a new vacancy.It's wearing for me as I do every tour and I use a checklist of vital points so I give the same info to each group. I do write down names of those who visit and then , afterwards, any initial comments or notes to self about peoples' questions, interest, if they seemed friendly, if they talked to chn or staff. It is obvious to me within 5 mins, if they seem to be the right sort of person for my school and then it makes it easier to sort the applications. Some strong 'on paper' people make poor impressions on their visit.
    Good advice from Theo- I always like a brief note in their letter to say if they were able or unable to come to a visit- even more so if they were local to the school and couldn't come or it's easy to think- 'not bothered'.
    Re 'sparkle'- be yourself, interested, smile and ask questions about current school priorities or existing initiatives you notice; resist the urge to ask questions on publicly available data such as ofsted reports or published results; check the school's website and slip in a 'I noticed on your website...' type comment on the visit. Do your homework on the school beforehand.
    Good luck!
     

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