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Job advice needed.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lwright88, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. I have secured a place for PGCE starting this September. Looking ahead to next year, is there any additional hobbies or skills that schools look for when recruiting? For example, being able to play the piano. What sets people apart as employable teachers? And what is the Job Market like at the moment?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Ooh brave you! In view of your question
    Answer pretty dire! Just take a quick look at recent threads on Jobseekers. Unemployed and Supply forums. Also look at the NQT forum. Job opportunities are few and far between, much less than 3-4 years ago. Many qualified teachers are looking at TA/HLTA?CS roles because of the lack of jobs. (We even 'celebrated' somebody winning a part-time job at a certain supermarket before Christmas. Today again, somone has posted 'Finally all over for me!'. . .)
    Competition is incredibly fierce (some schools were getting 200+ applications for any advertised post last year) and there's a whole new cohort of this year's PGCE /GTP candidates to enter in to the mix.
    So you're quite right to be thinking how you can present yourself to the very best advantage point. After all, we do always need 'new blood' and somone has to get the jobs.
    For Primary, certainly any extra like being able to play the piano for assemblies/plays/concerts etc will be one added bonus.
    Depends on the school. They will always be looking to 'plug any gaps' (especially Independant schools), so what they need will change school by school and alter as staff change.
    For all the reasons already stated, school scan afford to be very 'picky' at present, it really is an employer's market and what one Head looks for will differ from another. However, an ability to 'fit in' to an established staff is always important, friendly,outgoing personality will always be important. Your personal ability to enthuse and motivate the actual students in front of you, whatever their background and ability is obviously a 'winner', though as many Jobseekers have found there's an awful lot of those around. Theo Griff, our resident expert on Jobseekers often refers it to it as similar to 'falling in love'. Often no particular reason, why some people fall in love and others don't, it's just certain combinations 'click' and work.
    Sorry not to be more hopeful, just prefer you to be prepared. Teaching is the most wonderful job and we need young, enthusiastic teachers- just don't expect it to be easy.

  3. Thank you for all advice, it's very helpful! I knew it wasn't going to be easy. Friends and family keep assuring me that because I will become a male primary teacher a job should be less competitive, how true is this?
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Whilst it IS true schools need male role models within schools, I'm not sure that your friends and family are correct in assuming you'll fare any better based purely on account of your gender.
  5. I agree the better teacher will always get the place. However, would a school pick a male over a female if they performed equally? Obviously I wouldn't rely on this, and I will push myself to be the best teacher I can be, but it is interesting to know!
  6. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    What are you now?
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I think it may also depend on the size of the school. A small mixed-age class school just 4 members of all female staff might not want a male, whereas a larger 2/3 form entry school might see it as a distinct advantage to have a 'male role-model' and believe he would find it easier than in a smaller school.
  8. In most of the schools I do supply work in there are plenty of male teachers there. Why do people think that there aren't?
  9. I hate to disillusion you but the best person, male or female, would get the job in our school! There are still lots of male teachers unemployed!! As for skills it might get you an interview but we when we recruit we ask candidates to teach a lesson, again it's the best teacher who gets the job. We are interested in children making progress.
  10. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    The whole male thing is a complete myth, only thrown around by people not in education. In fact I believe there is research to show that the gender of the teacher has absolutely no impact on how effective they are, for any group of pupils.
    I work in a 2 form entry primary school and we have 4 male teachers, including 1 in reception, and 10 women. This is probably about the same mix as were on my PGCE course. Schools will always go for the best teacher, ability to play piano/coach football will be second to this. So focus on getting the best possible gradings on your teaching practice!
    That said, I did spend my time unemployed teaching myself to play the piano. Not sure it helped me get a job, and it certainly won't help me keep one, as it turns out that even with Grade 8 in flute teaching yourself the piano is bloody hard!!!
  11. Great advice everyone- I will be sure to focus on becoming the best teacher I can. Next question, any tips on achieving this on the pgce year? Is there anything I can do in the run up to September to give me the best chance?

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