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Job application advice!

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by leonslow, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. leonslow

    leonslow New commenter

    Hi all,

    I am an NQT (qualified in July). I was working as a temporary Y1 teacher for Autumn term and seemed to be alright, but I had a very distressing mental health episode in November and am still signed off sick. My GP and CBT therapist are both fab and we are aiming to get me back in the workplace, at least part time, for after Easter.

    I am currently applying for part time teaching jobs, but I am also looking at some Level 3/4 TA/HLTA jobs. My question is how on earth do I make 'I loved working with the kids but the other side of teaching gave me a chuffing nervous breakdown and I'm really not keen to go back to that' sound good on an application form?

    I know it's my illness still talking, but I honestly feel people are going to judge me so much for not coping with teaching. I just don't know how to word the application. I'm usually quite good at this sort of thing, but I just can't figure it out right now.

    Advice would be much appreciated!

  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo there @leonslow and welcome to our forums.

    I'm sorry to hear that you have been unwell. Are you still employed by a school? Because if so, you will normally need permission from your HT to attend any interviews during sick leave, and you should get that before you start applying. You will also need to ask about getting a reference

    Do I have to tell my Head I am applying elsewhere?

    As for your wording, it is a little tricky, especially when applying again for a teaching post, as if I understand rightly, you have not yet recovered from your period of ill health,

    If you WERE applying after recovery, you could say something like I feel that I am possibly more able than some to cope with the normal stresses of a teacher's life, having had a period of absence during which I developed coping strategies to enable me to return to work and carry out my role fully.

    For the TA/HTLA roles, there is no problem. You just say something about appreciating more the actual contact with pupils that allows you to support their learning and progress, but with less paperwork.

    Best wishes

  3. leonslow

    leonslow New commenter

    Thanks. My contract finished in December anyway and the HT said she will give me a reference so am currently claiming ESA, so that's not an issue with regards to interviews. I am just applying now due to wanting something lined up because I don't have a lot of savings to support myself. Probably not helpful in terms of recovery, but I don't see what choice I have at the moment.

    Sorry that was all horribly worded, hopefully you get the gist!
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Well two good things there - not having to bother with permission for interviews, and having a reference.

    You could, if it were true, say something like this: Following a bout of ill health in the autumn term, coinciding with the end of my fixed-term employment in X School, I have been concentrating on regaining my health. I am now anxious to resume teaching, working with pupils to support their learning and progress, and since I am not currently contracted to a school, am available to begin work at short notice.

    Only ever say what I suggest if it is true, mind!

    Best wishes

  5. leonslow

    leonslow New commenter

    Thank you, once again.

    I am focusing on applying for TA/HLTA roles at the moment - mainly because I am very happy where I am living and there are limited PT teaching jobs in my area right now - but am still struggling how to word things on the application forms. Won't they think it's really weird that I'm applying for support roles when I'm a qualified teacher?

    I guess I need to stop worrying what people think! (That'll be the day!)
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Absolutely not!

    In fact, many if not all of the applicants could well be qualified teachers . . . .


    Best wishes

  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    As Theo indicates, it's not unusual for TA posts to attract trained teachers. I appointed more than one to TA posts myself - they had much the same reasons as you do for wanting the job.

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