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Should I specialise in another subject? (Primary)

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by theartymiss, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. theartymiss

    theartymiss New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I left my job at the end of April after handing in my notice in January, obviously I didn't then realise the state we would be in when I actually left.

    I have plenty of teaching experience in KS1 and KS2 but I've only worked at my last school.It was a tricky school and we did a LOT of CPD to improve engagement, English, Maths, behaviour etc which means I have a bank of strategies in my pocket to handle different situations.

    The job market here isn't great but out of 12 applications sent, I've had 4 interviews. Feedback on 3 of them has been that it was a very close call between me and the person who got it but nothing that I can work on, usually the other person was SLIGHTLY more experienced than me. The most recent one however, I was told that I was more than experienced for the post and only didn't get it because my background and specialisms are in art and DT. Now, I was very frustrated because this is information which is apparent on my application form and something they discussed with me at length and I told them how I had used it across the curriculum and helped other year groups and really overhauled the art curriculum at my previous school.but then said they wouldn't hire me because they wanted someone who was specialist in geography, history, science etc.

    I'm now worried that this is what is holding me back, should I try to take courses on another subject that's more desirable? How should I do this?
  2. slugtrial

    slugtrial New commenter

    I was in a similar situation.

    I joined the Historical Association (make sure it’s the UK one) and Geographical Assoc. They both have masses of subject knowledge, teaching methods, lesson plans and how to lead the subject.

    By learning the specific lingo and giving examples of how to teach great lessons, I came across as a real expert.

    Whether or not I actually did 100% of what I claimed is another matter.

    Worked well for me.
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I agree this is a very frustrating situation, because if it was clear from the start that you weren't what they were looking for, why did they bother inviting you for interview at all?

    Try to remember that while that school were looking for a different kind of specialist, that doesn't mean all schools will dismiss you because of your background. Maybe your next interview will be with a school who are really looking for someone who can support the art or DT curriculum...
  4. ABCDETeacher

    ABCDETeacher New commenter

    In my (admittedly limited and based on one region) experience, Art / D&T is often palmed off on a PPA Cover Teacher / HLTA, so not necessarily a need for a teacher with a specialism there. However, some schools (particularly smaller schools without a large staff team) would be crying out for an Art / D&T specialist to support other teachers delivery of these subjects.

    I think it's swings and roundabouts and not really sure taking courses in other subjects would be worth it. You've had a good rate of return on your applications. I mean if the courses are free and you have the time then go for it, it can't do any harm, but I wouldn't go out of your way to do them. You just need to find a school who value your specialism, and I'm sure you will! Good luck!
  5. theartymiss

    theartymiss New commenter

    Thanks everyone, I just wanted some opinions form others. Fingers crossed I'll find something soon, it's not a great time to be looking but I feel lost without a job!

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