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Switching subjects

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Bonnie23, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter


    So a brilliant opportunity has come up near where my parents live, currently i'm four hours away and with corona happening it's made me realise my prioritises a lot more. Currently I teach D&T and although I love my subject I honestly don't think I can pass up the opportunity.

    The job is for Art, Design and Photography which isn't a million miles away from my current subject but I wondered if anyone else had done this and how they adapted? My degree is in contemporary arts so I have a good background knowledge but I know I would have to familiarise myself with the specs.

    Thank you for any advice
    B x
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Hi there Bonnie.

    Now there are three points here.

    1. Can you do the job?

    2. Are you passionate about the subject and passing on this passion?

    3, Can you persuade them that you can do the job?

    If you are serious, you need to do this now, before you start the application. Because you need t o be sure that you can do the job, and do it well, and that you WANT to do the job with a passion. If you aren't convinced yourself, you will never manage point number 3!

    To persuade them, you need to have an application that shows two things. That you meet their person specification (more or less - if they ask for experience in teaching, you'll have to ignore that!). And also that you are so passionate about the subject that you will pass this passion on.

    And it must come from a passion to teach this subject, it cannot seem anywhere in your application that it is a second-best to D & T. Nor must it be that you are getting tired of D&T and fancy a change. I know you haven't said that, but in case you were thinking of using that as a reason for changing!

    So read the subject specification and become passionate!

    For meeting their person specification and job description, and preparing a good application,go to the TES Resources, where I've put up a free template for an Executive Summary, to save you having to faf around with the formatting. I explain there how to use it, I'll just say a bit more now.

    In the LH column you put what the school is looking for, taken from their person specification. You'll have to prioritise, select the main things, condense it a little, of course. then in the RH you put in neat note form exactly how you meet their requirements. Simple as that!

    So that would be your starting point for an effective application. I suggest that you have a look on Amazon for a book to download straight away to the free Kindle app on your phone, tablet or laptop, that will give you more tips and help with application writing after such a long gap. Search on Amazon for books called "Applying for a teaching job" or similar, there will be quite a few books to consider. Choose one that is not American (you're not applying for a job in Los Angeles!), and have a look at the reviews to select one that seems to be helpful.

    Perhaps you've got out of the habit of applications, and I bet also that like a well-brought-up Britisher, you are slightly uncomfortable about blowing your own trumpet. :) But in a subtle way, that's what you need to do! You need to define what are your USPs - your unique selling points - what's so special about you that you can "sell" to the school. Because it is a selling job, you know! But I'm sure that you'll find a book that will help you with all that, E.S., USP and all the rest!

    Another thing to bear in mind is that the school may well expect a portfolio of your own Art work, Digital portfolio, obviously. And even student work . . . Now you can't show that, but you can get working on sorting your own work from your course into a portfolio.

    So start work straight away on all this, there's not a moment to lose! And as soon as the application is in, start preparing the interview, including the all important questions which relate to points 1, 2 and 3 at the beginning. You cannot leave this preparation until you know that you have definitely got an interview, it may be too late then, as some interviews are now called at very short notice.

    Best of luck!

    Twitter: @Theo_Griff
    Bonnie23 likes this.

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