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Teaching basics in application

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by tjrr, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. tjrr

    tjrr New commenter

    Having gained QTS in the UK 8 years ago we decided to move to the continent where I have had a good career in the teaching profession (not in an international school). However, due to family reasons we are keen to move back home. All my applications have been rejected because I have no recent experience of teaching GCSEs or A-level qualifications. This is true of course but teaching languages is not rocket science and follows clear language acquisition „laws“. I know and understand the National Curriculum but wonder how I can convince the shortlisting panel that even though I have not taught in the UK recently I am more than capable of following the curriculum and SOW and of helping students to excel?
    I would be really grateful for your views and advice on this!
  2. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    Read the exam specifications as the content and way of examining has changed a lot. New content at both GCSE and A level. Less transactional language for a start. No coursework and new speaking exams. All exam instructions in target language.

    Read the specifications and take a look at text books so you can say you're up to date with the new exam requirements.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, good advice there from @agathamorse .

    Didn't you teach these as part of your training placements? So get up to date fast.

    And perhaps see if you can apply to be an examiner?

    I have a vague feeling that they are so desperate for examiners they don't always require you to actually teach the subject.

    Daft, isn't it?

    Any chance of offering free exam tutoring in GCSE or A-level to local expats? Is there an international school nearby where they prepare for UK qualifications?

    Your other problem, of course, is not being easily available for interview... And you do know how to apply, usually no CVs, for example, and how to present your strengths so they match the school's needs. There's a section in here on applying from abroad. http://bit.do/Click_1 That might help you.

    By the way, do you teach English to speakers of other languages? That's a good point to emphasise as flexibility.

    Best wishes

    tjrr and agathamorse like this.
  4. tjrr

    tjrr New commenter

    Thank you, agathamorse and Theo, for your advice! This is very helpful indeed. I have already researched the new specifications and feel that this should be no problem at all, however, it is hard to convey this through the application form where in almost all cases they want to see „experience of teaching to GCSE or A-Level“. :(
  5. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    I had that problem after I'd taken a break to bring up my daughter. I home educated her for most of primary. During this time I was teaching French for two afternoons a week in a primary school to keep my hand in and bring in some money. I did this for five years. Then she started school and I looked to get back into full time teaching.

    Prior to my career break I'd been 2nd in dept, then Head of German and finally HoD. I read the specs and couldn't get a job as I didn't have enough recent experience.

    I got a job as a SEN teacher in an academy chain. It was awful! I left after 18 months and did long term supply in MFL. Three years of maternity contracts later, where I taught GCSE and A level in both my languages and I finally got a full time permanent post as a MFL teacher.

    It was a long road! Hopefully your's will be shorter. You might need to do some long term supply for the recent experience. Technically there is a shortage of language teachers but that wasn't my experience. Budgets are tight and if they can, most schools will appoint a NQT to save money. My current school is a rarity as it prefers to appoint experienced teachers on the whole with one or two maximum NQTs per department. Some schools are full of NQTs.

    This is a long post, sorry. There is a way to find a permanent position again but it might just take time.
    TheoGriff and tjrr like this.
  6. tjrr

    tjrr New commenter

    Agathamorse, this is a great comparison to help me understand how to navigate... Thank you for taking the time!
    agathamorse and TheoGriff like this.

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