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The ridiculous state of getting a PE teaching job at the minute!

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by DBrent, May 4, 2011.

  1. This message has been building up inside for quite some time now and its come to the point where I just have to get a few things off my chest, apologies if it offends some people.
    Having completed a PGCE in secondary PE in 2009 gaining masters credits, got a decent degree in Sport Science, taught as a PE teacher in a private school for a year prior to starting my PGCE, attained a number of coaching qualifications as well as representing my country in 2 different sports I'm finding it virtually impossible to get a job.
    I have applied for 25 jobs and had 2 interviews (1st one 130 applied, 2nd one 180 applied), both interviews I got to final 3 but 1st one went to a teacher from the feeder school and the other went to an x pupil. I'm not saying thats why they got the job instead of me but every PE teacher/HOD I've spoken to has said 'its who you know not what you know' these days.
    Also when researching schools in London and looking at staff lists I can't believe how many of the PE teachers are from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. One school I looked at had 11 in the PE dept and 9 of them where either an Aussie, Kiwi or Springbok. Now this might sound like sour grapes but I cant help but wonder why this is the case. I know London is a multi-cultural City blah blah blah but this is the case in so many schools throughout the city (especially prep schools). They outwiegh British teachers, why?
    Also, another point to make is the lack of consideration some schools have with regards to applicants applying for jobs. In the last 2 weeks I've applied for 4 jobs and when I have phoned up after the closing date to ask if I'm on the list of interviewees 3 of the schools have said they've withdrawn the position for whatever reasons. Also, asking for feedback as to why I didnt get an interview is impossible.
    I'm struggling to keep the faith and carry on applying because I'm just not getting the break I think I deserve. I know I'm a very good teacher, with bundles of knowledge, energy and enthusiasm with so many credentials to my name but its just not enough these days.
     
  2. This message has been building up inside for quite some time now and its come to the point where I just have to get a few things off my chest, apologies if it offends some people.
    Having completed a PGCE in secondary PE in 2009 gaining masters credits, got a decent degree in Sport Science, taught as a PE teacher in a private school for a year prior to starting my PGCE, attained a number of coaching qualifications as well as representing my country in 2 different sports I'm finding it virtually impossible to get a job.
    I have applied for 25 jobs and had 2 interviews (1st one 130 applied, 2nd one 180 applied), both interviews I got to final 3 but 1st one went to a teacher from the feeder school and the other went to an x pupil. I'm not saying thats why they got the job instead of me but every PE teacher/HOD I've spoken to has said 'its who you know not what you know' these days.
    Also when researching schools in London and looking at staff lists I can't believe how many of the PE teachers are from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. One school I looked at had 11 in the PE dept and 9 of them where either an Aussie, Kiwi or Springbok. Now this might sound like sour grapes but I cant help but wonder why this is the case. I know London is a multi-cultural City blah blah blah but this is the case in so many schools throughout the city (especially prep schools). They outwiegh British teachers, why?
    Also, another point to make is the lack of consideration some schools have with regards to applicants applying for jobs. In the last 2 weeks I've applied for 4 jobs and when I have phoned up after the closing date to ask if I'm on the list of interviewees 3 of the schools have said they've withdrawn the position for whatever reasons. Also, asking for feedback as to why I didnt get an interview is impossible.
    I'm struggling to keep the faith and carry on applying because I'm just not getting the break I think I deserve. I know I'm a very good teacher, with bundles of knowledge, energy and enthusiasm with so many credentials to my name but its just not enough these days.
     
  3. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Try looking at jobs abroad.
    You might end up on less pay (not all schools pay top whack) but you will probably save more than you could at home
    Apart from that, all I can offer is sympathy
     
  4. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Ditto. If you want to teach, then you may have to go overseas. Money is generally good, plus life experience etc etc
     
  5. If I didnt need to complete my NQT year 1st then I'd be abroad in a flash. I know its the case for most schools abroad and not all so I guess its a possibility,
    Thank you, I appreciate the concern.
     
  6. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Blimey! That's a bit of a generalisation!
    I'm obnoxious and cruel and I don't work in a state school!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    That's his forte. Very Black and White with little grey [​IMG]
    By the way BFG you're not obnoxious and cruel, you pretend to be - you're really a pussycat - correct? [​IMG]
     
  8. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Don't tell the students!
    KG1-Gr4 still believe that I'm allowed to eat them if they forget their swimming kit!!
    DBrent - I've sent you a PM
     
  9. Caroline_p3

    Caroline_p3 New commenter

    I am afraid that is the state of PE jobs at the moment. I work in a London School with 6 PE staff and we are all of British decent (just for the record).

    It might be handy to offer another subject with it if you can, just to get your foot in the door?
     
  10. I am in exactly the same position, I did a QTS degree in PE so I did my training alongside my degree and qualifed a year ago. I've applied for about 25 jobs, and had 5 interviews.....where there are always experienced treachers at the interviews, How does an NQT compete?! And people always seem to know someone, I really do think it is Who you know not what you know. And it is impossible to get feedback, I was rang everyday for a week to get feedback but was hung up on and put on hold every day because they were soooooo busy!
    I've actually been quite lucky with supply, but even though I get loads of work every week, I never get anything long term. All my agencies say they have long term posts but nothing ever comes of them either. What annoys me the most is several of the schools I have supplied at have unqualified teachers in their departments! I swear any old person could walk in and teach just because they are cheap....the same with GTP's.
    Why should we have to go abroad when our whole lives are here!
    The sad thing is I supply everyday and then teach swimming and lifeguard nights and weekends just to keep my options open if I do have to resort to other careers.
    It probably is the most disheartening thing and eventually eats away at your confidence
     
  11. Im the same. I qualified two years ago after a PE GTP and have been doing supply ever since. I have been lucky with supply as have had quite a lot of work and schools have requested me back (but doesn't get any further than that). But I dont want to be the cover person as don't like daily supply and want to get stuck in a permanent position and put my mark on things.
    I have been applying for jobs constantly and had about 8 interviews over the years. I have got better with the interviews and with some seem to be in the last two but never get the position. This happened yesterday as a PGCE student got the position, her first interview so she must be naturally very good!
    Theres so little places and such strong competition out there. Its taking a knock on my confidence and getting fed up. People have said it will get better as they are cutting the number of training places but theres still the backlog of people looking that I can't see how it will improve. I dont want a career change as its took long enough and a lot of money to get qualified that this is what I want to do. To be honest I dont know what else to do for a career! I also dont want to work abroad as my life is here, am engaged and want to get on the property ladder.
    Glad to get that off my chest!
     
  12. Agreed!
    I am thankfully in a post at the moment but it is maternity so I'm on the hunt again for September. My problem is that there are so few jobs being advertised and I'm having to consider a longer commute, which I really don't want to do as petrol is getting more and more expensive by the day!
    It is so disheartening when you spend hours on an application and 9 times out of 10 you do not even get informed that you were unsuccessful. Waiting for a letter in the post is just awful!
    I do agree that it is easier for Female PE teachers as there is the opportunity of a maternity cover, however I would be very doubtful on taking on another maternity post if I can help it. For so many weeks I faced the constant 'When is Mrs. X back?', 'Mrs. X used to do this', 'Mrs X never used to make us do this', 'I preferred Mrs. X' blah blah blah, I just wanted to say 'Well I'm not Mrs. X so deal with it!!!'. In addition to the fact that Mrs. X keeps coming in (disrupting my lessons on many an occasion!) and the other staff talking about her, I just feel like a necessary but unwanted spare part. To go through that and also have no letter in the post waiting for me when I get home is very disheartening indeed :(
     
  13. Abroad. And that will get tougher to do soon...

     
  14. funkygirl

    funkygirl New commenter

    I can understand peoples frustrations. But my advice is to continue increasing your subject knowledge in terms coaching/sports courses. This is the first thing I look for in an application as it shows commitment/flexibility in your teaching. Also in terms of CPD/subject knowledge its always good to get your D1 minibus drivers and also trampoline as these are very specialised qualifications/areas which can incur huge costs to school budgets and it could give you the edge over candidates!

    Also refer to lesson observations that you have had where you have been judged good/outstanding. Offering extra curricular is good but what Heads of PE and headteachers are looking at the most is the teaching and learning and intervention strategies used to raise attainment. Teaching and learning is now very much the focus of schools

    Its also a good idea to get yourself known in schools within the same consortium whether you do some volunteer work etc..Heads of PE's within the same consortia have some regular links with each other within the area through fixtures.CPD etc and people talk!!
     
  15. I’m just about to star my PGCE in September and the views from DBrent are very worrying. I’m well aware of the climate at the moment and how very difficult it is to get a job teaching PE in a secondary school; however I do too feel I have the potential to be an effective PE teacher. I’ve been working in a secondary school one day a week for two years now (start in 2009) and have allocated myself a class where I teach for the whole or part of a class. I also write a reflection piece for this and have it signed by the teacher observing me for proof/evidence. I’m currently getting observed with regards to the Uni PGCE criteria for QTS also. I’ve too got 9 coaching NGB’s and coach in my local community, I’m studying Sport Science and on course to finish on a 1st. Also my dissertation was completed on pupils and their percpetions of effective PE teachers. Everything I’m currently doing of have done in the past 3-4 years has be guided towards teaching PE.Now, what else (or more) do I need to do to set myself apart from all the other candidates and get that exclusive job teaching PE in a long term position?? I would have just turnt 22 when I finish my PGCE, will this go against me? Can I use the work I’ve already done and state this as experience when going for interviews etc??Will it get any better when I start looking for a position to start in early September 2012??I would be grateful for any comments or advice.Thanks.
     
  16. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Sounds like you have done everything right so far. I would certainly use what you have done so far as evidence of what you could potentially do in a job.
    In addition, get a good feel for the school you are applying to. Find out about it, the HT's philosophy on sport/PE. It's always good to be able to show you have done your research.
    A certain amount of all applications will be generic, but schools like it when you can be specific to them.
    Both in your application letter and your interview give examples of the kinds of things you might plan to do to be able to further develop PE and sport in the school. Show that you have vision and can lead initiatives as well as follow them. However, never promise something you know you will never even attempt to deliver on as it may come back to haunt you.
    What do I think the most valuable things an applicant could give besides experience?
    • Passion for your subject (real not pretend)
    • A genuine appreciation of what a difference good teachers can make to children's development. You should see it as a vocation not a job.
    • Evidence of initiative (which you sem to have). Many HoD's won't want to spend an inordinate amount of time continually having to lead a new teacher by the hand and will really value someone with nouse and common sense
    • A willingness to go that extra mile on a regular basis
    • Versatility (ie able to teach a range of activities effectively)
    Hope this helps.
    Stoppers
     
  17. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    So a teacher highly skilled at getting students to pass GCSE PE stands more of a chance than a teacher who has not taught GCSE?
    Surely though if a PE teacher leaves who was coach of the successful basketball team, then your priority is to recruit a teacher with a high level of basketball knowledge and experience?
     
  18. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Above all you have to be prepared to get the attention of 30+ pupils in a class and keep them on task for a full lesson, week after week.
    It is about finding the right school with the right team behind you..
     
  19. Hi,
    the fact that you've applied for 25 jobs and only recieved 5 interviews could indicate where you're going wrong. I was in a similar position at the end of my GTP year and sought the advice of some of the best PE teachers in my area (HOD'S, AST'S etc.). They all helped me to produce a superb application. I then gave it to my school's English department to read to illiminate every single spelling and grammer mistake (lots of HOD's throw away applications with the tiniest errors).
    I soon noticed a huge increase in oppertunities and got the first job I interviewed for. On the interview day you have to show that you're by far and away the best candidate for the job and this means at least a week of research on the school and the job. I researched every day for at least 4-5 hours. Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures!
    Try the above and see how you fair.


     
  20. funkygirl

    funkygirl New commenter

    Gogojonny, when did I mention GCSE PE?? Attainment not only refers to NC levels but pupils making progress and increasing their skill levels in PE and Sport. Please do not turn this thread into the whole GCSE issue. There is a wider issue of lack of support/jobs for those new to the profession and unable to complete their induction after their PGCE/GTP/SCITT courses. I was actually offering support as a subject leader and director of sport, not generating negative comments. If you can't say anything positive...don't bother commenting.
     

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