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Too much too soon?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by QT1, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    Hi everyone, there is a job posted at a school close to where I live which is year 3 with TLR for Maths subject lead. As an RQT would you advise for or against having a go and applying? I’m wondering if it would be making a rod for my own back or if I can gain experience on the job.

    My thoughts are conflicting - I know some NQTs are given a subject to lead and have to pretty much get on with it, but would it be advisable so early into my career?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
  2. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish Occasional commenter

    As an NQT, you shouldn''t have a subject to lead, and I doubt you'd be given a core subject lead without some experience. But applying shows your interest in the school which may support future applications.
    Pomza likes this.
  3. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Almost certainly too soon, but bearing that in mind there are two things to say:

    1. Who knows? You might be ready and capable and the head teacher might believe in you at the interview, so what have you got to lose?
    2. Even if you don't get the job or aren't interviewed, it gives you a great window in to what this kind of role would entail. Then you know if it is something you want to pursue later you have a better idea of what to work on, for, or develop as a teacher.

    Basically, there seems to be little downside to applying.
    Pomza likes this.
  4. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    But the resignation deadline has gone? So when is the start date....

    factor in that mid year starts are also difficult. Especially for the inexperienced
  5. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    I’m at the end of a maternity contract.
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Exactly this.

    I am often surprised by some of the responses people get on here when asking whether it's 'worth' applying for jobs. No! You need at least 100 years experience before even daring to dream of applying to be an assistant head... - That type of thing. We all know that the reality in education is that people are often able to gain 'leadership' positions without possessing too much experience at all. In fact, it's one of the more common moans on here. (I'm not saying that's a great thing, but it's certainly true.)

    I would advise anybody who likes the look of an advertised position to just apply. There is a general shortage of (good) applicants for many types of post, and you never know your luck. If you can get an interview and impress the HT, then you always stand a chance of being successful.

    There enough people around who will try to put you down or hold you back, don't do it to yourself.
    VeronicAmb, FriarLawrence and Flanks like this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Depends to a large extent on you, your expertise, your background, etc etc.
    If you have a maths degree, trained with maths as a specialism, have run several KS1 maths clubs and taken year 5 and 6 maths booster classes over the last two years then you'd probably be the best candidate there.
    If you have a history degree, trained with art as a specialism, have swapped classes with a partner teacher so you did the English and they did the maths, then you probably haven't a hope.

    Having said that, and reading that you are currently doing a maternity cover, I wondr how you will convince the head that you can lead the UKS2 teachers to ensure excellent SATs results, support the EYFS teachers to ensure a flying start in maths, mentor a year 1 teacher who is really struggling to teach maths, train support staff to run maths interventions successfully, raise the profile of maths across the school, ensure children throughout the school have a positive attitude to maths, etc, etc?

    But then again, anyone willing to have a go at leading maths is often the best a school can do. A great many maths subject leaders hate the subject with a passion and simply didn't say no firmly enough when the head twisted their arm.
    agathamorse and QT1 like this.
  8. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    Exactly my worry! I’d hate my inexperience for cause animosity or worse than that, a decline in the children’s progress because of a curriculum I’m responsible for
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Inexperience isn't ever the problem, but how you deal with it can be.
    How well do you think you can do all the things I mentioned...if you know you can't, then the role isn't for you just yet.

    Do you honestly meet all the criteria of the person spec and find all the points in the job description straightforward? If so you'll be fine. If not, then think twice.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    Thank you. I know my post was probably an obvious question but I think you wrestle with yourself when you’re getting desperate! Thanks for taking the time to help. I know I’m capable of leading a subject, however I would feel very uncomfortable as such a new teacher advising teachers with considerably more experience than me how to do something that I’m learning on the job. Probably not for me.
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Now if you are coming to the end of a maternity cover, and the alternative is unemployment, then you should seriously consider this. Being near to home is a bonus.

    Remember that the resignation date has passed, so the only people who can apply and be appointed for September are those not currently in a permanent post. Less competition, to put it bluntly. So this is a great opportunity for you.


    The way to do this is to go to the TES Resources where I have posted a free outline Executive Summary for everyone. Get their person specification, fill in their points on the left hand side, then on the right hand side put the evidence that you meet their requirements. Just do it roughly at first, to give yourself an over-view; you can tidy it up later. Read the blurb I've put there with the E.S. for more help. Very large numbers of people have found it very useful!

    I also suggest that you look for some help by searching in Amazon for downloadable books about applying for a teaching job - there will be quite a few, choose one that isn't American but UK-based, and look at the reviews to see which suits you, then download and read it.

    Off you go. You have the whole of this evening and tomorrow to get a good first go at it.

    Best of luck!
  12. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    This is a very interesting take on things! I’ve got a lot to think about. Thank you.
    TheoGriff and agathamorse like this.
  13. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Well then apply totally. That or unemployment? I think you have every right to go for it.
  14. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    As long as you conduct yourself in the right manner, there is no reason why it should.

    Nobody can expect someone brand new to a role to have tons of experience of doing the job before they've even started. We are all learning as we go along...

    If it's a maths lead job, the main thing is that you should be a strong maths teacher yourself, have a good understanding of the whole primary curriculum and assessment (that you are able to articulate in meetings etc.), and be capable of helping/supporting others with their own teaching. It is NOT about 'learning walks' and 'book scrutiny'.
  15. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Senior commenter

    Exactly this. I don't think any less experienced leader has ever come up against animosity from other staff if they carry themselves well and don't act the big I Am from the get go. I think what people resent is box-tick managers who don't listen, learn or support - and if such a manager is inexperienced to boot, that can exacerbate the resentment.

    So as long as you're qualified, supportive, kind, reasonably humble and don't think - as @Pomza says - that leadership = constantly looking over colleagues' shoulders and pulling them up on tiny perceived infractions, you'll be fine.
    Flanks and Pomza like this.
  16. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Unfortunately I don't know of anyone who would recruit an RQT to lead Maths. A TLR responsibility would be a mistake for anyone who is only one year in and wants to have a work life balance.

    I know this sounds negative but I'm trying to be honest. If you take this role, then can't do it, they will not hesitate to either use your probation period (if you're in a MAT) or capability to move you on.
    QT1 likes this.

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