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What to do on a look around!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by becnic88, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I am currently looking for a job to do my induction year! At current I have not had much luck! I am going to look around a school on Friday afternoon and would love to make a good impression. I want to have some questions that make me stand out ( in a good way) etc

    What do you suggest? Do I take notes when walking around or is that too needy?

    Any support would be much appreciated!


  2. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Don't make notes, however be interested and show your interest in the children and the school, ask question, praise what you see, be open and talk to children as you go around, at the very least a good morning/afternoon.
    Don't ask questions about nitty gritty stuff, e.g. how PPA is taken etc, this can make you come across a bit negatively.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    We don't do these 'look rounds' before interview in secondary, but what I can tell you is that on the tour of the school part of the interviews I've conducted, I've known many candidates through the years talk themselves out of the job by asking questions rather than listening, looking and taking it in.
    Only ask a question if it's something you'd really like to know during the tour, especially if it helps you with your application and/or interview. Be wary, however - I've been asked questions too many times that were clearly answered in the application pack that was sent out and this only serves to show me that the candidate hasn't actually read it. Too often, a question that the candidate thinks will make them look good has the effect of making the person asked look foolish - be very, very careful.
    To be frank, asking questions during the look round won't make you stand out enough to get shortlisted - writing a really good application (go to 'Jobseekers' forum and see Theogriff's invaluable advice on this) will. Asking questions can, however, make you stand out as someone they don't want in their school...
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    100% in agreement with what Middlemarch says above.
    Candidates can talk themselves out of a job. Candidates can look too pushy, and get noticed for all the wrong reasons. Candidates can ask questions that immediately single them out as Daft/Lazy/Trying to Impress/Superficial.
    This is actually a very dangerous activity, visiting a school beforehand!
    Try to keep a low profile, take things in (no note taking, though), smile and be friendly, let others through doors ahead of you but otherwise keep your head down.
    Make some brief reference in your application to the fact that you visited.
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th
  5. Two of the three teaching jobs I have completed since doing GTP were at schools I did not visit prior to application. I only visited the other one because I had heard a few things about the school and wanted to make my own mind up rather than relying on hearsay 9we were presented with a very false picture of the school anyway). I was right about my gut instincts about the school and what i had heard, but it did allow me the opportunity to complete my NQT induction and I only stayed two terms on a temp contract - hope for a perm post in my current school but if not I'll be back on the jobseeking bandwagon again soon :-(
  6. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    I imagine that the kind of questions you want to ask would show that you have some knowledge about the school, and allow those guiding you to show themselves in a good light.
  7. When I show prospective candidates round, I deliberately don't get to know their names. That way, I don't form an opinion either way that will influence my decision when reading applications, and those people that are unable to visit are unfairly handicapped.
    Ask whatever feels relevant and appropriate, after all, job applications and interviews are a two way thing - I have looked around plenty of schools and decided NOT to apply because I didn't get responses I either liked or agreed with.
  8. When I was looking for a job I visited lots of schools. Some people seemed to go on and on and on with questions, it was so boring for me, and I'm sure it was for the head too. I just smiled, looked around and was there for the purpose of deciding whether it's a school worth applying to, rather than visiting just to impress. I looked at the classrooms, kept an eye out for resources, peeped in the staff room, watched some of the children working and looked at what they were doing if I got the chance, and just generally got a feel for the place. There were some schools where after a visit I thought 'actually, this school isn't for me'
  9. I have been informed by some heads that they will only consider short listing those applicants who have made the effort to visit. This to me is a pain in the ar*e as they tend to be during the day which means I potentially lose a days supply work which I can I'll afford to do.
    I only ask questions if the information is not available anywhere else. As the previous poster said its about finding out if the school is for you. I has been round several and decided after the head said their opening sentence that they weren't for me!

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