This blog post starts off a week long look at landing jobs in specific careers. Stay tuned for more to come.
Top Tips for Landing a Teaching Job
Getting teaching jobs in the current economic climate is not a straightforward matter. While there is always a demand for supply teaching and casual teaching, as well as overseas English language work, securing a fulltime post is more problematic. Potential candidates have to go through a long training and experience process, and also have to be as specific as possible in their applications and presentations.
When thinking about how to get a teaching job, it is therefore important to think about the following factors:
New teachers have to spend a year training and completing an induction period. Qualified teacher status is gained by following a Postgraduate Certificate in Education program, which can cover primary and secondary courses. Teachers are expected to adapt a first undergraduate degree specialty, as well as meeting core literacy, numeracy and IT standards as part of Initial Teacher Training. Full qualification is then gained by an induction year in a school, with a teaching load not expected to exceed 90%.
As well as getting the right qualifications under your belt, it’s also worth considering some short term ways to build up practical working experience. This experience can take the form of classroom practice, as well as one to one tutoring, and charity volunteering. You may be able to find a short term contract in a summer school, which may involve teaching English as a foreign language, or helping out with literacy, mathematics, and numeracy skills.
In addition, you could explore options for acting as a teaching assistant in a local college or school - the work might not be consistent, but it will give you valuable classroom experience. If you want to test out your group management skills, and improve your familiarity with teaching skills (while boosting your CV), then a summer spent volunteering abroad in a school can also be a good idea.
Selecting the Right School
Once you are qualified, it is important to spend a lot of time researching what you are prepared to teach and where. Fewer vacancies will come up in some areas than others, so not what you are prepared to teach. Other options include further education colleges, independent schools and Sixth Form colleges. Think about how much commuting distance you can handle, and whether you can move for work. You should think about the size of the selected school, and a realistic salary level.
Interview preparation is crucial. Each application should come combine general strengths with a tailored approach to particular schools. Develop a portfolio of teaching documents and reports, and make sure that you have all documents ready to deadlines. These documents include CVs, references and copies ofqualifications. It is also important to remember that there will be a rush for new applications in August.
Writing Cover Letters
A cover letter, or teaching statement, is one of the most important parts of your application. You should demonstrate your personal take on teaching, and should also be aware f current debates in the educational sector. Showing knowledge of an individual school, whether that means league tables or Ofsted standards, will also help to enhance your application. A good cover letter should also be no more than two sides of A4.
When invited for presentations and interviews, make sure that you know the school and what it will expect from you. Do your research, and even consider making a visit to the school to see how it runs on a day to day basis. Interviews themselves should involve promoting a clear sense of how you understand the role, and how you would contribute to a community of teachers.
Other teaching options for newly qualified workers include part time and seasonal work, as well as supply teaching to build experience. This option might not be the most stable, but will give you valuable experience of different schools. If teaching overseas, you should consult the UK Border Agency over working visas.
About the Author
Chris G is an experienced education blogger and has written about many different colleges, higher and further education schools in and around London including Lansdowne College.