I am finding this half term the busiest so far. With year 11 exams looming, there seems to be an awful lot to do. I know many teachers will be worrying about covering all the content of their course with enough time to get some revision in. Obviously some subjects are worse than others. I admire the lengths teachers go to providing support to pupils, ensuring they are adequately prepared for their exams, especially when there is so little time to cover so much content, yet they manage it anyway. There are then other pressures such as progress grades and parents evenings. Making sure data is correct and that books are marked to back up the levels.
For me, I often count myself lucky that I don’t have the stacks of books to mark that others do. I do however, have GCSE Dance practical assessments coming up, moderation for all of their units and lots of BTEC marking to do. I also have the annual talent competition, GCSE PE books to mark and there is always planning to do. I ensure I make up for the lack of marking in other ways that I can. For the past 2 weeks, I have added some extra work to my load. I applied for a new job. You will all know how stressful this can be in any case, but or teaching, the application forms are always huge, and you accompany it with a covering letter. A LOT of time goes into this. Trying to cram as much information as possible into 2 pages without waffling is not easy feat. It needs to be tailored to the school and the job description too. I have a few tips that really helped me.
- Write down the key things the school are looking for
- Have a strong and intriguing first paragraph
- Do your research, mention the schools strengths
- Back up what you say with examples
- Have an interesting summary paragraph
- Always get a colleague to read it and help with the process
- Keep it to 2 pages of A4
Thankfully my letter was good enough to get me an interview. I have spent the last week preparing for that interview. Preparation is key when you go for any job, but the interview process for teaching is pretty extensive, especially i going for a higher position. I have been researching about the school and the local community to help me. I have spent time looking on their website for as much information as possible, looking at policies, Ofsted reports and generally what the school is like.
The interview process for many schools involves different aspects, tours, teaching a lesson, student interviews, interviews with the panel and in some cases a presentation too. I am no expert at this but as I have already mentioned, being prepared is vital if you stand any chance of being employed. If you do not prepare effectively then you are setting yourself up to fail. I feel the things I have done this week has enabled me to be as ready as ever. I know whatever happens on the day will happen for a reason. I will give it my all because that is what I do. I have nothing to lose.
The good thing is, I already have a job. As you can imagine, or may have experienced, the process is much more stressful for those that do not. Teaching jobs are few and far between at the moment. What with the current political climate in education, teachers are under a lot of stress. The education sector is always changing, there are new policies or ever changing curriculum ideas. Luckily, I am still young and not considering leaving as I know some are. I want to make a different to young peoples lives, the further I progress up the teaching ladder, the more affect I believe I can have. It is such a rewarding career, if you don’t have any dealings with young people as a teacher, coach or some sort of educator, then you are missing out. They are truly amazing and can surprise you every day. Never a dull moment.
For now tho, I am as prepared as I will ever be. I will just be myself and enjoy the experience. Every day is a school day – always learning.