A guide to getting your first teaching job!

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SarcAndSpark
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I know this has been a tough year for a lot of trainees in terms of finding and securing their first jobs, so I thought it might be useful to have a guide on the subject! A lot of this will be applicable to all classroom teaching jobs, but it’s specifically aimed at Early Career Teachers trying to secure their first role!

Now (early June) is often the peak time for trainees getting jobs, so if you haven’t found your post for September yet, don’t lose heart!



Finding a vacancy

Most schools will use a teaching specific website to advertise their vacancies.

The big ones are:

https://www.tes.com/jobs/

https://www.eteach.com/

https://teaching-vacancies.service.gov.uk/ (This is a new service, but I believe it doesn’t charge schools a fee, and so is already quite popular with schools).

There is also https://www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/categories/education in Scotland.

Schools will also list vacancies on their websites, and you usually apply direct to the school, rather than via a third party.

Some schools now also advertise via social media such as Twitter. Twitter can also be good for networking and making links with people who might employ you.



Applications

Teaching job applications are a pain in the arse. Every LA and MAT has their own application form, and they are all formatted slightly differently, so even copying and pasting your information across isn’t straightforward.

When listing prior jobs, for your first teaching role, you should list your placement schools- this gives employers some idea of the sort of schools you have been working in. At the start of the form, there’s usually an area for main duties and responsibilities. This is the place where you share the age groups you have been teaching, and anything else that may make you very useful to the school (e.g. if you are first aid trained etc).

Most of the form is very straightforward. There is sometimes a safeguarding question on the form, which you should answer in the standard way (don’t ask leading questions, don’t promise to keep anything a secret, report to DSL as soon as possible, etc).

Do make sure the information on the form is accurate- lots of parts of the form are relevant to “safer recruitment” and getting details wrong may jeopardise your job offer down the line.

Letter of Application

This is the key section of your application in terms of getting a job. This is the place to sell yourself and show why you’d be an excellent fit for the role! Some schools will ask for a “supporting statement” on their application form, which serves a similar purpose. If there is no supporting statement on the application form, you MUST write a letter of application, even if the advert does not specifically ask for it.

Your letter of application should be about 2 sides of A4 (not longer) in size 10-12 font. Obviously, it’s important to show you have a good standard of written English in the letter! If you’re applying by email, you can either copy the letter into the body of the email, or send it as an attachment with the email.

Different people structure their letters in different ways, but the key part of this is to address as many points on the “personal spec” included in the job advert as possible. A lot of people will put the spec into a table and address it point by point, then turn this into a letter. It can also be a good idea to look at the school improvement plan, and show you have skills which will benefit the school going forwards.

When I was applying for NQT (now ECT) roles, the way I structured my letter was:
  • -Brief intro giving a little bit of background about myself, and explaining what attracted me to their school. I used this section to show I had read the school website, and tried to suggest I had a keen interest in working for their school specifically.
  • -Brief description (one paragraph) of my background prior to teaching, and why I wanted to teach.
  • -Bulk of the letter, addressing the personal spec with examples from my PGCE and my prior work. I would have e.g. a paragraph dealing with my teaching style, a paragraph dealing with teamwork, a paragraph for assessment, a paragraph on extra-curricular, and so on.
  • -Finish with a very brief summary reiterating the things that had attracted me to this vacancy.

If you are struggling with getting interviews it will usually be your letter of application that is hurting you. It’s a good idea to get advice from your mentor, but even better if you can get advice from people in your placement school who make hiring decisions.

References

References may be taken up prior to interview, so warn your references before you start applying! As a PGCE student, it’s normal to use your uni tutor and a school mentor. If you’re already working in a teaching role, you MUST use your current head- this is a safeguarding thing and your application will be thrown out if you don’t do it.

If you’re unsure who to use as a reference, talk to your mentor and they will be able to help!



Visits?

Some schools will encourage candidates to visit prior to applying. My understanding is that this is often seen as a key part of the application in primary, but it’s less essential at secondary level. Due to Covid-19, schools may not be running visits in the usual way.

Unfortunately, during my PGCE, at least, time spend on a visit to a school couldn’t be counted towards our training days, which can make visiting difficult.

If you do go on a visit prior to applying, treat it as part of the interview process. Dress smartly, be professional and polite, and maybe try to sell yourself a bit! You can definitely also try to get yourself an edge in the interview/application process by asking questions like “What skills do you see an ideal candidate for this role as having?” etc.



The interview



Teaching interviews are usually an all day affair. Everyone in teaching understands this, and it’s fine to ask for time off to attend an interview.

The format of the day will usually be something like this:

  • -Introduction from the head/governors/etc.
  • -Interview lesson
  • -Tour of the school
  • -Student panel
  • -Individual panel interviews

You can sometimes also be asked to do other tasks like a marking task, and at secondary there will usually be a chance to meet other members of the department you’ll be working in.

The key parts of the interview are usually the lesson and the individual interviews. The tour and the student panels are generally just chances for you to show how well you can interact with students, and a chance for you to find a bit more out about the school!

What to wear!

For men, this is pretty easy- full suit and tie plus smart shoes. I'd personally go for a suit and blouse or formal dress + blazer but I have seen women interview in less formal outfits. Do bear in mind that your shoes need to be suitable for a tour of the school which may include walking on grass! I think it's most important that you're comfortable in your outfit, but I would aim to be a step up in formality from your day to day teaching wear!

Interview lesson

This will usually be a short(ish) segment of a lesson (20-30 minutes is standard) so that observers can get a bit of an idea about your teaching style and how you manage a classroom. The class will usually be well behaved, and you’ll usually be given the topic and the details of the class ahead of time. (A small number of schools have moved to a format where you plan your lesson in an hour on the day).

You’ll need to come prepared with any printed resources you will need for your lesson, but you can usually ask the school for things like mini-whiteboards etc.

A good structure for a 20-25 minute lesson is as follows:

  • -Introduce yourself to the class and briefly set out some basic expectations.
  • -A short starter to “hook” students in. You may also want to briefly assess prior knowledge here.
  • -Some form of teacher input from yourself, ideally with some questioning of the class.
  • -Set students off on the main task. (I think it’s fine to give them a bit less time here than they would normally need to complete the task). This task should ideally be something engaging for students, but it also needs to be something that won’t cause a lot of confusion in a short time frame. It’s better to keep things simple to start with, and have extensions available, too. During this time, try to circulate and support/prompt students.
  • -Finish with some for of AfL in a plenary.

It can be useful to have some kind of lesson plan to refer back to in individual interviews, and some schools will like to see a lesson plan, even if they don’t specifically ask for one! It may well be worth going through your lesson plan with your mentor in school, as well!

When you finish your lesson, it’s a good idea to write a brief reflection on the lesson- you’ll be asked about it in the individual interviews, so it’s useful to think about what went well, what could have gone better, and where you’d take the learning next.

The lesson doesn’t need to be ground-breaking, necessarily, although I do think interviewers like things which are fun and a little bit different! Most schools are looking at: your classroom presence, your ability to ensure students are making progress, appropriate subject knowledge, your ability to prepare and appropriately pitch a task, what you do if things go wrong, and how you differentiate for weaker/stronger members of the group.

The lesson is important, and some schools will send you home if they feel your lesson isn’t up to scratch. It’s also important that the lesson is your own work as far as possible. Schools will reject candidates if they suspect they’ve e.g. bought a lesson from TES to use.



Panel Interview

This will usually be with 3-5 people, including HoD (secondary) or Head of Key Stage/Year Team (primary), a member of SLT, a governor or trustee, sometimes other members of the department, sometimes the head of school.

Schools will ask a range of questions (See the second post in this thread for examples of interview questions you may be asked).

It’s impossible to prepare for every question you could be asked about at interview, but it can be useful to familiarise yourself with the STAR technique, as well as think of a few key selling points you want to get in somewhere!

At the end of the interview, it’s fine to go back and add a few extra points to your answers if you wish, but try not to do this for more than one or two questions.

You will then be asked if you have any questions. It’s fine to say no! It’s also important to think about the way you phrase questions e.g. asking about workload directly can be frowned upon BUT you can ask things like “What is the department’s marking policy? How much shared planning is there?”. Some heads also won’t like to directly be asked about the school’s Ofsted, especially if there are failings, but you can ask questions like “What is your vision for the school moving forwards?” etc.

If you feel you must ask a question, asking about CPD or early career development can be a good, safe choice.

You will finally be asked if you are a firm candidate for the role, still. Don’t be freaked out by this, it’s a standard question. It’s fine to say no (or excuse yourself at any point during the interview). If you say yes, and then turn down the job later, it’s frowned upon.



Your new job!

Usually, you will find out on the day, or at the very worst the day after, if you got the job. If you didn’t, do ask for feedback, and this can be very helpful.

In my opinion, when you have the offer is the time to start negotiating e.g. starting salary etc (do be aware this is only possible in very shortage subjects, or if you have loads of relevant experience).

If you’ve said you’ll accept the job, it is considered bad form to turn it down now without good reason (e.g. they are offering a temporary contract, when the role was advertised as permanent). However, it is far better to turn down the role now, than accept and turn down at a later time.

In general, you are expected to give an answer there and then- it’s not normal to be able to ask them to wait, e.g. a week because you’ve got another interview.

If you’re already in a job, don’t give notice until you’ve got the contract for you new job signed! Once you’ve signed the contract, do be aware you are expected to stop applying for other jobs. Backing out of a signed contract can hugely damage your reputation locally, and really hamper your career. It will almost certainly get you “blacklisted” at that specific school.



Please feel free to use this thread for any discussions around job hunting, or any questions you want to ask! It would be great if people could share their own experiences/advice in the thread, too!
Last edited by SarcAndSpark; 1 year ago
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SarcAndSpark
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A Non-Exhaustive list of possible interview questions

Please feel free to add any other suggestions in the thread!

This is just a selection of questions you could be asked. In general, individual interviews won't last more than about half an hour, and you probably won't be asked more than about 10-15 questions. You may not be asked a question from every section on this list, or you may be asked multiple questions from each section. However, it's likely you will be asked about at least some of these sections, so it may be worth making some notes on each area.

The idea of this list is not to suggest you prepare an answer for every single question on it, but just to make you aware of the sort of things you could be asked.

Some questions can be very left field, so it's good to make sure you can think on your feet as well as being prepared.
(Apologies for the messy formatting, TSR isn't letting me set this up how I'd like to, but hopefully it's still useful)

Panel Interview

You will almost definitely be asked:
  • A safeguarding question
  • Why you want to work in that school
  • To reflect on your interview lesson

Other questions that may be asked include:

  • Behaviour management
  • How would you set about developing discipline in your class?
  • What is your approach to behaviour management?
  • What are your views on discipline?
  • How much noise and moving around the classroom would you permit?
  • Relationships with parents and students
  • What is your experience of having parents in school? To what extent do you think this should be developed?
  • What kind of relationships would you expect to build with parents?
  • How do you build relationships with students?
  • Tell us about your own strengths you would bring to the school?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Tell us about a the time something went wrong in a lesson and how you dealt with it?
  • Tell us about the worst lesson you have taught, and why it went badly?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Tell us about a lesson that went well, and why it went well?
  • About you
  • Tell us about yourself and what inspires you
  • What personal interests and hobbies do you have that could be of value to the school?
  • What book are you currently reading?
  • What unique qualities can you bring to the school?
  • Why did you decide you wanted to become a teacher?
  • Tell us about your journey to becoming a teacher/applying for this post?
  • How has your practice gone? Tell us about your placement.
  • The school and the local area
  • What makes a successful school?
  • How would you support the ethos of this school?
  • The school is part of the community. How would you plan to integrate this community and all it has to offer into your teaching?
  • How well do you know the local area?
  • What are your impressions of the school?
  • Progress and assessment
  • How do you measure achievement in your pupils?
  • What does progress look like in your subject?
  • What sort of assessment do you use and how does it inform future planning?
  • How does data impact your planning?
  • If I visited your classroom, how would I recognise effective teaching and learning taking place?
  • What is the role of target setting?
  • How would envisage raising levels of attainment in your class / the school / Lower or Upper part of the school?
  • How would you contribute towards a supportive staff team?
  • Tell us about a time you worked as part of a team?
  • What do you see as the challenges of working in a team?
  • How would you seek to work co-operatively with your colleagues?
  • How would you involve the Teaching Assistants working in your room?
  • How will you gain the respect of experienced colleagues?
  • Your professional development
  • What experience have you had of appraisal systems, being mentored or inducted?
  • What are your expectations of us in your first weeks / months / terms / year?
  • How would you like to see your career develop?
  • What would you expect from your mentor?
  • If appointed to this post, how would you expect to develop in the next couple of years?
  • What sort of CPD would you hope to recieve from us?
  • How do you work to improve your own teaching practice?
  • If appointed, what areas would you need further support in / look to develop in your first year?
  • In a year’s time how could we judge if you had been successful as a teacher?
  • Tell us about your training – how has this prepared you to be a teacher here?
  • Individual needs of students
  • What has been your experience of children with Special Educational Needs?
  • What has been your experience of working with children who have English as an additional language?
  • How would you contribute to closing the disadvantaged gap?
  • How would you ensure that you respond effectively to the differing needs and abilities of pupils?
  • How do you foster equality of opportunity?
  • How would you address boys’ underachievement?
  • How would you raise a child’s self-esteem and aspirations?
  • Teaching and learning and the curriculum
  • What do you understand the role of teacher to involve?
  • What would do if you saw an example of poor practice in school?
  • What was your specialism? Could you briefly explain how you have acquired your knowledge in this subject? How could you use ICT to further (this subject)?
  • Using the experience of your placements, please outline what you have observed to be good practice in…… Literacy, Numeracy, Art, behaviour management, etc
  • How far do children in your classroom direct their learning?
  • How would you plan the day if given a free hand?
  • How would you change the curriculum in X subject if you could do so?
  • How would you evaluate the effectiveness of the _______ strategy?
  • What is the place of topic work in school?
  • Which reading and maths schemes have you used?
  • How would you encourage students to take subject X as an option?
  • Please explain what effect you think the Foundation Stage curriculum might have on Year1.How would you display children’s work?
  • What are your views on the balance between creativity and basic skills?
  • How might you use ICT in your teaching?
  • How would you ensure the continued raising of numeracy standards in your class?
  • How would you structure literacy lessons to ensure equal access for all?
  • How would you contribute to whole school literacy initiatives?
  • Misc.
  • How would you like to organise your own classroom?
  • At the end of a difficult day what would you do?
  • Tell us about a time you needed resilience.
  • If you were part of the interviewing panel today - what would you want be looking for in the candidates?
  • Scenarios:


    • What would you do if your behaviour management strategies were not working?
    • Supposing you were bringing your class into school first thing in the morning, when a clearly very angry parent made a bee line for you, ‘effing and blinding’ loudly at you. What would you do?
    • You are in school early and see an interaction between a child and their parent. The parent grabs the child by the arm and starts shouting at them agressively. What would you do?
    • What would you do if a child with very little English were admitted to you class?
    • If a child accused you of hitting them, how would you react?
    • How would you cope with a child constantly interrupting?
    • How would you deal with bullying?
    • You're teaching a Y9 class. Some of the students have already decided they are not taking your subject as an option. How do you keep them engaged?
    • How would you deal with a student asking why they had to learn about a particular topic within your subject?

Student Panel



  • If you were a biscuit, what type of biscuit would you be?
  • Tell us a joke relating to your subject.
  • (Probably science only) If you were an element or compound, what would you be?
Last edited by SarcAndSpark; 1 year ago
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Muttley79
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If you want to work in a particular part of the country then do look at the Local authority website too.

Remember you are being observed from the moment you arrive in the school even at lunch/breaktimes.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Muttley79)
If you want to work in a particular part of the country then do look at the Local authority website too.

Remember you are being observed from the moment you arrive in the school even at lunch/breaktimes.
Yes, it's definitely important to treat the full day as an interview, even the bits that seem less formal!
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zebby1999
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What happens in this situation?

Say a school offers you a permanent full time contract verbally and this is confirmed before you accept the verbal job offer. However, the written contract arrives and the school is offering a fixed-term or maternity position instead as opposed to what was agreed beforehand. This is taken up with the school and they say they can't offer the original contract even though that is what you applied for, what was advertised and what was agreed upon prior to accepting. You have met all of the conditions for employment (otherwise they wouldn't allow you to work with children). After accepting the verbal offer from this school, you have withdrawn your applications to other schools as everyone, including university, has told you that the verbal agreement is legally binding.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by zebby1999)
What happens in this situation?

Say a school offers you a permanent full time contract verbally and this is confirmed before you accept the verbal job offer. However, the written contract arrives and the school is offering a fixed-term or maternity position instead as opposed to what was agreed beforehand. This is taken up with the school and they say they can't offer the original contract even though that is what you applied for, what was advertised and what was agreed upon prior to accepting. You have met all of the conditions for employment (otherwise they wouldn't allow you to work with children). After accepting the verbal offer from this school, you have withdrawn your applications to other schools as everyone, including university, has told you that the verbal agreement is legally binding.
Next step is probably contacting your union. This is absolutely rubbish of them, though.

I think you are more than justified in backing out of the job, and I would tell everyone you know to avoid the school for this reason too.

However, if this would leave you with no job for September, that's a tricky decision to make.

Is it fixed term or maternity they are offering?
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SFquestion10987
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Thank you, this is really helpful!
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by SFquestion10987)
Thank you, this is really helpful!
I'm glad you found it useful!

Let me know if you have any specific questions around this!
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ttrain
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I am currently doing my teacher training and Im starting to think about next year. My partner and I will probably need to move next January, due to his job and if I start a teaching job completing the ECT in September, where I currently am, I will not be able to leave come January. I was thinking about taking a year out (working in maybe teaching covers or nurseries) and start to look for a job for the September after once I have moved. My question is; if I take a year out after my PGCE will that affect my ECT or employment opportunities?Any help would be great, thank you
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ttrain
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I am currently doing my teacher training and I'm wondering about what to do next academic year.
My partner and I will probably have to move next January due to his job and if I start a teaching job doing my ECT in September I will have to leave it in January.
I was wondering whether I would be able to take a year out after I complete the PGCE and maybe work in teaching covers or nurseries until January and once we have moved start looking for a teaching job for the following academic year.
My question is, will taking a year out affect my ECT or employment opportunities?
Any help would be appreciated
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04MR17
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(Original post by ttrain)
I am currently doing my teacher training and I'm wondering about what to do next academic year.
My partner and I will probably have to move next January due to his job and if I start a teaching job doing my ECT in September I will have to leave it in January.
I was wondering whether I would be able to take a year out after I complete the PGCE and maybe work in teaching covers or nurseries until January and once we have moved start looking for a teaching job for the following academic year.
My question is, will taking a year out affect my ECT or employment opportunities?
Any help would be appreciated
So your partner will probably be moving, but you don't yet know where?
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ttrain
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(Original post by 04MR17)
So your partner will probably be moving, but you don't yet know where?
We will both be moving together somewhere in England, but we don't know yet as his job hasn't specified yet, they have only said it will be around January 2023
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04MR17
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(Original post by ttrain)
We will both be moving together somewhere in England, but we don't know yet as his job hasn't specified yet, they have only said it will be around January 2023
Okay, do you have a concrete date for when you will know?

I had a similar position this year. Partner applying for jobs, secure a job in May/June 2021 to start in July 2021. Any jobs in that local area were well gone by then. I'm now doing supply in the area and really enjoying it, waiting for a job to come up. Did my PGCE last year. My advice to you would be (and this somewhat varies per subject) - supply is a good way to get to know schools in the local area. At the moment (thanks to covid), supply teachers are not out of work at all and you won't be short of money if that's what you want to do.



Interestingly enough, a part time job has just come up for my subject in a really nearby school. But it's an independent school. I'm ideologically against them, but the position would really suit me and is only a temporary role anyway.

Food for thought. :beard:
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ttrain
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Okay, do you have a concrete date for when you will know?

I had a similar position this year. Partner applying for jobs, secure a job in May/June 2021 to start in July 2021. Any jobs in that local area were well gone by then. I'm now doing supply in the area and really enjoying it, waiting for a job to come up. Did my PGCE last year. My advice to you would be (and this somewhat varies per subject) - supply is a good way to get to know schools in the local area. At the moment (thanks to covid), supply teachers are not out of work at all and you won't be short of money if that's what you want to do.



Interestingly enough, a part time job has just come up for my subject in a really nearby school. But it's an independent school. I'm ideologically against them, but the position would really suit me and is only a temporary role anyway.

Food for thought. :beard:
Thank you so much that helps me out a lot!
I still do not know the date a lot as it is all very in the air, but what you have done looks like a really good idea.
How did you find your cover jobs? Is it an agency or is it a daily look?
Also I get what you mean by ideologically against them...
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04MR17
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(Original post by ttrain)
Thank you so much that helps me out a lot!
I still do not know the date a lot as it is all very in the air, but what you have done looks like a really good idea.
How did you find your cover jobs? Is it an agency or is it a daily look?
Also I get what you mean by ideologically against them...
I am with a supply agency, but they have placed me in the same school everyday for this month due to someone being off long term. You will be able to specify whether you'd prefer to be in short term or long term assignments. There's a big shortage of supply teachers everywhere so wherever you go I doubt you'll be out of work.
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ttrain
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(Original post by 04MR17)
I am with a supply agency, but they have placed me in the same school everyday for this month due to someone being off long term. You will be able to specify whether you'd prefer to be in short term or long term assignments. There's a big shortage of supply teachers everywhere so wherever you go I doubt you'll be out of work.
Thank you
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by ttrain)
I am currently doing my teacher training and I'm wondering about what to do next academic year.
My partner and I will probably have to move next January due to his job and if I start a teaching job doing my ECT in September I will have to leave it in January.
I was wondering whether I would be able to take a year out after I complete the PGCE and maybe work in teaching covers or nurseries until January and once we have moved start looking for a teaching job for the following academic year.
My question is, will taking a year out affect my ECT or employment opportunities?
Any help would be appreciated
It depends.

What age/subject do you teach?

If you would have moved by January, and can do a January start, you may be able to get a job relatively easily BUT I would actually recommend against doing a January start as an ECT- doing a Jan start is tough on any new teacher, there will often be resentment from the kids that their old teacher left them, and they may take that out on you. You're behind and picking up the pieces from where someone else left off.

You would need to start applying around October time, so if you don't know the location by then, that might not help, either.

It might be better to spend the year on supply (if that would work for you financially) with a view to finding a permanent role for the following September, when you'd potentially be quite attractive to schools due to having an extra year of experience.

Do bear in mind some people find supply very tough for lots of reasons, too, although it can be a good way to build experience.

Is there no way the move could be put off for a year?
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SarcAndSpark
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#18
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#18
(Original post by ttrain)
I am currently doing my teacher training and Im starting to think about next year. My partner and I will probably need to move next January, due to his job and if I start a teaching job completing the ECT in September, where I currently am, I will not be able to leave come January. I was thinking about taking a year out (working in maybe teaching covers or nurseries) and start to look for a job for the September after once I have moved. My question is; if I take a year out after my PGCE will that affect my ECT or employment opportunities?Any help would be great, thank you
Hi

I've already answered this where you posted it elsewhere, so I'm going to merge this with that thread.
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Heather127
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#19
Report 7 months ago
#19
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
A Non-Exhaustive list of possible interview questions

Please feel free to add any other suggestions in the thread!

This is just a selection of questions you could be asked. In general, individual interviews won't last more than about half an hour, and you probably won't be asked more than about 10-15 questions. You may not be asked a question from every section on this list, or you may be asked multiple questions from each section. However, it's likely you will be asked about at least some of these sections, so it may be worth making some notes on each area.

The idea of this list is not to suggest you prepare an answer for every single question on it, but just to make you aware of the sort of things you could be asked.

Some questions can be very left field, so it's good to make sure you can think on your feet as well as being prepared.
(Apologies for the messy formatting, TSR isn't letting me set this up how I'd like to, but hopefully it's still useful)

Panel Interview

You will almost definitely be asked:
  • A safeguarding question
  • Why you want to work in that school
  • To reflect on your interview lesson

Other questions that may be asked include:

  • Behaviour management
  • How would you set about developing discipline in your class?
  • What is your approach to behaviour management?
  • What are your views on discipline?
  • How much noise and moving around the classroom would you permit?
  • Relationships with parents and students
  • What is your experience of having parents in school? To what extent do you think this should be developed?
  • What kind of relationships would you expect to build with parents?
  • How do you build relationships with students?
  • Tell us about your own strengths you would bring to the school?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Tell us about a the time something went wrong in a lesson and how you dealt with it?
  • Tell us about the worst lesson you have taught, and why it went badly?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Tell us about a lesson that went well, and why it went well?
  • About you
  • Tell us about yourself and what inspires you
  • What personal interests and hobbies do you have that could be of value to the school?
  • What book are you currently reading?
  • What unique qualities can you bring to the school?
  • Why did you decide you wanted to become a teacher?
  • Tell us about your journey to becoming a teacher/applying for this post?
  • How has your practice gone? Tell us about your placement.
  • The school and the local area
  • What makes a successful school?
  • How would you support the ethos of this school?
  • The school is part of the community. How would you plan to integrate this community and all it has to offer into your teaching?
  • How well do you know the local area?
  • What are your impressions of the school?
  • Progress and assessment
  • How do you measure achievement in your pupils?
  • What does progress look like in your subject?
  • What sort of assessment do you use and how does it inform future planning?
  • How does data impact your planning?
  • If I visited your classroom, how would I recognise effective teaching and learning taking place?
  • What is the role of target setting?
  • How would envisage raising levels of attainment in your class / the school / Lower or Upper part of the school?
  • How would you contribute towards a supportive staff team?
  • Tell us about a time you worked as part of a team?
  • What do you see as the challenges of working in a team?
  • How would you seek to work co-operatively with your colleagues?
  • How would you involve the Teaching Assistants working in your room?
  • How will you gain the respect of experienced colleagues?
  • Your professional development
  • What experience have you had of appraisal systems, being mentored or inducted?
  • What are your expectations of us in your first weeks / months / terms / year?
  • How would you like to see your career develop?
  • What would you expect from your mentor?
  • If appointed to this post, how would you expect to develop in the next couple of years?
  • What sort of CPD would you hope to recieve from us?
  • How do you work to improve your own teaching practice?
  • If appointed, what areas would you need further support in / look to develop in your first year?
  • In a year’s time how could we judge if you had been successful as a teacher?
  • Tell us about your training – how has this prepared you to be a teacher here?
  • Individual needs of students
  • What has been your experience of children with Special Educational Needs?
  • What has been your experience of working with children who have English as an additional language?
  • How would you contribute to closing the disadvantaged gap?
  • How would you ensure that you respond effectively to the differing needs and abilities of pupils?
  • How do you foster equality of opportunity?
  • How would you address boys’ underachievement?
  • How would you raise a child’s self-esteem and aspirations?
  • Teaching and learning and the curriculum
  • What do you understand the role of teacher to involve?
  • What would do if you saw an example of poor practice in school?
  • What was your specialism? Could you briefly explain how you have acquired your knowledge in this subject? How could you use ICT to further (this subject)?
  • Using the experience of your placements, please outline what you have observed to be good practice in…… Literacy, Numeracy, Art, behaviour management, etc
  • How far do children in your classroom direct their learning?
  • How would you plan the day if given a free hand?
  • How would you change the curriculum in X subject if you could do so?
  • How would you evaluate the effectiveness of the _______ strategy?
  • What is the place of topic work in school?
  • Which reading and maths schemes have you used?
  • How would you encourage students to take subject X as an option?
  • Please explain what effect you think the Foundation Stage curriculum might have on Year1.How would you display children’s work?
  • What are your views on the balance between creativity and basic skills?
  • How might you use ICT in your teaching?
  • How would you ensure the continued raising of numeracy standards in your class?
  • How would you structure literacy lessons to ensure equal access for all?
  • How would you contribute to whole school literacy initiatives?
  • Misc.
  • How would you like to organise your own classroom?
  • At the end of a difficult day what would you do?
  • Tell us about a time you needed resilience.
  • If you were part of the interviewing panel today - what would you want be looking for in the candidates?
  • Scenarios:




    • What would you do if your behaviour management strategies were not working?
    • Supposing you were bringing your class into school first thing in the morning, when a clearly very angry parent made a bee line for you, ‘effing and blinding’ loudly at you. What would you do?
    • You are in school early and see an interaction between a child and their parent. The parent grabs the child by the arm and starts shouting at them agressively. What would you do?
    • What would you do if a child with very little English were admitted to you class?
    • If a child accused you of hitting them, how would you react?
    • How would you cope with a child constantly interrupting?
    • How would you deal with bullying?
    • You're teaching a Y9 class. Some of the students have already decided they are not taking your subject as an option. How do you keep them engaged?
    • How would you deal with a student asking why they had to learn about a particular topic within your subject?

Student Panel



  • If you were a biscuit, what type of biscuit would you be?
  • Tell us a joke relating to your subject.
  • (Probably science only) If you were an element or compound, what would you be?
This is so helpful!! I had a lot of these & found that in my interviews they focussed most on the situational judgement questions as well as demonstrating passion for the subject. Also really good to know about the curriculum/do some good research into what you'll be teaching and which parts you'll enjoy (so you can talk about them).

For finding vacancies my advice would be to just keep checking resources like the ones above and maybe sign up with some agencies as well. I found i-teachers really helpful with my job search.
Last edited by Heather127; 7 months ago
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tomollany
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#20
Report 5 months ago
#20
Good post, thanks! My personal situation is that I am a computer studies PGCE teacher. I seem to be doing ok in my course (at least nobody has stated any concerns about me).So, I have unfortunately found out that teaching vacancies are a bit strange. They normally already have someone in mind, but they have to invite others to the interview with no real intention of them getting the job. Surely that is wasting both the PGCE and the schools' time? It just seems odd to me in these times of no discrimination that this can be gotten around.So here is my story so far.First interview: called off half way through the interview. No positive feedback at all.Second Interview: They already had a PGCE student in place, so they gave the job to him and that happened (again, no feedback).Third interview: the existing teacher had to reapply for his own job, so he naturally got it again, so again no feedback.Fourth interview: the person coming to campus to promote the job stated in the class that they wanted
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