It can be hard to stand out as a newly qualified teacher; as well as facing competition from other teachers, you also have to deal with tighter school budgets, and the wider state of the economy. While the rolls for primary schools are showing signs of improvement, many secondary teachers are having to face up to job shortages, and uncertainty over funding. In this way, it’s important to find different ways to stand out within the current market.
Continue Working on Your Interview Skills and CV
First impressions and interview skills are still a crucial part of anyone’s employment prospects; spend time running through mock interviews, and ask teachers for feedback on what you may be doing wrong. Similarly, work on updating your CV and tailor it to particular institutions – what kind of subjects are you most passionate about in terms of your professions, and how would you design your lessons in a way that is unique to your personal tastes and experiences?
Keep Up With Supply Teaching
While full time, permanent jobs might still not be hard to find in some parts of the country, you should make the most of your NQT status to get as much supply teaching as you can; you can supply teach for five years before you need to complete your induction, and should register with local agencies to find work. Depending on whether you’re qualified in secondary or primary, you will need to be flexible in the kind of work that you’re prepared to do.
Be Prepared to Work in Different Types of Schools
Be aware of the job opportunities available across a range of schools, and the ways in which you can make yourself more attractive to them; consider independent schools, academies, and free schools, and research your local area to see what’s available. Independent schools, for example, will place more demands on living on campus if at a boarding school, and may also require postgraduate degrees from their prospective candidates.
Build Up Other Teaching Experiences
Try to make your CV more distinctive by building up other teaching experiences – these can include private tuition in your chosen subject, or a range of subjects. Alternatively, you might want to try teaching abroad, either with your subject, or as an English language teacher. Performing teaching duties as part of charities and relief organisations can similarly help you to improve your experience.
Ask for Feedback
During any supply or temporary work, attempt to get as much feedback as you can from your employers – this may vary from job to job, but can be important if you want to identify areas for improvement. You should also be able to fine tune your CV by understanding what schools are looking for from their teachers.
One of the more challenging parts of being an NQT is having to be as flexible as possible with the work provided; first and second choice schools may not be available, and you may have to deal with long term periods of unemployments. Consider moving around the country if you can, as this can help you to widen your job opportunities.
Know Where to Look Online
There are many useful online sites to find teaching work and specialist positions; sites like GSL Education, the Times Educational Supplement, and the Guardian Teacher Network provide up to date listings, as well as forum and job posting bulletins that can allow you to follow the latest developments within your profession – job alerts can also be useful if you’re checking for work via your smartphone or tablet.
Albert Roberts is a secondary school teacher in Essex, England and enjoys the challenges that teaching brings. When he’s not busy marking or planning lessons he likes to blog about the hurdles that face teachers; from getting teenagers to engage with learning to finding employment.
This is a Guest post. If you would like to submit a guest post to CareerAlley, please follow these guest post guidelines.