If you’re considering a new role for next year, this may be accompanied by a lot of tossing and turning while you’re weighing up your options. There are a number of reasons for why you might be considering a move, but if you have already passed this stage and have decided to resign, then it’s time to take action.
Every teacher will have their own goals - the schools they like, the commute, the year group, etc. One thing that’s always true, however, is that no school will tick each and every one of your boxes. You will be in a better position being able to choose between many offers, rather than settling on the only offer you get. So before you even start researching schools, here are three basic things any teacher should do straight away when embarking on a new job search:
Your CV is the first impression that any school will get of you. If the paragraphs are misaligned, they might think you're unorganised. If there are spelling mistakes, they may attribute that to poor attention to detail.
Update your CV with your latest experience. Use a good template, get help from tech-savvy friends if necessary and definitely, definitely ask others to proof-read it before sending it to any schools or recruiters. Don’t let your applications die before anyone has even spoken to you - pay attention to details in updating your CV.
If your attitude to interviewing is just delivering your lesson and then hoping you will think of the right answers to the questions you’re asked, then you’re doing it wrong.
One teacher we have worked with for a long time has spent a while now looking for a long-term teaching position near her house. She is a very experienced and very passionate Early Years teacher. She finally interviewed at a school about ten minutes from her house and her lesson observation went very well. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the job because her interview, following the observation, was poor. She did not provide good answers to basic questions such as “give us an example of what you did when children in the class were misbehaving”.
Schools are not only hiring you for your in-class abilities. They’re assessing what other responsibilities you may be suitable for (especially if your pay expectations are high), and thinking about how you would fit in as a team player in the long run. The interview is critical for them to assess these things.
Don’t miss out on your dream job for lack of preparation. Compile a list of common interview questions and prepare a handful of actual experiences you have had, to as examples to any questions you’re asked.
You can check job boards and walk around your area applying to your preferred schools, but it’ll be a slow, surgical way of getting in front of Headteachers to find out more about schools. Recruiters have existing relationships with Headteachers and could quickly open up very good opportunities for you that you haven’t considered before.
However, many recruitment agencies are set up in a way that put the recruiter’s personal gain (their commissions) in conflict with your best interests. Look for an ethical service that can help you get more job opportunities but will not hurt your chances of getting hired by charging schools ludicrous fees. Don’t be afraid to ask recruiters how much they would charge a school that wanted to hire you.
Finding a new teaching position is always nerve-racking, but it is also exciting. Take it seriously and follow these three recommendations as early as possible to put yourself in the best position to choose the job you are most excited about.