We are now fully immersed into the depths of January and with a new year, comes new responsibilities. Deadlines are fast approaching and they always seem to come round quicker when you are least prepared to tackle them. To help you fast-track yourself and better your chances at success, I have shared with you some tips on how to get ahead of the game with your teaching application
Here’s what you need to know…
Managing Your Time
The holidays can be a chaotic and manic period. Online psychometric testing
will require its own dedicated time. Familiarize yourself with the process by completing a few practice tests. It will reduce your anxiety and increase your knowledge and understanding of what to expect during psychometric testing.
It is also important to remember some recruiters close their application window early if they have a large number of applications. Sit down and allow yourself plenty of time to submit your application before the closing date.
Rushing your application can make room for mistakes, and will not allow any time for adjustments to be made. The ‘little and often’ method will help you manage your time effectively, and complete your application with time to spare.
Reading and Researching
Many schools which you apply for may not be particularly interested in your CV. Instead, they will want to see a well-researched, specific and tailored application. Here are some areas to focus your research on…
• Researching and visiting a school of interest. This is important, as you may not be right for the school, and more importantly, they may not be right for you.
• Exploring the school website.
• Check the Ofsted report.
• Studying achievement tables will give you an understanding of the successes and challenges the school faces.
• Reading the application pack is crucial; you need to make sure your application displays enough evidence of your competencies to match those of the school’s essential and desirable requirements. This will make the difference between you and a rival candidate.
In addition, be selective when applying for positions. You don’t want to apply for a job that you will not enjoy, just because it is available.
Make sure to do your homework. How far is it to commute? Will you be able to afford the travel costs? Is the position right for you?
References are essential for teaching applications. At this point you will have completed work placements at one or two schools that offer their own variety of experiences, challenges and successes. These will need to be drawn upon. Make sure your referees are prepared for potential requests.
This part of the application is your chance to shine. Here you can really underpin why you think you will be right for the school. How will you contribute to their workforce? What will you bring? What can you offer to that school that they cannot receive from the next candidate?
Drawing upon real experiences, real problems and real school-based solutions will help construct a strong application
. The skills you have developed and the training that you were exposed to within your placement(s) can be used to influence the reader of your application, and prepare you for impending interview questions.
Being an ‘enlarged’ version of yourself
both on paper and during the interview process can be a very useful tool. By using your experience and gaining confidence from your encounters - inside and outside of the classroom – you will strengthen your application.
Find a balance between working on your application and recharging your batteries after the Christmas period. Understanding what is expected from an application and managing those expectations stage by stage will help with the planning process.
Remember, preparation is key! Researching the school, the job role, and the application process itself will need to be at the forefront of a successful submission.
Good knowledge of the recruitment timetable is also essential. Grabbing the opportunity that suits you best and making sure your application is job specific is one thing, but how to apply, and more importantly when to apply is another.
School vacancies, registration schemes, pool applicants, agencies and speculative applicants will all have their own timetable of expected applications.
Researching which process suits you best and how they manage their applicants will allow you to plan and prepare with a solid deadline to work to.