Whether you’re an experienced teacher, or just starting in your career, it’s important to properly prepare for a new job or role; this means understanding and being able to use what experience you have, as well as sharpening the kinds of skills you need to move into a new position. Other areas to focus on include whether you’ll be taking on a new job with different pupil age groups, and how you should set yourself for an interview.
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It’s first necessary to access your current skills and experience; if you’ve already been working as a teacher, consider what you’ve achieved so far, and how that can be used to help you get a new job if something comes up that you want to apply for. Focus on extra responsibilities, as well as examples of where you’ve gone above and beyond in your job. If you have any employment gaps, make sure you explain why and what the circumstances were.
In terms of understanding how you can prepare for a new job, consider whether you’ll be teaching roughly the same age groups or not, or whether you’ll have to make a more significant adjustment to new ones? Read as much as possible about a prospective school, and speak to other teachers who’ve taught there - you may find that there are particular issues you need to address in a new environment.
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You can improve your chances of making a smooth transition into a new role, or of getting a new job, by visiting a school during the day - spend time in the classroom chatting to teachers, read the Ofsted report on the school, and ask if you can sit in on a few lessons to get a sense of how they’re taught. If you’re moving from a state school into a private school or academy, or vice versa, think about how you can adjust to changes in the school day and your responsibilities.
As with any new position, always read the job description thoroughly before going to an interview - make sure you address each part of a job description in your application or interview, and try to get to a point where you can anticipate what kinds of questions that you’ll likely be asked. Get as much feedback as you can from assessors and other teachers about expectations and what they’re looking for in a teacher.
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Try to build on your past experiences, and be prepared to consider times when you’ve faced challenges in your teaching. It could also be a good idea to discuss your teacher training, as well as any positive or negative experiences you faced as a supply teacher, and how they’ve helped shape your current approach to teaching. Being able to outline a career plan and what you want to achieve in the future can similarly enable you stand out at an interview.
Sarah recommends keeping an open mind when it comes to finding primary teacher jobs in London, and making use of new technology to do so. She is a primary school teacher who has worked in multiple schools around England and Wales.