Blog post by Martine – Prospero Consultant and Secondary Teacher.
Your PGCE year is a roller-coaster ride full of highs and lows. Emotionally, it can drain you and for some it involves more bumps, twists and turns than you think you can possibly take! The good news is that it’s almost time to step off that ride and start a brand new one: your NQT year. Whether you have trained to be a Primary Teacher, Secondary Teacher or Special Needs Teacher there are some steps you can take to make the most of your job search during your NQT year.
Identify the school
The first step on that journey is finding a job. There are many things to think about when considering where to spend your NQT year. Firstly, think about how you felt about the schools where you completed your placements. Did you enjoy teaching in an Outstanding school? A place where you felt able to learn from excellent teaching and learning specialists, and therefore would like a similar environment for your NQT year? Or maybe, (like myself) you spent your placements in more challenging schools, where you felt like every moment you invested in the school you were able to really make a difference and know that is the sort of place you belong. Either way, it is important to take time to stop and reflect on the experiences you have had so far before you make the choice.
Choose the location
Location is another factor to consider, both on a national and regional level. Many NQTS are open to relocating for work, which can really open up your opportunities. Lots of people want to live in picturesque little towns, with fewer schools, however if you want to open up your options then it may be time to consider either commuting, or relocating to a larger town or city. Also remember that the closer you are to London, the higher your pay will be, keeping in line with the London allowances. To find out what we at Prospero are looking for in locations all across the UK, check out our job search page which includes location search.
Develop a professional CV
During the PGCE it can often be difficult to find time to fill in application forms, write your CV and research prospective schools during your placements especially when you are so busy doing lesson plans and assignments. Here at Prospero we provide one to one support to help compile your CV and listen to your needs in order to advise you on schools that would meet your requirements. We also have in house- teaching specialists who can give advice and guidance when preparing for interviews.
NQTs are often coming straight from University or, increasingly from a complete career-change later in life. Whilst you have the benefit of being fresh from training with all the most up to date teaching models, you will still face competition from other teachers, who may have several years of class-based experience and a track record under their belts. Therefore, you really need to highlight any relevant experience you have working with children and young people, voluntary or otherwise. Something like working at a summer camp or volunteering at a local scout group or youth club are much more impressive to head teachers than a part-time job in an unrelated area such as retail.
If you do have limited experience, it’s about drawing out the transferable skills to teaching- e.g. dealing with an angry customer in retail and remaining calm shows you have skills in behaviour management and conflict resolution. Your placements do provide good examples, but it’s important to show you have a wider range of experience, so schools can really picture how you will fit into the school ethos and environment.
Register with us
Finally, try not to panic! As half-term draws to a close, here at Prospero Teaching we are getting ourselves ready for our busiest time of year. From now until July we will be extremely busy finding both Primary, Secondary and SEN NQTs their perfect roles in schools all over the UK. Please do get in touch and let us know what you are looking for, we can provide help and advice to any NQTs looking to take that first step in their teaching career. Register with us today for immediate response.
Good luck and congratulations on making it through what is said to be the hardest year of your teaching life, that is of course until your NQT year begins!
Read more advice in the Guardian Network Blog where Prospero Teaching was featured.
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