I feel under great pressure writing this, as so many people asked for help in this area. I have said it before and I’ll say it again- I am not an expert. I have almost completed my first full year of teaching, so I am still an NQT!
I can only offer the advice I have been given by others, and go off the successful interview I had last year.
I suppose I should begin with the process involved in applying for jobs.
1. Figure out the schools you are interested in. Apply to 700 schools or 7, which ever suits you. Everyone is different. Some people have preferences, some don’t. Personally I haven’t applied for any schools with over 400 pupils as they are just too big. Now that’s possibly rather foolish, but I know that I wouldn’t like a school that big. I wouldn’t want to be stuck teaching somewhere which doesn’t suit me.
2. I do recommend doing personalised applications for each school, obviously, but if you are sending out huge amounts of applications, this may not be possible. If you are applying to many schools, then I would recommend the following:
Write the following application forms: One for DEIS schools, Non DEIS, Church of Ireland, and Educate Together schools.
Don’t forget to change the details in the header of the form, i.e. school name, position you’re applying for, and the rolla number.
Write the application form in bullet points. Clear, concise, to the point sentences.
Try keeping the last three sections in the form completely unique. Think as hard as you can of something which makes you stand out. Let’s face it; nearly every teacher plays an instrument or a sport- big deal. I am not saying not to include them, certainly do- but maybe some schools might want something that stands out a bit more.
If you are talented at ICT then go hell for leather with it on the application. It would be a big help to schools if you could be the resident computer fixer!
Relate your previous degrees to teaching if you did a post-graduate course. Teaching draws on all your skills so any course you did could be relevant. Did you do agricultural science or something completely unconnected? You could set up the school garden! Did you do science? You could set up the school science club! Any degree can be altered and twisted to suit your application- just think outside the box.
As I previously mentioned on my website, a kind principal contacted me and asked me to pass on the following:
Many principals go straight to the CV rather than the SAF, as it gives a clearer over-view of the person applying. My CV is basically a rehash of my SAF, so that is something I need to work on. Besides your grades, there should be no duplicates of information in the CV and SAF.
If you get an interview, then hurray! Now you need to get ready!
Dress professionally. If like me, you have a nervous twitch whereby you can’t stop fiddling with your hair, then TIE IT UP!
Arrive early, but not too early. I forced poor Tom to chaperone me to my last interview, and we arrived at three o’clock, for a seven o’clock interview. He said he’ll never accompany me to an interview again
I have a number of questions and answers which I will post to the website in due course, but I wouldn’t recommend learning answers and reading answers from other people before an interview. I used to prepare for interviews by reading all possible questions, and preparing answers, but it never worked. The one time I didn’t do this, I got the job. You are much better off giving a genuine and natural answer rather than wracking your brains for one you learned off!
Just be confident, you are a professional and no doubt an excellent teacher. You just need to prove this to your panel of interviewers![pb_builder]