Today's post is about ways in which we can try make ourselves as employable as possible. Why bother, you might say, disgruntled over the lack of transparency in teaching. I think however, that it is worth a try to make yourself as perfect a candidate as you can possibly be. I think interviewers love future teachers with the following skills:
Showing a willingness to seek out experience (Brownies)
Positive and optimistic outlook
Involvement in the community
The possibilities are endless. I will share my 'to do' list with you. It's a list of what I am doing/ plan to do before September.
1. Music: If you are lucky enough to play instruments/ sing then you have an advantage already. I play the piano and I am learning to play the guitar. I really don't like the guitar though so I may have to admit defeat on that one. I want to be able to play at least three instruments though. Just think, if the school you are applying for a job in has a teacher going on maternity leave. The said teacher runs the school choir, music classes etc. Will being a highly musical person work for or against you? The former I think! Also, lessons are so cheap nowadays. The Galway Advertiser has guitar lessons advertised for as little as e15 an hour.
2. Sport: Again, if you are a GAA player/ sports star you may have an advantage. This is one area I cannot master so I don't know why it's even on my list! If you do play sports or have an interest in it, maybe try to coach a local kids team?
3. Educational Courses: The majority of these are free, so why not attend? I have a couple lined up for March in the Galway Education Centre. I think having these courses on your CV shows you have an interest in teaching. Also, it could help in an interview, for example I am doing one on ICT in the classroom. Apparently the question of ICT comes up frequently in interviews, so the course may give me something to talk about, should such an eventuality occur.
4. I think it's important to show involvement and a willingness to work with children outside of school. I am not suggesting to spend all your free time volunteering in the local community or anything, but maybe try work with Let's Go Summer Camps or something along those lines. If you want to work with children outside of school hours then it shows you really do love working with them and will be a great asset to any school!
5. ICT: ICT is a huge aspect of all schools nowadays, all schools want to have the best school blog, and they also want teachers to run it! Maybe try an ICT course of some kind?
6. The main thing, I feel, is to GET INVOLVED!If you are not working at the moment, maybe volunteer once a week in a school to teach Art/ Science/dance? It will only take maybe an hour of your time, but may get you valuable subbing days down the road.
7. Be unique! Find your USP and don't tell anyone what it is. Everyone needs something to make them stand out from the crowd. What will your USP be?
That's all for now, I'll keep you updated on my quest for the perfect job come September next! It is never too soon to start planning. If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail!