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More recruits, not so many jobs

At the TES we've been finding evidence that there aren't the masses of teaching jobs available for newly qualified teachers that the rest of the press would have us believe.

In this issue of First Appointments, TES recruitment expert John Howson points out where the difficulties might lie (page 5). Our news stories on page 4 highlight concerns for new teachers in Scotland and Wales.

More and more new teachers are joining the profession from other careers.

Harry Dodds talks to a few of them for First Appointments to find out why they made the switch (page 6), and students from Canterbury Christchurch share their highs and low so far.

What makes someone decide to become a teacher? Phil Revell has spent a year surveying student teachers on this question and he tells us what he's found out so far (page 10). For example, it might surprise you to know that one in three of them couldn't stand sport when they were at school themselves.

It's good to know that when you air your views on the TES website forums, we take notice. Some students complained that they weren't learning anything useful on their PGCE. So James Williams explains why there's a point to pedagogic theory (page 14).

Elsewhere, Ted Wragg tells us why a Victorian Scot is his lasting educational inspiration (page 20); we have advice on passing the skills tests and writing essays from Sara Bubb (pages 16 and 19) and mentors and ex-students speak to Anthea Davey on getting through their first teaching practice (page 24).

You might notice that in your TP schools there's a notorious class everyone talks about. Why is that?Janet Murray explains on page 30.

Meanwhile, Bill Hicks' feature on idioms (page 34) might explain the uncomprehending looks you sometimes get from pupils; Anthony Bailey advises on your pension arrangements (page 36); and Tom Deveson gives you ideas on getting resources for free (page 38).

We have two competitions in this issue: win an indispensable guide to grammar (see The Sharp End, page 42), or one of three superb laminators (we know teachers love to laminate) - turn to page 44.

Let us know what you've found useful in this First Appointments and what you want to see more of in the next issues. And, most important, let us know how your training's going. All horror and success stories welcome.

Fiona Flynn Editor, First Appointments:

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