Christmas came early for me. Having at last found a history teaching post, albeit for just two terms, I can pause for reflection.
I was the first student in our PGCE cohort to get an interview back in February, yet one of the last to find a post. It took dozens of completed application forms and nine interviews: months passed and the self-confidence ebbed. Whoever said teaching was straightforward to get into? Many of the posts I applied for had over 70 applicants.
With a 2:1, a year's voluntary work, a year in industry and a bulging list of extra-curricular activities to offer, what more could I do? Was there a mutant super-history teacher out there snapping up all the posts?
The hope for those still looking is to keep at it and trust that one day soon that interviewing panel will choose you. It took time filling laborious forms, hours of patient interview preparation.
Some schools I interviewed at weren't really for me, but the more interview experience I got, the better equipped I felt for the next one. And each school has a very individual atmosphere, so a number of interviews adds to your ability to pick up quickly on the school environment. I'd like to think I'll be better off for my experience as an ancilliary assistant over the autumn term, and for the chance to see a variety of schools on interview. But if I didn't have a post to go to, I doubt I'd feel so positive about 10 months of trying.