It will be tough but really rewarding

5th January 2018 at 00:00

My first experience of the working world was a Saturday job at a local care home. I don’t remember my time there fondly, not least because it involved regularly discovering mystery sets of dentures stewing in cold cups of tea.

There were plenty of ways that the job could have been improved, but I felt too junior to make suggestions about changing things. So, instead, I spent my days bored and clock-watching. 

Luckily, your first job in teaching will not be like this. As a newly qualified teacher, the last thing you will be is bored. Cutting your teeth in this profession means taking on the full responsibility of the job from day one. You will have your own classes to teach, your own lessons to plan and your own books to mark.

It won’t be easy. Your NQT year will be exhausting, frustrating and, at times, overwhelming. But it will also be rewarding. You will have the privilege of watching your pupils develop and of getting up every day knowing that you are doing a job that really matters.

But in order to get to that point, you need to ensure that you land your first teaching post. This guide is here to help you to do just that.

We’ve gathered experienced teachers, school leaders and recruitment experts and asked them to share lessons they have learned over the years about job hunting, applications and interviews.

Taking heed of their advice will not only help you to avoid some of the common pitfalls that trip up hapless new recruits but will also hopefully improve your chances of finding a school that will be a great fit for you.

My second experience of the working world was in a school. This time, instead of finding hidden dentures, I was finding lidless gluesticks stuck to the undersides of tables. But there was one bigger difference: I felt I had a voice there and that I was part of a community. This alone was enough to transform my attitude to work.

You can’t underestimate the importance of finding a workplace that suits you. At the right school, the overwhelming days of your NQT year should be few and far between, making more room for those moments when you feel lucky to be part of such a brilliant profession.


Helen Amass is editor of the Tes guide to getting your first job. She tweets @helen_amass


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