As I have only recently started my teacher training to be a professional teacher it is rather difficult to think of advice for application, however, I do have some words of wisdom for anyone who thinks they might be interested in teaching:
- Be as organised as possible! I cannot tell you how important this is. Meeting demands from a variety of professional bodies can be exhausting – school, university, mentorship teams, NQT meeting bodies. I work with the motto ‘no time like the present – don’t do tomorrow what can be done today’ and that has worked out OK… so far!
- Get as much school experience as you can before applying. I joined a supply teaching assistant agency called Protocol and was lucky enough to be placed in lots of different kinds of schools and it really gave me the best experience possible for my application.
- Spend time on your application. I know it sounds silly but I have many friends who missed out on a chance to train on a School Direct programme, because they didn’t proof read their application. Make a good first impression and think about how you want to sell yourself. What is your unique selling point?
- Know the school you are applying for. If you get an interview, get online, get a prospectus and if possible organise a visit too. Make sure that you have as much relevant information about the school at your disposal before your interview. Does it have a specialist facility? Does it have a strong subject focus? Does it have any affiliations with Sing Up, Healthy Schools etc? What was its last Ofsted report like? Is there a School improvement Plan on the website? You need to be able to tell the interview panel why you are good for the school. Why should they pick you? What can you bring to the school?
Teacher training is seriously tough work and not for the faint hearted. I am currently in my second school placement and it couldn’t be a more different environment than my first school placement but I am loving it. As each day passes I get more excited about the prospect of taking on a full-time class from September.
You need to make sure teaching is for you before you apply. I would encourage everyone to get experience in as many schools as possible, either as agency staff, a reading volunteer, or in whatever capacity you can manage! Think about whether a school is really the type of environment you want to be in. If it is, submit your teacher training application! Deciding to train to teach is the best decision I have made to date. Good luck!