Getting My First Teaching Job – Sophie Robins

The whole process of applying for a teaching job was completely new to me. I was in the final two weeks of my last placement when jobs started to trickle through. I was checking to see what new jobs were advertised daily when I saw a job that was perfect for me. I’d never written an application for a teaching job before and I think I slightly underestimated how much time I was going to have to put into writing it. I started to write my letter of application, it took me nearly a week to write it, check it, send it to people to proof read, check it again, make sure I included everything from the job description and when I was happy with the application, I pressed send and that was it, it was then a waiting game.

The whole process was really quick for me, I checked my emails a few days after applying and I received and invitation for an interview! I was so happy, but then the fear kicked in. Now I would actually have to prepare for my very first teaching interview! The email stated what I would need to do on the day. It all seemed quite daunting, especially as I was still preparing for lessons at my placement school. The next week was spent frantically trying to plan everything down to the last detail. I planned my lesson down to the minute, creating every resource that I would need and thinking about exactly how the lesson would go, I even bought pens for the pupils, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I prepared for the interview as much as I could without knowing what they would ask in the interview, I looked up teacher interview questions online and tried to cover everything.

The day was here. I was up early, going through my lesson, making sure that I had everything and that I was as prepared as I could be. I turned up at the school, trying to make a good impression as soon as I was in the building, you never know who’s watching. I was taken to a conference room where I met with the head of department, the deputy head and a governor of the school. These were the people who would decide weather I was right for the job, today was my chance to prove this. I was taken to the room where I would be teaching my lesson, I had 10 minutes to set up everything that I needed and went over the lesson in my head. I felt slightly nervous but I really wanted this job so I was quite focused. Time was up. The pupils were lined up outside the door and I felt strangely calm, it was as if this was normal and that I was meant to do this. I taught my lesson with confidence and luckily my planning had paid off, everything went smoothly.

The whole day went really well for me, when it came to the interview I felt a little bit nervous but quite confident that I had thought about what questions they may ask me. I entered the room and was greeted by a panel of three people which can seem quite daunting. They took it in turns to ask me questions and wrote down my answers. I made sure that I didn’t rush my answers and blurt out the first thing that came to mind. I took a moment before I answered each question just to work out what I was going to say. Once the panel had asked all of the questions I was lead into a room to wait. This was a tense time as I had no idea if I did well in the formal interview or not. I was then taken back into the interview room and was offered the job! I was so happy I didn’t really know how to react. I just said that I was so pleased that I got the job and that I was very excited to be working at the school. I had such a sense of relief once I found out that I had been successful and I was so excited to start work. The whole process of applying for a teaching job and interviews can be really stressful but there are a few things I would always keep in mind in this situation:

  1. Make sure it’s the job for you! Bear in mind how time consuming it is to complete an application and that if you are successful, you could potentially work there for years so it must be right for you. Don’t feel as though you have to apply for anything and everything.
  2. Take time doing the application! If you really want the job (which you should, see tip 1) you need to make sure you don’t get filtered out at the first hurdle. Make sure that you include all of the essential and desirable qualities that will likely be in the job description information. GET SOMEONE TO PROOF READ YOUR APPLICATION!
  3. In the interview, be confident, but not arrogant! You do not know everything so don’t act as if you do, but be confident! Show the school that they would be making the right decision in hiring you.

Finally, remember to enjoy the process, if you don’t get the job it’s not the end of the world, it just means that it wasn’t the right job for you and you’ve still gained valuable interview experience. Always think positive!

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