Are you studying to be a teacher? The Christmas holidays are upon us and they are certainly a welcome break from the first term whichever year of study you may be in. It’s a spell to relax, regroup and enjoy some thoroughly deserved ‘me’ time. However, the holidays also give you a moment to plan, prep and organise your next steps. Perfect your teaching application over this period providing by allowing yourself some uninterrupted sessions to focus on a stand out piece of work.

Here are a few pointers to consider when tackling your teaching application:

Manage yourself

Christmas can be a chaotic and manic period, whether you’re rushing to buy last minute presents or have cleared your whole diary to complete your application. Managing yourself is key. Online psychometric testing requires
time, as you practice and familiarize yourself with the process you might face in the months to come. You can reduce your anxiety, and increase knowledge and understanding of what to expectteaching application, by completing a few practice runs.

Furthermore, some recruiters close their teaching application window early if they are overwhelmed with applicants. Using the holiday period for quality time on your application instead of a late rush the night before the deadline. Rushing your application can result in mistakes and does not allow for any reasonable adjustments to be made. Use the ‘little and often’ method to complete your application to help you manage yourself effectively.

Do your research

It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that your teaching application stands out amongst the rest. Many schools that you apply for may not want to see your CV. Instead, they want to see a well-researched, specific and tailored application. Researching and visiting a school of interest is important as you may not be right for them. More importantly, they may not be right for you.

Exploring the school website, checking the Ofsted report and understanding the achievement tables ensure a rounded understanding of the school. Reading the application pack is crucial. Make sure your application displays enough evidence of your competencies to match the school’s essential and desirable requirements. This can differentiate you from a competing candidate.

Additionally, be selective when applying for positions. You don’t want to apply for a job that you won’t enjoy, just because it is available. Do your homework. How far is it to commute? Will you be able to afford the travel costs? Is the position exactly right for you?

Let your experience shine

References are essential for teaching applications. At this point, you will have completed work placements at one or two schools that offer their own variety of experiences, challenges, and successes. Draw upon them and prepare your referees for potential requests.

teaching applicationThis part of the application is your chance to shine where you can really emphasise why you think you will be right for the school. How will you contribute to their workforce? What will you add? What can you offer to the school that they cannot receive from the next candidate? Drawing upon real experiences, real problems, and real school-based solutions help construct a strong application. Influence the reader of your application by stressing your proven skills and training experience within your placement(s). It also prepares you for potential interview questions.

Being an ‘enlarged’ version of yourself both on paper and during the interview process is a very useful tool. Consequently, you strengthen your application by using your experience and gaining confidence from your encounters inside and outside of the classroom.

Get the balance right

In summary, your priority is to find a balance between working on your application and recharging your batteries over the Christmas period. Understanding what is expected from an application and managing those expectations stage by stage helps with the planning process. However, preparation is key. Researching the school, the job role, and the application process itself needs to be done up front for a successful submission.

Good knowledge of the recruitment timetable is essential to grab the opportunity that suits you best. Not only do you have to ensure your application, how to apply and when are also critical. School vacancies, registration schemes, pool applicants, agencies and speculative applicants will all have their own timetable of expected applications. Finally, researching which process suits you best and how they manage their applicants will allow you to plan and prepare to meet a solid deadline.

Thanks to Holly Barry from Distinctly PR for this week’s post!