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So you want to get into teaching? This is how.

So, you want to teach? A guide to your application.

You have completed your degree and have decided to embark upon a journey that is sure to make a difference and create opportunities for young people, but not sure on how to begin? Well, there is a huge range of possibilities when it comes to training to teach. Throughout this blog post, we take a look at some of the avenues available to you, and how to apply for your first post and teacher training. 

Firstly, we must ask ourselves why we want to get back into the classroom. For most who apply, this will be the first time they have been in the classroom since their own time as a student. So, with this in mind, it is important to remember that this is going to be a process and most significantly, a learning curve. But, before we explore the things you may come across in your future career, we must decide on where we want to begin, and how we can sell ourselves to secure a suitable position.

Most applicants who are looking to become classroom teachers will have their hearts set on inspiring future generations, but getting this across in your interview or application can at times be a challenge. It is crucial that you remember that teacher training providers will be looking specifically at your potential to create impactful learning experiences, rather than what you have achieved so far. However, it is always a good opportunity to combine your experiences with what you think you can bring to the profession.

What should I include in my application?

Finding the right school or training provider can at times be tricky. There is a broad range of options and avenues to explore, so which one works best for you?

Before making any initial decision, be sure to reflect on your personal qualities, skills, experiences and shortlist yourself.

Read through the job description or training specification and measure how it aligns with your aims and objectives, too. This will enable you to decide on whether the institution you are looking at would be a good fit for you. If, in this case, the role is suitable, you need to then explore what the school or provider offers. 

Personal Statements

This part of the application process is arguably the most important. This is because your statement gives you the opportunity to detail why you feel you are the right fit for the role and is often the key information used when shortlisting for the interview process. 

When constructing your personal statement, it is always wise to allow your prior research to shine through. If it is a training opportunity advertised by an academy trust, for example, make sure to explore their values, what they look for in their teachers, and use the vocabulary they include in their about us page. If they are looking for motivated, dynamic and enthusiastic individuals, make sure you provide strong examples of how this description reflects you both personally and professionally.

What’s more, your personal statement should be a bespoke reflection of your abilities, experiences and aspirations. If you are looking for your first role in the profession, there may be a fair few options that interest you, but be thorough. It is not a good idea to send generic applications to multiple training providers and academies, as this does not effectively reflect your interest in their consideration. 

As part of your application, you should provide:

  • A chronological list of previous employment
  • Roles and relevant responsibilities previously held 
  • Educational Achievements 

It is important, at this stage, that you don’t leave anything out, as the employment of trainee teachers is a rigorous process. They want to make sure you are right for them, as much as you want to know the school or training provider is the right choice for you. Be specific in regard to the dates of your employment, and be prepared for questions about any gaps in your education or employment history. Even if you think that a previous job role is not relevant to the position you are applying for, you should still include it in your application. There is a range of skills that you may have picked up along the way that are transferable and effective when it comes to running a classroom. For example, your part-time job in a retail outlet while studying at University, although different from the landscape of education, may show you have initiative, organisational skills, and effectiveness when it comes to communication. 

Visit your Prospective Choices 

To broaden your knowledge of what the school is about (if you choose to follow the in-school training route), you should always arrange a visit with the headteacher. This enables you to see what the school looks like during the day to day running of proceedings and therefore, you will be able to gain a unique and better insight into what the school offers. Additionally, it enables you to ask questions and create a dialogue with existing staff members, which is sure to give you a stronger understanding of whether the school suits you. 

What else can I do to stand out? (Further Tips)

So, what else can you do to make your application stand out above the rest? 

  1. Make sure to proofread your application. It may seem like an obvious one, but there are so many examples of how SPaG can be overlooked, and considering this will be a huge part of what you do, it is important to make sure this is on point. 
  2. In addition, set a positive tone, and focus on why you love teaching and why you think this is the perfect role for you. 
  3. Finally, make sure to expand your vocabulary to make your story more engaging for your reader. Remember not to overdo it, though, there is no need to over embellish or use the whole thesaurus to get your ideas and thoughts across.

To summarise, the application process can at first seem daunting and complex, but take it a step at a time. Here’s to wishing you all the best with your trainee teaching application and a prosperous future in shaping the minds of the next generation.

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The author

Daniel Robertson is a Digital Journey Lead for Spurgeons Children's Charity. Prior to this role, he has worked as a Teacher of English in a wide variety of school settings.

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