Called to Interview

After painstakingly writing, re-writing and printing twenty-three applications to date, I have received my first invitation for an interview. Interestingly, the school rang me before they sent me a letter, to make sure that I was still interested in the position (for fear I would have managed to secure another job in the week between sending that application and getting the call!). As you can imagine, I was ecstatic, jumping for joy, telling the kids I was minding like it was big news, which I suppose it was. Even the fact that they didn’t believe me when I told them couldn’t dampen my mood. I was happy out until about eight o’clock that evening, at which point panic began to set in. Who would be in there? What kind of questions would they ask? Would they ask sneaky ones? And most importantly – WHAT WILL I WEAR?! So I began my preparation by going over the notes I received from Education Interview Hub’s seminar – which I would highly recommend going to, by the way – and started adding in little notes for myself. Next, I went searching on the wonderful World Wide Web for some inspiration. Educationposts.ie has a list of questions that you can write out the answers to and some of the teaching bloggers have posted about interviews as well, with some even giving their answers. I wouldn’t recommend copying anything they say though. If you’ve copied their answers, chances are someone else will have as well and the two of you will end up looking like a complete numpties.

Yesterday, I went shopping for clothes for the interview, shamed by the many articles on the internet which advise that Penneys and Dunnes just don’t cut it. I went to Next first, but as a petite lady, I found nothing in there that looked right on me. Next, I went to Wallis and was pleasantly surprised at their range of petite office-style attire. I picked up a nice black trousers and a pair of shoes that looked fairly fancy. I got a cardigan in Dorothy Perkins – also petite, as I found it impossible to find a blazer (even in the petite section) that didn’t make me look like I had borrowed a friend’s one that was too big for me. From this I have learned several things:

  1. Buying interview clothes in the summer is hard as everything seems to be see-through and flowy – start looking in the Christmas Sales and go from there.
  2. Along the same lines as no.1, don’t wait until you get called for interview to get your clothes, it’ll cheer you up if you’re hearing nothing back and you’ll feel prepared when you do.
  3. Research petite/tall/plus-size ranges in shops BEFORE you go, it saves time.
  4. Take someone sensible with you for advice – I went alone and found myself wishing I had my friend with me for moral support as much as clothing advice.

Marie.

Lost in a Sea of Roses

This is my first ever blog entry and there is so much to include I don’t know where to start. Let’s start with the basics. I’ve just completed a Professional Maters in Education at Hibernia College. The Master’s was difficult, very difficult but to be fair on our first day they gave us fair warning. There’s no way I would have survived without my Hibernia buddies, although it was so difficult I really am proud of how much we have learned, corny but true.

I laugh at the distant memory of May 2015 before I started any of my teaching practice experiences, how naïve I was. As with all industries/professions you definitely learn most on the job. Anyway, that’s all behind me now and I’ve officially joined the rat race. Between the final ten week TP and completing the thesis, I hadn’t thought about the next step at all. I did apply for my teaching council number a few months ago and I’m happy that I did as I can now do a bit of sub work.

I went to a seminar a few weeks ago which outlined the application forms and interview process for jobs. It seems so easy and straight forward but it would be naïve of me to think that I have much of a chance of getting a job in Munster this September. The competition is massive. Anytime I fill out an application form I feel like I’m being interviewed by Daithi for the Rose of Tralee. After hearing one or two of the girls they all sound the same. We all like sports and we all won a few Féile competitions back in the day. What can I do to stand out in a sea of Roses and the odd fella? I’ve applied for about 8 jobs now, in schools that I don’t know anyone in.

So many have said it’s who you know, you need contacts etc… What happens when you don’t know anyone?  A lot of my colleagues have said they’d be happy to sub next year but deep down I’d prefer to have the stability of a temporary/fixed term position. There are benefits to subbing in terms of getting your name out there but I’d really love my own class, colleagues and the independence it brings. So that’s where I am now, if I hear of anything from any of my applications I’ll update you on my preparation/freaking out.

Slán,

Bríd.

A New Beginning

Now that a tough year has come to an end, what’s next? I find myself feeling excited to start my teaching career but at the same time it is all quite daunting! When I am feeling overwhelmed I like to organise myself, it eases my nerves. I decided I would make a CV and start handing them out to schools around my area. I made a list of things I should include with my CV. As well as my CV, I attached a copy of my teaching council registration (under Further Education) , my Statutory Declaration form, Garda Vetting and a cover letter to explain my results are pending and a few details about myself and the type of teacher I strive to be. I also made business cards stating my qualification from July/August 2016. I think the schools were impressed that I had all this organised in one slip pocket. One principal actually thanked me and said that she appreciated the fact that I had included these. If you are handing out you CV, I would include these documents to show you are organised and hungry to start your teaching career.

My next step as a newly qualified teacher is job applications and subbing. The thought of subbing is both exciting and daunting. However, the possibility of floating around from school to school and not having a class to call your own sounds a bit intimidating to me. Nonetheless, I have been thinking, how can I make subbing easier on myself? I have decided to have a subbing bag packed and ready to go with all the essentials I will need and a few extra resources for each level to be fully prepared. I also think it is important to note for the class teacher what happened and content covered. I think this would be greatly appreciated by the returning class teacher.

I am not applying for many jobs but I found the standard application form overwhelming to start with. I overcame this by reminding myself why I am in this career and I found myself including these points in places throughout my standard application form. I am a newly qualified teacher; people are interested to see what strategies and approaches I have to teaching. I am constantly trying to think outside the box of how a lesson can be made active and fun and engage all children. When I begin to think of this, I get very excited and eager to begin my career.

So far, I have been taking these steps mentioned in my new career as a teacher. I wish all newly qualified teachers the best of luck in your new career and I hope this post helps in your CV and job application process.

Kellie.