Top Tips for Job Hunting as a PGCE Student
Aled Hanson –PGCE Secondary Business Studies with Economics
Ok, so you’ve survived the first term of your PGCE. You’ve completed a whole term of teaching, had your first official observation, and completed your first assignment. Time to relax, right? Not quite. Job season is now well and truly upon you. However, this shouldn’t be as stressful as it sounds. I hope the following tips will help you in your search for teaching jobs and make the whole experience great for both you and your future school.
- Continue to update your CV as the PGCE goes on.
The PGCE is such a fantastic and valuable year to get experience in all areas of the school: from the classroom, to extra-curricular, to wider school life like parents and open evenings. Your experiences on the PGCE will be essential, so make sure you keep track of everything you are doing: the classes you are teaching, clubs you are assisting with and other contributions to wider school life. This will make it much easier to put together your application form when necessary.
- Register for teaching job websites, like TES.
Though job websites like indeed will sometimes advertise teaching jobs, you are much better applying for specialist teaching careers websites, such as TES jobs, this is where most jobs will be advertised. Such websites have tools which allow you to filter results from anything from salary to location, and you can receive weekly or even daily emails regarding job opportunities which have come up.
- Complete all CPD offered to you both by your school and the university.
Completing professional development courses is a key way to show schools you are a committed and a hardworking teacher. Both the university, and most likely your placement school, will offer several free professional development opportunities throughout the year. Volunteering for these courses not only allows you to expand your CV, but also gives you strong experience and knowledge to discuss at your interview.
- The advice of colleagues
Teaching is one of those careers where everybody knows everybody. Literally. This means often that teachers at your school will be bound to know of friends or colleagues in other schools with vacancies available. Ask your colleagues at school if they are aware of any other vacancies, or whether even there might be one available at your placement school. For a similar reason, joining teacher Facebook groups is a useful way to network with other teachers, and find out when vacancies become available.
- Don’t stress, and don’t rush!
Finding your first teaching job is just as much about what you want from the school, than what they want from you. Rushing into getting a job at a school which isn’t 100% for you, only to see your dream job come up later in the year would be the worst. So think about what school you want, ask staff at the interview any questions you have, and remember – the right job will come along ! Good luck and happy job searching!