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1 PGCE Primary, Part-time Effectively Marketing Yourself Application and Interview Tips Magdalen Attwater, Careers Adviser.

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Presentation on theme: "1 PGCE Primary, Part-time Effectively Marketing Yourself Application and Interview Tips Magdalen Attwater, Careers Adviser."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 PGCE Primary, Part-time Effectively Marketing Yourself Application and Interview Tips Magdalen Attwater, Careers Adviser

2 2 Agenda Applications –Establishing a narrative –Getting to grips with job adverts –Targeting your application / statement Standing out at Interview –Preparation –Practise –Strategies –Post Interview

3 3 Applications – Establishing a narrative “a holistic understanding of an individual's vocation and career” i.e. making it easy for the employer to get a clear sense of your career path

4 4 What’s in the narrative? Part – time Work Classroom Experience Volunteering Particular skills / knowledge Previous roles / jobs / career Reasons

5 5 Establishing your narrative In pairs: What made you change career or retrain? What made you choose teaching? Why primary teaching?

6 6 Establishing your narrative What similarities are there between teaching and what you were doing before? What are your top 3 most useful bits of experience you bring to primary teaching? Are there any gaps in your narrative?

7 7 Applications – Getting to grips with job adverts Pool or school? Pool: –Deadlines shortly after Christmas – check! –LEA websites have pages for trainee teachers, application forms and sometimes open days. School: –LEA jobs pages –Eteach, TES, St Mary’s TeachAlert –Recruitment Agencies? St Mary’s Teaching Appointments Fair Wednesday 18 th November, 11-2pm (in the tennis hall)

8 8 What are they looking for? Primary school experience Knowledge of curriculum, broader issues Teaching skills eg classroom management Ability to »engage parents and work with professionals »plan and organise »take responsibility »work effectively in a team

9 9 School Experience Often underplayed! –Volunteering –One-off training –Conferences –School placements –Observation / work experience –Other roles in school / childcare settings

10 10 Elfrida Primary School and Nursery KS1 Teacher / AST  Are you driven by a desire to impact positively on children’s lives?  Are you an excellent teacher with the passion to motivate and inspire others in making learning irresistible for children at Elfrida?  Are you able to challenge and respond to challenge? Explore the Possibilities Change Lives For an information pack and to arrange a visit contact Carole Simpson on or Elfrida Crescent, Catford, SE6 3EN Closing date: 13 th October noon Interview date : 19 th October 2009 Start date: January 2009 Job Advert Can you take our children on an exciting journey?

11 11 Applications – Targeting your application / statement A little bit of detective work Looking at the advert, person specification and job specification, what are the 3 most important things that this school is looking for in applicants?

12 12 Other research Ofsted report School website Extracurricular gaps / specialities Pupils Community Ambitions of the school / department VISIT

13 13 Space for a statement “Please use this space to show us how your experience, skills and training gained both inside and outside paid work or through study, meet the selection criteria for this post.” maximum 1200 words

14 14 What to include Introduction to yourself –Degree, career, current education Why you are applying –School, ofsted report, visit Cover as many points as possible on the job/person spec Teaching experience Classroom management strategies Beliefs and ambitions about what you want to achieve Other experience Conclusion

15 15 Be Specific –Examples –Development –Self Awareness Example: I have learnt that children often do better when they are supported by their parents. Re-edit: I initiated a monthly newsletter for parents which improved communication and brought subsequent benefits to the pupils.

16 16 Refer to the institution –What are the challenges they are facing –Who are the pupils? –What particular skills / knowledge are required? Example: When teaching pupils I always try to engage everyone and I’ve done this in several ways. Re-edit: I really enjoy the challenge of ensuring all children are benefiting from the lesson. For example in my placement I designed a presentation using images to explain complex concepts which I feel would be particularly relevant in this school as Y% of the pupils have English as their second language.

17 17 Tips Targeted - evidence of research about the post Format and style – headings and subheadings, convincing language Be dynamic - demonstrate enthusiasm and self-awareness Relate it back to the job and person spec

18 18 Standing out at Interview - Preparation Create your narrative Gather your evidence –What have you learnt / developed? –What have you achieved / key highlights? –What did you initiate / innovate? –What would you do differently? Question preparation and practice

19 19 What are they looking for? Can you do the job? –placements, experience, skills –EVIDENCE Do you want to do the job? –knowledge of school / borough / pupils, –job knowledge, motivation, enthusiasm Will you fit in? –values, attitude, personality

20 20 What’s the worst question you can imagine being asked at interview?

21 21 Preparation Practical – where, when, how? Research – who, why and what? Practice –Answering questions –Clear narrative

22 22 School Interviews Usually a panel – can be quite large! Practice lesson or presentation Tour of the school Opportunity to ask questions

23 23 Standing out at Interview - Practice Out loud To the mirror In the car With friends….. Don’t: –Learn answers by rote –Practise so much you’re bored!

24 24 First Impressions Smile Formal but relaxed Eye contact Looking interested / paying attention Smart and punctual Listening

25 25 The Obvious Questions #1 Why do you want to be a primary teacher? (motivation question) What you like about the job - content / skills Ambitions / enthusiasm Career Decision “I want to be an primary teacher for 3 main reasons…

26 26 The Obvious Questions #2 What can you bring to the post? (aka) What can you bring to this school / department? Match the things they’re looking for Build on the written info they have on you Remember TASK, TEAM, INDIVIDUAL And don’t embark on your life story!

27 27 The Obvious Questions #3 What is your greatest weakness? Pick something that’s not on their list of desirables and essentials Or – Talk about something that doesn’t come naturally, but that you’ve improved…

28 28 Practice questions Tell me about yourself What are your particular strengths as a teacher and how would you develop them? How do you think your extra curricular activities could be of use to the school? Why did you choose to teach this subject? If we spoke to other teachers / TAs in your last placement what would they say about you?

29 29 More questions Can you give me an example of when you have adapted your communication style for different groups of people? Prompt: What did you do? What was the outcome? Describe the best lesson you have given. What did you do to make it successful? Describe the worst lesson you have given. How would you approach it differently now? How would you like to see your career develop?

30 30 Standing out at Interview - Strategies STAR – Scene, Task, Actions, Result Structure – 3 key points Anchoring your answer –‘and that’s why I want to teach at ….’ Relating it to the school or pool –‘as X% of pupils are under achieving, I feel it is important that….’ or ‘my ability to Y will be particularly useful…’

31 31 Rescue Packages ‘That’s an interesting question, I just need a moment to think about it’ ‘Sorry could you repeat the question?’ ‘I’ve realised that’s not what you asked, in relation to your question I would say…’ ‘I haven’t done that specifically but my experience in X means that I think Y …’ ‘To summarise…’

32 32 Standing out at Interview - Post interview While waiting for the perfect job or the next interview you might want to consider: Agencies Volunteering Tutoring Always get feedback if possible – official or unofficial!

33 33 TeachAlert Sign up to receive alerts for new job opportunities. Mailed over 1000 schools, when they advertise here they are targeting YOU.

34 34 How we can help 15 minutes session to check statements or chat about interviews Mock interviews – need to have an interview lined up. TES, List of all SEN schools etc.

35 35 Where, When and How? The Careers Service is in Room J3 (next to the DolcHe Vita Café) Open: Monday – Friday – Quick queries: Monday – Thursday, – 12.30, – or


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