As a Headteacher for 20 years Gail Larkin has handled her fair share of applications from prospective teachers. In her speech at a Randstad Education Seminar, Gail who is also the vice president of the NAHT, shared some very good advice with attendees. When speaking on the topic of how to create a successful teaching job application, Gail shares her recommendations in the video above.
Transcript of applying for a permanent teaching job.
The most important thing about applying for a post is that you make your application personal to that school. I do mock interviews with students at Kingston University, and I say to them, “look I'm not stupid. I know you just want a job, but I want to think that you really want a job in my school. You really couldn't live unless you came and worked at Orell Junior School because the Head Teacher is so lovely and friendly and the staff are enthusiastic and the pupils are great.” I know you're going to apply all around, but make your application personal, that will be what differentiates you from everyone else applying for it.
That's why it's important to visit the school before, so that you know the school. If you can apply you can make it much more relevant to that school. “I'm applying for a post at this school because I loved your displays. They were vibrant, they covered all areas of the curriculum and they were interesting. I'm applying for a post at your school not because it's just something around that fits in with the family" which doesn't endear me to anybody.
If you can just come up with some things that are going to make you different than anyone else, then you'll get an interview. When I used to send out application forms, I would say please could you address points ‘blablabla’ of the job description and I would ask you to address those things. It might be about special needs or discipline or something, because you then know I'm not going to ask you questions about that at the interview. I've already got to know what you think about that from your statement. You'd be amazed at how many people didn't address what I asked them to address in their application. I just put them on the ‘no interview’ pile because I do it for a reason. I get your views on that, I can see what you think about that. I won't ask you in an interview. It gives you a clue as to what I might ask you at an interview. So be very careful to do that.
Use real life examples of what you could offer to my school. If you've noticed I haven't got a tai chi club and you're an expert on tai chi, you're going to be great at teaching tai chi to my children. Focus on your skills and expertise. Make me want to interview you.