A great start is to take a look at sites such as www.edustaff.co.uk. There are jobs out there waiting to be filled, and one of them might well be your dream job. Contact agencies, scour jobs listings and send off top-notch applications so you can snap one up.
Prepare your CV and portfolio
You might be confident in your ability to sell yourself in person, but it might not even get to that stage if your paperwork isn’t up to scratch. Have both your CV and work portfolio looked over by teachers, colleagues, friends and family. They’ll be able to give you their first impression and may also be able to spot those mistakes that are all too easy to overlook when you work on something for a long time.
Bite the bullet and go for what you want. Contact HR departments or head teachers of the schools you’d absolutely love to work in and set up meetings with them (remember that there’s a fine line between persistence and stalking though). This gives you a chance to sell yourself in person. Even if there aren’t any jobs available, leave your CV with them for future reference. This is a great way to show how passionate you are and it’ll make you memorable when the school comes to look at a stack of CVs.
It’s okay to be a supply teacher
Memories of your creepy maths supply teacher may well be ingrained in your mind, but try to remember that they’re not all so bad – and actually being one yourself could be a great option. Supply teaching gives you the chance to teach while focusing on your job search. It’s a great chance to get into schools and make a real bond with the teachers you want to work with and the students you’re eager to teach. It’s not unusual for schools to turn to supply teachers who have made an impact on the school once a full-time position opens up. Make the right impression and eventually your dream job might come to you.
Making contacts is just as important in teaching as it is in any profession. If you can get to know the teachers and administrators at a school then it’s more likely that your name is going to come up when a teaching position opens. There are many ways to network, so consider your best strategy. Rather than taking them out for a piss-up, consider discussing possibilities over a cup of tea. If you can be a pillar of your community (or at least vaguely responsible) then your name is going to have more sway than a teacher no one has met.
Other teaching avenues
You can gain valuable contacts and experience by going down some different teaching avenues. Consider tutoring or mentoring students, or working with businesses in training positions. These different teaching jobs can get you into schools, meeting people and doing what you love. You might even find your niche. Teaching in a school isn’t the be all and end all, so don’t limit your options. Even if teaching children is your dream, you can have a lot of fun using your skills to shape older minds. You could also choose to help struggling children or even end up working in a university teaching degree courses.
If your dream job opens up as a part-time or contract position, go for it! Not only will you get experience in exactly what you want to do but you’ll also be more likely to get a full-time job if one opens up when your contract comes to the end.
Working in a school is the best way to show the other teachers, students and administrators what you can do. Okay, so no-one loves a teacher’s pet, but in this instance it might actually get you somewhere!