Yes, this post was supposed to happen long ago… but hopefully, this can help some graduate teachers.
Maybe you are still completing your teaching degree but want to get ahead of the rest? The common question is Where Do I Start?
Here are few tips for Graduate teachers:
#1. Keep Everything
First, you must keep everything that you have accumulated during the years of your studies and in your teaching cycles. I know that teachers like to cling to things (and possibly have the potential to accumulate), but seriously ... it's for a good reason!
Create a folder with all its elements: exercise reports, student letters and cards, work samples, lesson plans that you have taught and/or created, reflections, and any educational resources your maintainer has provided.
#2. Create A Portfolio
Your portfolio is designed to reflect YOU and to assist you in your interview. Some teachers choose to create a digital portfolio, while others prefer to create a physical folder/binder.
#3. Key Selection Criteria (KSC)
Don't expect to get it done in a few days
For those of you who are familiar with the key selection criteria required to apply for a teaching job, you know you can not do it all at once or even at the weekend. Give yourself a lot of time !!!! (It is painful)
But do not worry, once you're done, you can use the base over the next few years, as questions rarely change from one school to another (public system). "If you have experience in teaching, just add more examples and spend time with a graduate to an experienced teacher.
Don't forget to alter it to suit the school you are applying for!!!
Selection panels DO NOT want to read generic KSC nor do they want to see that someone has accidentally forgotten to change the name of the previous school they applied for.
#4. Do Your Research
Look at the website of the school. Read their mission statement. What is the school currently working on? Do they have programs that make them unique? See this in your cover letter or KSC. Tell them that you are excited to work in your school and set up such programs because they had the opportunity or something that interests you.
#5. Don't be afraid to use dot points
Reading slabs of information is boring. Make your KSC stand out by putting keywords in BOLD or using italics. Dot points are great for listing examples of how you have achieved each standard without overloading the reader.
#6. Proof Read it!
Or get someone else with a fresh set of eyes to go over it a few times before you send it. There is nothing worse than someone addressing their cover letter: 'To the principle' instead of 'PRINCIPAL'!!!
#7. Don't copy your friends!!
You want your KSC to stand out from the rest. Make it unique! Make it YOU! Talk about YOUR philosophy and experience and what YOU believe in- not your mates'! Remember, you are very likely to be applying for jobs in the same region as your uni mates/teacher friends. You don't want to get caught out with the same KSC as other applicants. It's not a good look and more than likely won't get you through to the interview stage.
#8. Ask For School Tour
Ring up and ask if they will be conducting any school tours - prior to the KSC due date. This is a great opportunity for you to meet the Principal or AP in an informal setting and find out about the school. It also gives you an opportunity to eliminate the school if you don't like something about it. Eg; You may not like open learning and only then find out that it is an open learning space school.
#8. The Interview
Well done! You have here! You've probably already received a call asking you to come to a job interview in a few days. Aside from the obvious ones, (dress smart, do not give up too late and breathe) here are a few tips to help you prepare yourself.
#9. Create a list of possible questions and record some answers to them
The questions they will ask you are usually very similar to those you have just answered in your KSC. It will usually be an overrating and data, literacy and/or arithmetic, behavioral management, differentiation and attention for different skill levels in a class, then more personal how are your strengths/weaknesses? Write down a list of possible questions and write down your answers. Most likely you will be asked daily.
#10. Have examples ready to go
Review and write down the EXACT scenarios and examples you received for each of the question areas. This will be useful later and will avoid being placed on the interview page.
#11. Ask questions - better still have one ready to go
It is time to show the jury that you really WANT this work and that you have done your research. Tell them you've looked at their website and make a note of it ... and that's something you really want to do when you get the chance. Ask them a question. Show that you are interested and that you are really interested in working in your school.
Be you and do not give up! You can do a few interviews and 20 applications, but it will be worth it in the end. Do not try to be discouraged. If you do not even go into the introductory round, you'll probably need to take another look at your KSC and give it a boost. If you already have friends in teaching positions, ask them to read them and receive feedback. It's a tough competition. Remember, there are likely to be an average of 50 or more candidates for each position, so that's one more reason to show yourself.
Good luck! And please, leave a comment or any questions you have about this topic below - we are happy to help!