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Returning to teaching after 6 years away. How?

(15 Posts)
SuperBunny Thu 18-Jun-09 17:01:22

Apparently my time teaching in the US doesn't count.

I am applying for jobs but I doubt I will even get interviews.

The supply agencies I have contacted won't hire me because I don't have any recent experience, which is fair enough. But how do you get experience if no-one will hire you?

I have contacted the Return to Teaching people and am waiting to hear back.

Is there any other way? <desperate>

I was thinking that volunteering at a school for a while might be a good idea but realistically, I can't afford to not be paid - DS will have to be with a childminder and I am a single parent so have no other income. Help!

SuperBunny Thu 18-Jun-09 17:03:25

And who else provides Return to Teaching courses? Are they funded? Unlikely, I know. Google was not helpful.

roisin Thu 18-Jun-09 18:17:08

Did you initially train and teach in the UK? ie you have QTS? Are you good? Confident?

Are you looking for primary or secondary work?

Generally who will be hired (supply or contract) depends very much on what the market is in the area.

Round here for example at the moment in primary they get 100 applicants per job, and the successful person is usually stunningly brilliant, with loads of experience, a blinding reference and something 'special' extra to add too. (eg qualified swimming instructor, football coach, musician or fluent in another language).

However, they are desperate for secondary science teachers and will probably be dragging anyone in off the street who claims they feel able to give it a whirl!

HTs have considerable discretion to hire whoever they want, even if they don't have QTS. (Then they get paid at UQT rate.)

SuperBunny Thu 18-Jun-09 18:34:16

Thanks Roisin,

I trained and taught in the UK as a primary teacher. I was one of those 1/100 who got the job! Now I am the bottom of the 99 who are not worth looking at.

However, I have a science background (degree and primary specialism) and my most recent job was with 5 - 21 yr olds so I do have experience of working with older students. Also, SEN (behaviour problems).

I imagine I'd need to do a conversion course to teach in a secondary school and I really don't fancy secondary teaching. Worth thinking about though, I suppose.

brendaAndEddie Thu 18-Jun-09 18:35:17

How odd.
I would start looking at schools that you woudl LIKE to work in and go and meet the head.
Offer to help out a few days.
then maybe supply will come.

brendaAndEddie Thu 18-Jun-09 18:35:34

( i have retruned recently and have done no course)

SuperBunny Thu 18-Jun-09 18:36:36

And yes, I'm good! I have glowing references and am excellent at planning, mointoring progress and good at classroom management. I never say nice things about myself but I know I am good at this grin

Confident? I'm be ok in primary, just out of practice. The thought of secondary school scares me!

SuperBunny Thu 18-Jun-09 18:37:19

That's my plan, Brenda. It's all bad timing though, returning to the UK in mid-July just as the schools finish! Oh well...

SuperBunny Thu 18-Jun-09 19:51:38

Actually, perhaps I could look at being a lab technician? That might be a way in...

scienceteacher Thu 18-Jun-09 20:04:51

That is really bad, Superbunny.

Let me tell you about my experience. I worked in industry for 9 years, then did a PGCE. I taught for four terms, and then went on maternity leave with no intention of returning. I had a three more children, and spent four years in the US in the meantime.

After a work gap of 8 years, I decided to return to teaching. I had a couple of interviews (they interviewed me, lol, with very little evidence on my CV), but the feedback I got was that I needed more experience and they suggested supply. I found a local(ish) agency and they did the CRB paperwork for me, but only found me a few days of supply work. In my local paper there was an ad for the nearby international school to do 'sub work' - they snatched me up. I did several weeks with them before being asked to work at my DS's prep school for an absent science teacher. That lasted two terms and was fab. It gave me the necessary reference. I did a couple of other long term covers (maternity stuff - importantly, it meant I was doing the full job with planning and assessment as well as teaching), and daily supply at one school.

I did supply/contract for two years before landing a permanent job - which is fab. I love it, and will stay here until I retire.

I did not think much of supply before I tried it, but it was great. I had quite a few rotten days, but at least learnt something from them. I could experiment with my teaching style (eg should I be ultra nurturing, or shouty, or results based?). If it didn't work, I could walk away and vow never to do that again.

Do persevere with supply. Send your CV with compelling covering letter to the Headteacher of local schools. Someone will put you on their books, and once they see what you have to offer, you will become their first choice.

roisin Thu 18-Jun-09 20:08:27

Secondary isn't as scary as you think!

Seriously they are desperately short of science teachers in some areas. We have at least three primary-trained teachers currently in the school and they didn't do any sort of conversion course, but they did have to work extremely hard in the first few years getting up to speed with the curriculum, schemes of work and doing subject-specific courses. They work mainly with KS3 classes and 'alternative curriculum' for students with additional needs.

How about as a possible way in contacting secondary schools direct and saying you're interested in supply work, and that you have a science background. If your classroom management is up-to-scratch and you have a science degree, they'd bite your hand off round here.

We can't get science supply teachers (or permanent ones for that matter) for love nor money!

scienceteacher Thu 18-Jun-09 20:13:17

I find primary scary! All that skirt tugging and asking which pen to use does me in.

(actually I love my year 5s and 6s, but still am bewildered about having to reassure them about pen colours).

SuperBunny Thu 18-Jun-09 20:52:37

Oh, international schools. That is a good idea.

I will definitely send my CV to local schools when I am back, both primary and secondary and I am very happy to do supply - in fact, I think that would probably be better to begin with anyway.

What I'd really like to do is work in a nursery - snotty noses and doing up coats for children who don't write reams and reams. (I do realise there is more to it than that. I just like littlies!)

Thanks for all the reassurance. It all seems a bit daunting - it's so hard to get your foot in the door. I know it will be ok but it's very helpful to hear stories from people who have some hope!

scienceteacher Thu 18-Jun-09 20:58:50

I don't think it is hard, tbh. But you do have to be patient and bide your time. The key thing is getting the right job long-term, and sometimes you have to wait for it to come along.

SuperBunny Thu 18-Jun-09 21:03:31

Ah, that's the things, isn't it... patience. Not my strong point grin

Still, I will learn!

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