By Lori Pereira
EDITION #9 – How are we going & where to next?
Published – 18th September 2019
This section is designed to help you consider the next steps in your career. In the next four editions, we will consider:
- Applying for the right positions (Edition 9)
- Presenting for interviews (Edition 10)
- Seeking help and assistance (Edition 11)
- Considerations if employment is not immediate (Edition 12)
Applying for the right positions
Reflecting on your experience
Firstly, be encouraged that you have made it most of the way through your first year of teaching! This is a significant achievement. There will have been moments of challenge and difficulty as well as moments of great achievement and reward. Now is a good time to reflect on the year so far and consider what this means for next year. Think about whether you might like to make different choices in the future about the type of school you’re working in, the year level or subject you might feel best suited to or the extra responsibilities or programs that are a good fit for you now and in the future. All of these things will help you to think about the jobs for which you might apply.
Finding employment opportunities
The vast majority of jobs in government schools are advertised on Recruitment Online. Take the time to consider all the jobs available to you and don’t be afraid to apply for more than one job at a time. You need to give yourself every opportunity for employment. Occasionally schools also advertise for teachers in the newspaper or on job search sites so keep your eye on these also.
Writing applications: Resumes and Key Selection Criteria
When you submit your application to Recruitment Online, you will need to upload a document that includes a resume, cover letter and your response to the Key Selection Criteria (KSC).
Keep this short and clear. Be sure to detail your teaching qualifications including methods, as well as your teaching experience. If you have taught subjects outside your qualified area, be sure to mention these. If you have been involved in any extra-curricular activities in your teaching role or have undertaken any significant/relevant professional learning, then include these details also.
In the cover letter you have an opportunity to summarise your application and mention a few things that you really want the panel members to know about you. Consider the tone of this cover letter carefully. A sentence like ‘Attached is my application for the position of Music Teacher’ reads differently to ‘It is with great enthusiasm that I apply for the position of Music Teacher and I am confident that my experience makes me an excellent fit for the role’.
Key Selection Criteria (KSC)
Addressing KSC really matters!
Each criterion needs to be addressed separately. Spend time planning these sections carefully. While you might include statements that are related to your beliefs as a teacher or what you’d like to do in the future, the majority of your response should be giving clear and specific examples from your own practice. You may not have had the opportunity to design and implement whole units of work or lead whole school curriculum initiatives but you have certainly designed individual lessons that addressed the needs of your learners and evaluated learning – this needs to come through in your application.
Panel members will be looking for the ways in which you have responded to student needs, used data and evidence to inform planning, designed lessons that show an understanding of good teaching practice, reflected on your experiences, sought feedback, worked collegiately, participated in whole school life and that you have a genuine enthusiasm for teaching.
It is helpful to read the school’s website and align your responses with the work they are already doing and the language they are already using, in order to demonstrate how you would fit into their school.
Before submitting an application
Ask your mentor or a colleague to give you feedback on your application. If they have worked closely with you, they might have other suggestions for elements you could include in your application. If they have not, they will be able to point out areas that are unclear or require specific knowledge to understand. If appropriate, ask a leader in your school or someone experienced on panels to read over your application and give you feedback also.