So, I have just completed a PGCE in primary education and I am one of the lucky ones. I got a job before I graduated and I have a school to start my teaching career in and get my NQT (newly qualified teacher) year out of the way. I like my school, I am excited to teach and due to the expansion of the school there are 2 other NQTs starting too. (Yay! i have people to sit with in the staff room).
Anyway, before any of my friends start moaning about how I got a job ages ago, I always explain how it was bloody hard and I worked like a b*tch to get one. Yes, there are quite a lot of teaching jobs out there- thanks in part to the average teacher leaving the profession after 5 years- but competition is tough! I cannot tell you how many job applications I filled in. Each one taking days to complete due to having to tailor mini essays to each school. Then there were six interviews. Six gruelling, soul destroying, confidence breaking interviews. I was at breaking point. I got rejection after rejection, after rejection. My mum told me after the 5th rejection that her nerves ‘couldn’t take anymore.’. I was so past caring that for the final interview that I had I didn’t even bother wearing a suit, I wore old pants and a normal top, my shoes were pinching so I kicked them off in the lesson observation and sat bare footed on the floor. I was tired. I didn’t plan a thing and hadn’t prepared for the interview questions. I hadn’t even seen the school. I got the job.
I was absolutely ecstatic. But more so than anything, I was just grateful. This really was my last hope. I had no more options. There were no more jobs advertised so I am still so thankful now that I got a job, a foot in the door and a chance to complete my NQT year. But like I said, I worked bloody hard. From the moment jobs started to be advertised I applied. I went to school visits. I laughed at head teacher’s unfunny jokes, every day I came home and sat at my computer writing personal statements. I wasn’t one of those lucky minorities that see a job interview, go just for ‘a bit of interview practice’ and get the job. I wasn’t lucky enough to know head teachers who just ring you up and say ‘do you fancy teaching at my school? I haven’t got the time to interview.’ I really did go for it. Some people on my course still haven’t applied for a single job, some people have applied for a few but aren’t really chasing anything. Reasons are varied; ‘I don’t feel ready to teach in September’
‘I’m just lazy to be honest.’
‘I don’t really have to work, my husband’s rich. This course was just to get me out of the house.’
It really hit home when one of my friends text me yesterday. She had just lost out on her dream job to someone on our course (at least I was never up against anyone I knew!). She said, ‘I’m £27,000 in debt. I’m a qualified teacher and I’ve just applied for a job at a butchers.’
I hope by the end of the year, I’m not wishing I was the one working in a butchers. Stress, you will not get me….