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Long Term Prospects for NQTs

Miranda is a Primary Supply Teacher working in schools through Protocol Education in Manchester. Miranda feels that opting for supply experience rather than doing her NQT straight away has benefited her in many ways. 

As I begin to get interviews for long-term NQT jobs,  I’m finding that my supply experience is proving hugely valuable for getting  a foot in the door. There are many ways that, at least on paper, I can sell my experience and passion for teaching.

If I had walked straight into a job as an NQT, I would have finished my NQT year by now, and might be ready to move on. Sure, I would know far more about assessment and pupil progress than someone who has spent the beginning of their career in supply work. However, my experience would be in a single year group, and I would not have a hope of convincing employers that I understand the wider direction of the curriculum, its themes and the way skills develop over the course of a primary education.

What you can offer

In other words, supply work can telescope experience into a shorter time-frame, allowing breadth if not depth of understanding, which, it could be argued, is a virtue in someone who is at the outset of their career.  If I apply for a year 1 job, I can talk about EYFS and preparation for Y2. If I apply for a Year 3 job I can talk about making smooth the transition from KS1 to KS2 with proof that I understand the challenges of sustained writing, concentration and an ability to reflect on own learning. Anyway, you get the picture.

The weaker points of the NQT supply teacher’s application is the assessment side of things. However, you can be very clear-cut about this weakness. You haven’t had the chance to take part in this aspect of the job, but you’re an academic, analytical type, surely, and your administration and record-keeping is second to none…well, it is, isn’t it?

Other advantages

Another key advantage of having taken on supply work at the NQT stage – especially if you are working in a city- is that any head teacher will know that a) you must have balls of steel. b) that you have come across a whole raft of different learning styles, classroom environments and ways of managing challenging behaviour. 

By now you will have developed a keen sense of smell. You can sniff out an unhappy staff team, weak  leadership, obsessive focus on visual displays, children kept under military rule and other nasties.  And you can tell straightaway when children are engaged and staff are genuinely shiny, happy people, ie) not simply putting on a show for the interview candidates.

In other words, dear NQT supply teachers, you have every possibility of punching above the weight of the average rookie. At least you have the experience to weigh up whether or not a particular job and school is right for you.

If the first couple of roles are not a goer, every supply teacher knows there’ll be another couple just around the corner, and plenty of teaching to get on with while you’re waiting. 

Are you an NQT? Did you know that we can support you in a number of ways? Call us to find out more.

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Tags: Miranda, Manchester, NQT, supply, long-term, opportunities, preparation, interviews, experience

Category: Australian Teachers


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