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Moving on

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By Gerald Haigh — writer and consultant, former headteacher and school governor

Gerald Haigh provides invaluable advice for navigating the job application minefield with ease

Moving on

Teachers who truly want to get on and make a difference to children’s lives always have one professional eye on their next job. Landing the post you want, though, involves skills and techniques that aren’t necessarily the same as the ones you deploy in the classroom. Half the battle lies in simply realising that. The other half consists of learning the rules of the job-seeking game. My aim here is to help you understand those rules, so that you can avoid the common pitfalls that can stand between you and that wonderful job you have set your heart on.

Make a plan

A teaching qualification opens up a huge range of opportunities. To make sense of them, you’ll gradually develop a career plan. This is not something set in stone, but, more a sense of direction arising from being aware of who you are. As time goes on, you’ll realise whether, for example, you’re thirsting for headship, or would prefer ultimately to combine family life with a part time post, or perhaps teach abroad (see pages 24-25, Passport to the world of Junior Education PLUS November 2007). What’s important is to know what you want from your work, where you can do most good, and what is the next move that will take you there. After that, it’s a matter of making it happen, rather than just talking about it in the staffroom and letting life pass by. But be ready, of course, for those abrupt changes of direction. All sorts of things happen – illness, love, babies, lottery wins…

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