Whether you are a newly qualified teacher and searching for your first job, or you are looking for a change in environment, finding the right school that best suits your needs is a challenge.
5 things to remember when choosing a school
As a teacher, choosing the right school to teach at is an important decision. It’s the place where you will be investing your heart and soul for the next chapter of your working life. Here are 5 tips to consider before you make that big decision.
The location of your new teaching position should definitely be a deciding factor when comparing your options. Although it may seem like an easy compromise, it is important to weigh up whether the commute is going to be manageable in the long-term. On the other hand, a longer commute may be worthwhile if the job can fulfil other more important needs, such as salary, or a positive teaching environment.
Another element regarding location that you will want to assess, is whether you feel comfortable and safe in the surrounding environment you will be working in.
Inter and extramural skills
Where do your strengths lie? When a school opens its door to a new teacher, they often look for someone who can bring a new skill set to the team. Think about how you can market a unique or essential skill that will benefit the school.
At the same time, take into account the school’s main focus areas. Consider whether you would be better suited to a school that focuses largely on academics, or whether you would enjoy an institution that is more attentive to practical subjects, for example home economics, art, or even woodwork. Maybe you would have more to offer to a school that has a clear passion for cultural activities, rather than one that has a strong focus on sports.
Size of school
Some teachers have the tolerance to work at a school with a larger classroom capacity, while others simply don’t.
More children would mean an environment that is harder to control. This might be where you thrive, or maybe you would be better suited in a classroom with fewer children, where you could have a more individual impact. Your personality will determine whether you would be happier in a large, busy school, or a smaller environment where the pace is slower.
Government or private
Before you begin applying for teaching jobs, it’s a good idea to make sure you know the difference in expectations between a private and a public school. Firstly, do your qualifications limit the type of school you can teach at? For instance, government schools are generally more consistent when it comes to their required level of education, whereas private schools vary greatly.
Large, expensive private schools will most likely require you to have a higher qualification and a well-established track record, while smaller private schools may not put too much emphasis on this. Other factors that contribute to making this decision would be the salary package on offer, the difference in curriculum, class size, and diversity amongst students and staff.
This is a factor that you would learn about during the interview. Knowing the working ethos of a school is essential when deciding whether it is an environment you can adapt to or not. Ask questions that could determine your freedom of creativity with teaching styles and resources – this is helpful when trying to establish long-term job satisfaction.
Making that all-important decision to begin a teaching journey at a new school can be daunting. However, knowing your options and ensuring you are well informed can give you the confidence you need to take on the challenge.