Best Way to Change Schools Successfully

Leaving one school to join another can be easy or hard, depending on what kind of changes you’re making and where you are in your career. As a new teacher, finding a new job might not be as daunting an expe­rience as for someone who has held the same position for 20 years. This is because, although you may not have the same level of professional experience, you are quite used to going from school to school, as you did during your training and induction year.

The process of searching and applying for a new teaching job is pretty much the same in all schools. Once you have found an opening, either through scouring the local job papers, the TES or the Internet, you will need to make an outstanding application. In some areas, closing schools and low staff turnaround can mean as many as 60 applicants may go after one position. It is advisable to check out the competition thoroughly before you quit your current position.

Change Schools Successfully Best Way to Change Schools Successfully

In addition to an excellent application form, you will need at least two glowing references. Some schools will only ask for a reference once you have been shortlisted for the post, or offered the job. This can be useful if you plan to change jobs without letting your current work­place know straight away.

One of your referees should be your current manager, but the other may be from a different source entirely. Whoever you choose to supply your reference, always make sure you ask their permission and encour­age them to highlight your skills and accomplishments.

Remember: if you are offered the position, it may be a good six to eight weeks or more before you will actually start there, due to the term structures. If you are already working in a school, you must give plenty of notice if you plan to leave. If this is to be your first proper teaching job after your ITT, you may find it necessary to find temporary work to see you through the holiday weeks.

Although you won’t start teaching until the term starts, most schools may expect you to spend at least a couple of days at the school before the students return. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the layout of the school, prepare any initial lessons, organize your class­room and meet your new colleagues.

As in any new job, you should expect some form of induction process to take place to ensure you fit into the school system with as little fuss as possible. You should expect to be introduced to some members of senior management, your Head of Department or Faculty and your immediate department colleagues. You should also be told other essential details such as where the toilet facilities are located, how to find the staffroom and lunchtime arrangements!

Although you cannot expect to fit in immediately, try your best to meet as many new people as you can, and hopefully make a few friends. Whatever impression you want to give, always be yourself. Within a few weeks you should feel like you are a part of the school and (hopefully) are an essential part of the team.

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