Sunday, 13 March 2016

PGCE - February part 2

The Job Interview...

At the very end of February and in the last week or so of my first teaching placement I noticed that there was an Art teacher position being advertised online. I'd been looking for jobs on a daily basis, signed up with the TES job alerts and due to the early time of year there'd been hardly any jobs going. Although I found this one on a total wim by simply searching on google and it came up. It was a job for a school about 20-25 minute drive away with good reviews. My mentor on my first teaching placement and my tutor at university gave me references, so following this I went ahead and made an application.

They came back to me pretty fast and gave me an interview for Monday morning. In the email they told me I had to teach to an unknown class on the subject of 'Mechanical Form' - but I also had to put together a teaching portfolio AND an artist portfolio all in one weekend ready for the interview. Both portfolios are required upon completion of the PGCE course anyway, but at this early point in the year I had neither! Nonetheless I stayed up late every night of the weekend preparing everything...it was hard work. I kept my teaching portfolio simple, showing examples of lesson resources I had made, differentiation, examples of homework, sketchbook work and classwork.

Come the day of the interview I got there early and met the Head of Art who would be interviewing me, so it was a great chance to get to know her and the school. The school itself was very friendly and the students were well behaved and polite (thank goodness for that!). The Head of Art allowed me time to set up for my 30 minute lesson to the unknown class...I got set up with all my resources and such. Just before the lesson I got to meet the other candidates, five of us in total, 1 of which I knew from studying my foundation course years ago at UCA! 4/5 of us were PGCE students and the remaining candidate was a real teacher. It was quite daunting meeting the other candidates but in some ways it was reassuring to have someone to talk to and be friendly with. A good chat helped to calm us all down.

Anyway we all had to give 30 minute tester lessons and I was first - the lesson itself was ok; I was teaching a very well-behaved year 9 group and was observed by not only the Head of Art but the Headteacher too (I was terrified). At least the fear got me through.

Following the lesson we got given a tour of the school by the students themselves which was good because it gave you a chance to get a good glimpse of the school. It definitely had a nice feel to the place.
After a little bit of waiting around we each had a 30 minute interview with the Headteacher and the Head of Art. I was asked quite a few questions such as what I could offer the school, why I had chosen to apply for the job, what did I like about the school etc. My PCM on my first teaching placement had prepared me well for the interview process so I'm glad to say it went pretty well. I used my portfolios to support all my answers too which helped to back up what I had to say.

I got asked there and then in the interview if I would take the job if it was offered to me and obviously I said yes :) Anyhow they said they'd call me by 6pm the very same day if they wanted to offer me the position or not. So I went home and waited.

Not long after I'd gone home and had my dinner the phone rang - it was the Headteacher - he made it sound like he wasn't going to offer me the job at first - but then he did! However he did ask me if I definitely wanted the job as he thought I'd hesitated when asked in the interview (if I did, I didnt mean to, I was just crazy nervous). Again I said yes I would accept the job! We agreed that I would start July 4th so I could get a good feel for the school and be prepared for September official start. I know it means I have to start working the Monday after I finish my PGCE course but I'm quite excited to start my first proper job. Embarrassingly this was only the 2nd interview I've ever had for a job. The first interview I had was at Mcdonalds when I was 16....   :)

Anyway I'm glad to have sorted out a teaching job for when I finish my PGCE. Its one less thing to worry about, I'm amazed I got a job on my first interview too, I was expecting to go through at least 5 interviews yet but its all done now.

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