Many of our Scholars have been asking what to expect from the third year of the programme, when they start applying for teacher training positions. Cohort 2 Scholar Olivia Harvey has shared her experience of successful transition into her ITT (Initial Teacher Training) year, and we are sure that her tips will help other Scholars to prepare for year 3.
Olivia was moving to a new area at the end of her degree, and was balancing her final year at university with the third year on the FTS programme along with the job search for ITT in a new location.
Olivia said: “At the end of year two of the programme I had received talks and workshops during our training days about what to expect in the coming year. It helped me to digest the task ahead and develop an understanding of what was required of me going forward.”
Being highly organised, Olivia set time aside and began her job search after finishing a period of university examinations. Knowing in advance what days best suited her calendar and the university schedule helped in scheduling informal visits and job interviews with prospective schools. She used various job search sites and signed up for alerts from the government teaching vacancy website. However, Olivia’s best job opportunity presented itself through contact with her new RTC (Regional Training Centre) Coordinator and the head of her SCITT provider (School Centred Initial Teacher Training).
As COVID-19 struck and schools closed, the possibility of an informal chat with the headteacher of a school in her desired area became available. The informal chat went well, as did a virtual interview that followed. Olivia followed the interview advice from the FTS employment zone on the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) and other sources, preparing answers to questions and completing lots of research about the school to ensure she could evidence her understanding of the school’s key values. Olivia was successful at interview and received a job offer the same day.
“For me the interview process, despite being different and being nervous, offered a great way to find out more about the school and demonstrate my desire to teach,” Olivia recalls.
“One tip I would give is not to forget that as well as being an aspiring teacher, you are also a person who has other interests and talents. Discussing these can help show how you would fit in the larger school community and not just in your classroom.”
Here are the four key tips from Olivia for a successful transition into ITT:
- Get in touch with your RTC Coordinator and SCITT lead as early as possible
- Research the school before applying to make sure it would be a suitable environment for you
- Prepare answers to key interview questions
- Set time aside to job search
Good luck with your job search!