With a national UK teacher shortage, it would be fair to say that teachers really have their pick when it comes to the educational establishment they choose to work. However, as a skilled teacher, it is important that you choose wisely and find the right role and school for you. A survey by the National Education Association has revealed that teachers are not in fact just looking for a good salary, as some may suggest. In fact, the most important aspects were a trust in their experience and autonomy in their work. If you are a teacher looking for a new role, it is important to firstly identify your needs.
What do you want from a new role?
Take time to analyse exactly what you want from a new role, before you take the leap. It may be the case that the remuneration is the most important aspect to you or you may want to work somewhere which offers different elements. Everyone is different in terms of what is important to them, so gaining a good understanding of this will help you take the next steps to actually finding the right role. What are your expectations? If you set yourself standards, you will be me more likely to enjoy your next role.
What is the culture?
You have found the perfect teaching job, you have the relevant skills and experience and it sounds ideal – but wait, have you found out about the culture? The right culture fit is imperative to be successful in a teaching role. The culture is the values the school has and whether these fit in with your own. For example, the culture may be very structured or it could be quite open. Some teachers enjoy a more structured curriculum, while others enjoy a lot of autonomy. There are many other elements which make up the culture of a school and it is important it meets your needs, otherwise you are likely to be extremely unhappy in your role.
Opportunities to progress
If there is nowhere to go in the school, is there any point in joining? Of course, you may not be particularly concerned about career progression, but if you are, make sure this is available before you accept anything.
With many secondary school teachers working in excess of 60 hours, it is important to find out what the expected working hours are and whether these suit your needs. If you are not willing to work more than 40 hours, there is no point in accepting a role which requires you to work over 60, as quite simply, you won’t last long. In the teaching profession, there is a certain expectation that you will work longer hours than the ‘norm’, but make sure these aren’t excessive, before you sign on the dotted line.
It is important that any job you accept fits your needs, otherwise you will become disheartened very quickly. A good understanding of the teaching role will enable you to make the decision which suits your needs best, so you can enjoy a successful career.