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When teachers have completed their Induction year successfully, they often want to progress further. This is not only a benefit to teachers as they will gain personally and financially, but the profession as a whole because there will also be a need for heads, deputies, inspectors, advisory teachers and advanced skills teachers.
So how do you get promotion?
It is best to decide what type of post you want and tell the head that you would be interested in being the co-ordinator in that subject.
A few tips to be prepared
The Application Procedure
Most heads like to meet teachers before they decide on their shortlist. Before you visit, look on the school’s website but view it carefully. Only the best side of the school will be depicted on it. Always visit during lesson time to get the real picture.
What to look for
The letter of application
Writing an interesting and impressive letter of application is the best way to get an interview. Your letter must mirror the job description, so study it carefully and make a list of all the items to be included and number each one. Your list might look like this.
1 ability to work co-operatively with others
2 ability to cope with pupils with wide ranging experiences and abilities
3 ability to form positive relationships with challenging parents
4 sympathy for underprivileged pupils
5 sympathy for children from wealthy homes who may by underprivileged in other ways
6 ability to work with teaching assistants and encourage them to extend their skills
7 ability to work with a range of age-groups
8 willingness to take part in educational visits and school journeys
9 extra-curricular activities you can offer
10 Inset which you have attended
11 ability use an interactive whiteboard and ICT in your lessons
12 ability to support colleagues who have difficulty with your subject
13 willingness to extend your own skills
14 knowledge of teaching children with English as an additional language.
Next make a plan for the letter like this.
1 Paragraph - Introductory sentence naming the post and its reference number
2 Paragraph about each job and post you have had so far, giving a longer description of each
3 Paragraphs about how you view the post and why you think you are suitable for it
4 Paragraph about extra curricular activities
5 Some paragraphs about your own philosophy of education
6 Paragraph about your interests outside school
7 Final enthusiastic sentence.
Next go down the list of items to be included and put its number beside a paragraph on the letter plan, to ensure that nothing is omitted.
The tone of your letter must display your enthusiasm for your work and ability to learn new skills which will benefit the pupils as well as your career.
Use expressions like:
‘I value this experience because...’
‘This experience helped me to develop the skill of...’
‘I acquired enormous job satisfaction from...’
‘I believe in teaching pupils to love books/learning new skills...’
‘I like pupils to appreciate the value of...’
‘I believe that we must teach pupils to respect each other because..’
‘I should view this post as an interesting challenge.’
Start preparing answers to these questions. Dress smartly, hold your head up, your shoulders back, look the interview panel in the eyes and smile confidently.
For any post where you are not successful or don’t get shortlisted, always ring up the head and ask why not. A tactful way of putting it is, ‘Thank you for your letter. It would be very helpful to me for the future if you could give me some feedback as to why you decided against me.’
There are now more opportunities to progress in teaching than ever before. In a few years you may want to be and advisory teacher or an advanced skills teacher, so it is wise to start compiling your documents now.
Items include written details of:
And of course, persevere. Most teachers, who want a post of responsibility, acquire one eventually.
Suggested further reading
Bennett, H. The Ultimate Teachers’ Handbook (2005). Continuum International: London
Cowley, S. Guerilla Guide to Teaching (2003). Continuum International: London
The above advice was provided for ATL by teaching specialist Hazel Bennett, author of The Ultimate Teachers' Handbook. Hazel can be emailed at email@example.com.