Please, mind the gap…
Let’s assume you now have got the National Insurance Number and the Qualified Teacher Status and you’ve received NARIC’s letter stating that the qualifications you obtained in your country are comparable to qualifications obtainable in the UK, that is your university diploma is equivalent to a full BA, and you can teach in secondary schools in England and Wales.
(We need to insist a bit on this because, in many cases, although you may have a university diploma, based on the number of university years, the subjects you studied and the transcript, NARIC may not grant its equivalence to a full BA, which might mean you won’t be allowed to teach in secondary schools.
A special little note here for the Romanians: the ‘degrees’ we work so hard to obtain are translated as ‘grades’ here and are not comparable to any UK qualification, so basically they don’t count. Yet, the Definitive Grade can be taken into account as proof of the Induction any teacher here must go through.)
Back to our main track: so you have the above-mentioned documents and you can now work. In theory. In practice, you still have a long way to go…
The first step is to Google for jobs. As I said before, this search returns millions of results, so be prepared to spend long hours in front of the computer, checking the sites of recruitment agencies and the ads, registering on these sites with your CV and a covering letter and applying for specific jobs. Irrespective of how impressive your CV might be, only if you’re really lucky will you get a call from an agency and be invited for an interview. If you’re convincing enough, they’ll photocopy your documents, ask you to do a CRB check (Criminal Record Bureau check stating you can work with children) and, in the next four to six weeks, they’ll take up your references.
95% of the ads you will find on the internet are posted by recruitment agencies and sound pretty much the same. Here’s an example (sic):
“** January 2012 start
** 1050 Students
** Based in…
** Key Stage 3 and 4
** Potential to teach to A level
We are looking to appoint an innovative and enthusiastic teacher of English who has a proven and successful experience of teaching A level as well as GCSE. The school is an 11-19 day high school with a growing sixth form. It has a maximum annual intake of 215 boys and girls and is over-subscribed. Courses of study are provided according to individual needs for GCSE or BTEC and at GCE A Level, A/S Level and BTEC leading to admission to universities or specialist professional training. (I will leave you the pleasure to discover what all the capital letters mean…)
The ideal candidate will have strong classroom presence (meaning you should be well accustomed to dealing with students with a… ‘challenging behaviour’) and excellent classroom teaching. They will be supportive of their colleagues and be prepared to make a contribution to the success of the department.
We are looking for someone who is fully qualified to teach in the UK, has QTS, at least 2 years of solid experience of teaching in a UK classroom and good, up-to-date knowledge of the current UK national curriculum.
If you would like to be considered for this position then please contact…“
You can start ticking boxes:
- “fully qualified” – checked
- “QTS” – checked
- “2 years of
solidexperience in a UK classroom” – ummm… nope, nobody hires you because you don’t have previous experience in teaching in the UK. That’s a Catch 22.
- but… “solid” is essential, ’cause it means you’ve dealt with really naughty and rude students (oops, sorry, they’re referred to as ‘challenging’ here) – hmmm… nope
- “good, up-to-date knowledge of the current UK national curriculum” – well, yeah… you’ve read all about it on the internet, does that count?
So, with two pros, two cons and one ‘pending’, you take a deep breath and ask yourself: “To apply or not to apply?“
P.S. How does this relate to the motto? Come on, you’ve figured it out already, I don’t need to explain this any more, do I?