Teachers for Supply

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Supporting children with special needs in the classroom

As schools try to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to children with special needs there will probably be a few children in a mainstream school that would in years gone by be educated in a special school but are now in the classroom working alongside their peers. Although socially this is a good thing academically this may cause issues if the pupils are not well supported and helped to access the curriculum.

Getting a post in a school offering support to children with special needs can be a rewarding position as the difference this support can make to a child can be tremendous. The job may involve preparing resources so that children can access the tasks and supporting and encouraging children to complete activities.

 In order to work in a school with children it is necessary to have an enhanced DBS check which if you are employed by the school will be carried out as part of the application process. Qualifications are usually required to work in this role as sometimes specialist knowledge is needed in order to fully support children with specific needs. Ongoing training is an essential part of the job so that you are kept up to date with new teaching methods.

Realise that dream of becoming a primary school teacher

Getting a job as a teacher in a primary school is a popular career choice as the job security is good, it is a job that has good prospects and fits in well with family life. The first step is to obtain the relevant degree qualification for the role you want to have. As a primary schoolteacher you will be required to teacher all subjects so the choice of subject to take at university is down to your preference. It is possible now to do a general degree which does not require you to have a specialist subject.

Having qualified, the search is on to find a job. If there are no restrictions to the area you can work in the process of getting a job is far easier as you are free to move to a new area if necessary.

Most local authorities who employ teaching staff in schools have an application form that will need to be completed rather than submitting a CV. On this form there will be opportunity to express the previous experience you have had and any interests that you enjoy. It is a good idea to tailor the information to the post you are applying for as this will increase your chances of getting to the interview stage of the application process where you can expand further on your abilities and suitability for the role.

Could you be a subject leader in a primary school?

As part of the role as a class teacher in a primary school you may be asked to take on the responsibility of leading the school in a curriculum subject. Newly qualified teachers are not usually expected to take on this role in their first year but in subsequent years they may be asked to lead one of the foundation subjects such as music, technology or history. A more experienced teacher may be asked to take on the subject coordinator role for one of the core subjects such as Mathematics, English or Science.

Probably the most important responsibility will be to convey to the rest of the teaching staff any new initiatives that are sent out from the local education authority which pertain to your subject. You may be called upon to lead staff meetings each term to update staff and to support them in their curriculum planning.

One of the unenviable tasks of the subject coordinator is to do regular book trawls. This involves looking at a selection of books to check that the school planning is being followed, that differentiation is present and that marking follows the school marking policy guidelines. Although a time-consuming task it is necessary to ensure school policy is being adhered to.

State school or private school can I choose to teach in either?

Independent or private schools set their own budget and do not receive any funding from the state, so they are free to employ teachers and pay them according to their own policies although most are on a par with the pay received by teachers working in the state school sector.

The main difference for a teacher looking for employment is that it is not a requirement to have the same teaching qualifications if you are thinking of working in an independent school than if you were working in a state school. This is a useful factor if you have a degree but have not undertaken any post graduate training to get qualified teacher status especially if you want to teacher older children and are therefore specialising in one particular subject. It is however common for those teaching in independent pre-preparatory and preparatory schools that cater for children from three years of age to eleven years to have a teaching qualification of some sort.

If you enjoy working in the independent school sector, then career progression is good and probably more widely available than in a state school. It is not unusual for a teacher to be taking on more responsibility after a couple of years teaching working towards the role of head of department or housemaster.

Training to become a Teaching Assistant

The job of a teaching assistant can be very rewarding but it is also very hard work and you do have to be prepared to work hard and long hours. Most TA’s only get about ten to twelve thousand pounds a year which is not a huge amount of money compare to the hours they have to work. This wage is often pro rata so they may well still get paid through the holidays.

To become a TA you do not have to have qualifications but most schools do now look for this. You may be able to go straight in to an apprenticeship TA role with the school or you may decide to go to college first and get the qualification you need to allow you to apply straight for a full time position.

As a TA you will be expected to provide support to pupils who may need extra help and to supervise groups or even the whole class for short periods of time where required. You will also need to be wiling to help create displays, prepare worksheets and set up the classroom for tasks. You may also be required to talk to parents or carers and help support them with their child’s education if needed.

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