Monday, May 11, 2009

Job Hunting for Teachers: Let the Madness Begin

Okay, I lied. I said I would post 90 more resources for teachers in regards to teaching in the UK, to make my 200th blog post complete with 200 resources. But let's face it - this is the busiest time of year for recruiters.

For the next two weeks all I can do is focus on my teachers & getting them jobs for September. In the recruitment world, we call this "flinging mud against the wall" - some will stick, but most won't, but you have to throw the mud to see what will happen. We're talking about teacher's resumes (or CVs) here. I know you don't want to hear your resumes compared to mud, but that's the expression we use. Or, "you have to be in it to win it." I prefer the mud analogy though.

Most schools in London know what they need for September and they've posted their jobs online for all to see. I've been doing this job (as well as teaching in London) for almost 5 years now, so I see the same schools again & again. They try to fill the jobs themselves with teachers already in London, but they often won't be able to. There just aren't enough teachers for the whole city. So, for those of us who do this job, we fling your resumes against the wall in the hopes that schools will say "Okay, I'll interview that teacher."

The best agency has good relationships with their schools already, so when the schools see your resumes they actually read them. The agency knows the schools and their needs so they send teachers that they know will fit the school ethos.

This weekend I spent a full two days printing out jobs & going through all my teachers to see which resumes I should send to which schools. The teachers that I have already selected to work in London with Classroom Canada have told me what kind of job they would like and are in that pool of candidates. I go through every job & every teacher & try to make some perfect matches. It's time consuming to say the least.

If I wasn't any good at my job, I would just send random CVs, or call schools at inappropriate times of the day (when the bell rings for example) or send teachers CVs that aren't actually interested in the jobs on offer. I know some recruiters (not with Classroom) who make a fake resume to send to schools. They hope that by sending an amazing resume that they've created from scratch they can get the school to call them and ask to see said teacher. When the school calls, the recruiter then lies and says "Oh, I'm sorry but X teacher has already been placed at one of our schools. I have another candidate that you might like to meet..."

Dodgey? (or as we say in Canada, "sketchy?") You bet it is. We don't do that kind of stuff. Most of the recruiters with Classroom have worked for other teaching agencies (both as teachers & as recruiters) so we all came to Classroom with the same interests - we want to work with an agency that is honest & the best possible teaching agency. You'll notice from the interviews with our recruiters on the right hand side of this page that we're all really happy to work with Classroom. We often joke about the other companies we've worked with before working with Classroom & the kinds of dodgey stuff they pull. It's scary, but true.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say, I'm swamped. So, if you want to teach with us and have submitted your resume, I will call you eventually. Just maybe not today. If you are one of our teachers already, then please keep me in the loop with your needs & wants for a teaching job. I can't find you the perfect job if you aren't clear with me about what that is. Thankfully, our teachers are amazing at communicating with us, so I'm not too worried about this one.

Like this post and want to read more? Check out:
Jobs for Teachers: What Kinds of Jobs Are There for Teachers in the UK?
Jobs for Secondary Teachers in London Schools
Teacher Jobs in London Up by 21-32%
52 Reasons to Teach in London, England
10 Myths About Teaching in London, England

If you'd like to become part of the Classroom Canada team, please sign up for our newsletters & apply through our website. Be sure to read the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians to help you understand everything you need to know about teaching in London.


Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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