6 ways to improve your teaching application
Applying to teacher training is a huge, exciting step, but in the current pandemic it might feel like more of one than ever. However, there are a number of things that you can be working on right now to help strengthen your application and get you one step closer to the classroom.
Get Into Teaching have put together a series of tips that you can follow to improve your teacher training application and give you the best possible chance of success when applying to your chosen providers.
Sign Up For a TTA
Teacher Training Advisers are dedicated, experienced teaching professionals who will support you throughout the entire application process.
If you register for a TTA you can get free up to date advice and support on all aspects of the application process, including applying for funding, boosting your subject knowledge and writing your personal statement.
Read more about how Teacher Training Advisers have supported applicants here.
Attend an Online Event
Get into Teaching is still here to support you. Train to Teach events are now taking place online, with tailored events for each area of the country. and each one focuses on specific areas of the country. It’s a great way to get answers to your questions and find out about local teacher training providers.
Just like in a face-to-face event, you’ll be able to view a presentation about the training routes and funding available, get help from Teacher Training Advisers and speak to real teachers and training providers. You can search for events coming up in your area here.
Get Into Teaching also offers a range of other online events covering topics such as changing careers to become a teacher, financial support for your training and advice for university students. Find out more and sign up here.
Understand Your Funding Options
When considering a move into teaching, one your main concerns may be how you will fund your training.
There is a range of funding available to support you through your training. This could include:
- Bursaries up to £26K depending on your subject
- Maintenance and tuition fee loans. You will be eligible for these even if you’ve already had student finance for your undergraduate degree.
You can find out more about what funding you may be eligible for on the Get into Teaching website. You can also speak to a Teacher Training Adviser who will be able to explain what financial support you can get and how to apply for it
Speak to Your Referees
You will need to provide two references to support your application. They can take time to be completed, so make sure that you speak to your referees as early as possible. This will give them plenty of time to complete their references and submit them.
There are two types of referee: principle and secondary. Each one depends on your personal circumstances, but they cannot be a family member, close friend or partner.
It is important that you try to have one academic reference and one professional reference such as a university lecturer who has recently taught you, and your current employer.
You can find out more about how to arrange your references on the Get Into Teaching website.
Practise Your Video Interview Skills
While social distancing measures are in place, it is likely that training providers will ask you to complete your interview via a video call rather than inviting you in for a face-to-face meeting.
We’re all used to video calls by now, but it’s worth practising your interview skills and setting up in advance to make sure everything runs smoothly for the real thing.
- Consider the lighting. Can you be seen or are you sitting in shadow?
- Does all of your technology work? Can you hear and be heard during your call? Also make sure that you have a good connection wherever you sit during your call to avoid unfortunate connection dropouts.
- Are there other people in your house? Make sure you have a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and where others won’t be overheard during your interview.
- Remember that it is a formal interview, even if it is taking place in your spare bedroom. You should dress as professionally as you would for a face-to-face meeting to give the best impression.
Running a practice interview can be an effective way for you to hone your presentation skills. Ask somebody to help you by hosting a mock video interview with them and ask them to make notes on if you could be clearly understood and that your presentation makes sense.
You can also record your practices and watch them back later. Software such as Zoom allows you to do this and will give you the opportunity to see how you will look to the interviewer, if your technology is working and let you see if there is anything going on in the background that you might need to move.
Work on Your Presentation and Communication Skills
It is also important to work on your communication skills, as you may be asked to present something as part of the interview process.
Preparing your presentation in advance is key. Knowing that you have got everything ready to go with boost your confidence going into the real thing.
When putting together your presentation, ensure that you have proofread it and that your points are clear and well structured. Read your slides aloud to yourself, you will pick on sections that need adjusting more easily when you hear yourself saying them.
It is important to give the best reflection of your presenting skills that you can as it will give your interviewer an idea of how you will sound when standing in front of a class. If you are reading directly from your slides, it can be difficult to maintain clarity and conviction in your voice as you will be focused on reading rather than delivering. Have your main points on the slides, with an elaboration prepared on cards or well-practiced in your head that will help you deliver in the most professional style possible.
Following these steps while you go through the application process to become a teacher will help increase your chances of success. Good luck!
You can find out more and register for a TTA on the Get Into Teaching website Get Into Teaching website.