5 top tips to find your best school

How do you find your next great school? And how do you know if it will prove to be the perfect match? Whether starting out in education or progressing your career, it’s not always easy to answer these questions.

Thankfully, we have 5 top tips to help you choose the right school.

First impressions count

It’s rarely recommended to dismiss a new job simply on a gut feeling. However it is important that when attending an interview or touring a new school you sense a good vibe.

Do you immediately feel comfortable chatting with your potential head teacher and colleagues? Can you visualise yourself being happy each morning as you arrive?

To get the best intel and feedback from your visit, don’t be shy about asking teachers and pupils about their own experiences. You may find lacklustre answers or palpable enthusiasm a gamechanger.

Location, location, location

Closely linked to your initial vibe will be the school’s location. If this is far from your home this may affect how you feel about your job. This is especially true when you’re facing a lengthy commute in winter months.

Work too close to home, however, and you may feel you’re never away from the classroom . . . or pupils and their parents. Teachers are genuinely committed to the vocation but also need personal space.

Finding somewhere between the two is likely to be the best scenario.

Does size really matter to you?

It may be your ambition to work in a large, inner-city school. Here you could be working with several hundreds of pupils. Or perhaps a rural primary school, with just half a dozen youngsters on the school roll, might be preferable.

With more roles available, larger schools can offer more varied career trajectories. There may also be more opportunities for widening your social circle.

In small schools you can find yourself playing a vital role in the local community. If this element of education is important, get an idea of how much engagement there is with parents to better support their children’s learning and welfare.

Pinpointing where your career and life goals lie will help you choose.

Consider your career progression

The transition into a new school is always exciting. But have you considered if this is going to be your last career move? It’s important that, as well as successfully landing this job at this school, you also think about where you want to be in five or even ten years.

When this is more sharply focused in your mind, it’s far easier to work out whether the school you’re currently targeting fits your ambitions for the future.

Ask yourself: will this school offer the opportunities, training and support you need for Continuing Professional Development?

Will it cramp your style?

Most schools, big or small, will accept or even encourage personal freedom in the way you teach. Some may be more formal in their approach and this might suit your own straightforward approach. Others may allow more latitude in the way you express yourself and deliver more innovative lessons.

Before committing to a school, discuss these matters with the head teacher at the interview stage. Your passion for teaching is based on your personality and people skills. Above all success rates will depend on the ability to be yourself and not feel you have to compromise.

Remember, you have the power to move forward by making informed choices. Teaching is your primary passion . . . and with Teacheroo there is a world of possibilities to choose from.

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