It almost feels like a blink of an eye from applying for your PGCE to realising that you need to begin planning your life beyond university! This can be quite a daunting task, knowing what path is right for you is never an easy decision to make. From the offset I was adamant I would not move across to England to teach. I was sure that the stories I heard about being overworked, long hours and the crazy expectations of teachers must all be true. However, what I did not realise was that what may be true for some, does not determine your own experience (I am still here 4 years later).
ICAN TEACH came to my university Careers Day, I knew I had nothing to lose by going along - if anything I thought it might reaffirm my thoughts about definitely staying in Northern Ireland to teach (how I was so wrong). If you have listened to their talks before, they can be quite convincing!
So this blog is all about why I found my first job through an agency, the truth…it made my life so much easier - it took the responsibility of looking for a job off me and on to someone else - bliss! This was honestly the main reason for me, I knew that they would have the experience and tools needed in order to know what schools would work for me - I had no idea of where to begin looking! From the start, I thought if I put myself in the race of interviews it would provide me with the experience I needed to become a strong applicant for jobs that may appear in the future at home. This was my main reason firstly for why I thought of applying through an agency. This quickly became an opportunity to get a year's experience (at most I thought) of teaching.
My top 3 reasons for applying through an agency:
Free experience of interviews
Allowed me to build a deeper understanding of schools and what I was looking for within my vocation of teaching.
Stress free, and all planned for by agency (minus the interview and lesson lol)
Matt at ICANTEACH was extremely accommodating. From the offset asked me about my deal breakers, musts and areas I would be interested in. All of this information allowed ICAN TEACH to find schools that would work for me.
Once my application was in place I was offered two interviews, all of which were organised and planned by Matt (including my flights - all paid). I knew this was not an opportunity I could say no to, I really was not losing anything by giving it a shot - in fact I was gaining vital experience.
Reflecting on this experience I would not change the route or path I took in finding my first teaching post. Having no idea what made a school right for me, it took this pressure off me and gave me the opportunity to have a selection and ensure that when I did accept a role that it was truly right.
Finding my post through an agency allowed me to explore my options and ensure that in my first year of teaching in England I felt supported, and most importantly not alone.