On Saturday 23 June 2012 over 30 newly qualified teachers from the Merseyside area met up to discuss their future destinations. At an event held by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and recruitment and training provider New Directions Education the group of graduates talked about issues facing them in the wider workplace.
Speaking at the event, Lisa Harper, Branch Manager for New Directions Liverpool commented: ‘As a company we aim to embed ourselves fully within the education community. As well as providing a recruitment and training service to the NQT’s we aim to support all of their needs. Saturday’s event helped us to understand some of the wider issues they face, and we want to help raise them to the appropriate wider communities.’
The event ran from 11.00am until 15.00pm and centred on a series of activities. ATL assembled a panel of experts to answer queries from the recent graduates. This included Jon-Leigh Pritchard, Organiser from ATL, Bob Meier, Business Development Officer and former Head Teacher from New Directions Education and Sarah Hulse, former NQT and ATL member.
Jon-Leigh Pritchard said of the event: ‘This was a great opportunity to work alongside New Directions in delivering an excellent training opportunity for Newly Qualified Teachers from across the North West. Not only did this event give NQT’s the ability learn from experienced professionals in the education sector, but also to share invaluable experiences with each other.’
Discussion topics ranged from the level of support NQT’s received from their mentors during placements to the impact of social media – both for their learning journey and issues relating to good practice once they commence their careers.
The students heard from the panel about how to add gravitas to their job applications. Bob Meier shared his experiences of interviewing NQT’s as a head teacher. Bob commented ‘Getting in front of the interview panel is often the hardest task. Simple grammatical errors often blight applications, make sure yours is word perfect. As an educator of the future you have a responsibility to be precise.’
Mr Meier also added tips including getting to know and understand the culture of the school you are attending interview with, acknowledging all of the schools stakeholders when you arrive at interview – including the students and applying outside interests to the schools values.
The day came to a close after the students grouped together to role play interview situations. It is hoped similar events will take place across the UK to support newly qualified teachers at the beginning of their careers.