My journey to job security - Teacher Elaine

My journey to job security

Second, in our series of guest blog posts written by teachers in permanent or CID positions, we hear from the lovely Elaine who shares her journey to landing her CID job, and she also offers some advice to NQTs starting out.

How did you get the job you're in right now?

I completed my Dip through a maternity leave post. On my second year out, I knew I wanted more stability (aka paid during the holidays) so I logged onto Education Posts and filtered it to ‘fixed term’ posts only. I saw the job advertised for the school I’m in now, and applied for it straight away. This is my third year here and I just love it! I rarely have the fear which is a great sign as it means I’m happy where I am.

How many contracts did you have before you became permanent?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, as it only seems like yesterday that I graduated, but this is my fourth year teaching. Time just flies by! I am currently on my fourth contract. In my first year out, I had a maternity contract and ever since then, I’ve had fixed-term contracts. I have a CID in the school now which means I have the same rights as a permanent member of staff. 

Did anything surprise you about the job-seeking process?

I won’t lie, the job-seeking process is mind-boggling. It’s tough especially if you really want to work in a particular school. What surprised me is the number of posts available between maternity leaves, job shares, fixed posts, permanent posts, mainstream class teachers, special class teachers, learning support teachers. It can be very overwhelming. A Maternity leave contract may not be your first preference but if it’s the school you really want to work in, it may lead to a full-term post. 

What advice would you give NQTs looking for jobs this Summer?

My advice would be to take a deep breath and try not to become too overwhelmed. It can be very challenging filling out the standard application form. When applying to a school, research it. Figure out what you can bring to that particular school and go from there. Learn from the interview experience and remember, what’s for you will not pass you by.

What could an NQT do in your school, that would be appreciated?

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. The more you ask the more informed you become about what's expected of you. In normal times, an NQT could volunteer to help out at after-school activities or help organise a specific week within the school such as Wellbeing Week or Friendship Week, etc. Show you’re eager to learn new things and that you are up for any challenges that come your way.

What skill-set is important in your school?

Enthusiasm is so important. Be ready to take on any challenge. Let your passion for your job be known to the staff. Leadership is a vital skill. You are an important role model in your students’ lives, so lead by example. Organisation is essential and includes a number of tasks that are expected of you such as lesson planning, correcting, etc. These need to be completed in a timely manner. Teamwork is a priority. If you have a problem, ask a colleague for help. Never be too proud to accept assistance. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Communication is key. You need to be able to interact with people of all ages including colleagues, students and parents, and finally, being flexible is a must. You never know what will happen in the classroom each day. The most important thing is to believe in yourself and believe you are the right person for the job. A positive mindset will take you places.

Thank you so much Elaine for sharing your journey and your wisdom!

If you need help with the application process, drop me an email at



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