Maker Difference

A guest blog by Donna Rawling.

“I am Computing Lead at a Primary school in Greater Manchester. I ama CAS Master Teacher, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, BCS accredited and a Barefoot Computing presenter. My passion is to encourage as many children as possible to study Computer Science and ultimately pursue a career in the Sciences. I do this through a STEM/STEAM, MakerEd approach wherever possible, with a huge emphasis on Growth Mindset and resilience. I hold daily drop-ins in the school makerspace which I have developed, it’s attended by up to 40 children, where junk modelling, knitting and Coding are all part of the lunchtime sessions”

For much of her life I’ve had a sense of what is important to me, but also very much a feel of many strands of my life, experiences and, dare I say my talents (as I perceive them) to be the raw materials of some as yet unwoven cloth or project.

My ‘lightbulb moment’ (more of the lightbulb later) came when I inherited my Mum’s button tin.

When I sadly lost my Mum 5 years ago, one of the things that I felt really strongly that I wanted to have of hers was her button tin. This tin, full of buttons of every shape, size and texture had been one of the enduring highlights of my childhood. I used to love to sift through it, wondering where each button had started life, what it had been attached to, what it had helped to hold together.

It was my Mum who had taught me to sew; to knit; to crochet. My Mum who had never lost patience in my endless stitch dropping, who casted on and off for me as this for me, in my scarf making stages, was the ‘tricky bit.’ These times of crafting still envoke fond memories of comfort, belonging, social engagement, the finished product being almost an aside.

As I began my career in Education, I keenly recognised this for need belonging in the children in my care, of finding a voice, a way to state one’s identity.

Teri-Louise – Why I became a teacher

We speak to KS1 teacher Teri-Louise, from Norbury school in Harrow, to find out more about why she became a teacher.

Our support has always been a key part of helping all types of people find work, in the UK and abroad.

It’s our approach to support which starts with a free career planning session no matter your location, experience or role, we believe that quality recruitment begins with helping and understand your unique needs.

Louise – Why do you work in Education?

Headteacher Louise, from Norbury Primary School in Harrow, tells us more about her background and why she became an educator in the first place.

Our support has always been a key part of helping all types of people find work, in the UK and abroad.

It’s our approach to support which starts with a free career planning session no matter your location, experience or role, we believe that quality recruitment begins with helping and understand your unique needs.

Daje – Why I work in Education

Learning support assistant Daje from Norbury Primary School in Harrow tells us more about why she became an LSA.

Our support has always been a key part of helping all types of people find work, in the UK and abroad.

It’s our approach to support which starts with a free career planning session no matter your location, experience or role, we believe that quality recruitment begins with helping and understand your unique needs.

Think you’re the perfect teacher? Think again!

Think you’re the perfect teacher? Think again!

Now don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re not perfect. No one is! Perfection is something we all strive to achieve in one way or another. Whether it’s hitting the gym to trim up for summer, learning a new hobby to expand your mind or having a big social following online, we all do something to improve ourselves every day.

But have you thought about perfection in teaching? Would you consider yourself ‘the perfect teacher’? The perfect teacher would probably get all of their student marking returned within a few days, keep a lovely and fresh-looking tidy classroom, and wouldn’t spend their entire weekend in pyjamas planning lessons and marking. Hmmmm.

Identify

Now there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you need a little help sometimes. Have you noticed your struggling to engage disengaged students in your class? Or are you spending too much time focusing on those students instead of the whole class? We’ve got a free class on “Engaging the Disengaged Student” that can help you identify the best ways to go about this while keeping a balance in your classroom. Are you finding yourself worrying about lesson observations or parents evenings? Guess what? We have a free class on how to prepare for both! Do you find utilizing data difficult when predicting grades for students in your classroom? That’s okay, lots of people do – that’s why we created a free class which covers “understanding predicted grades”.

Upskill

Our approach to support starts with a free career planning session, no matter your location or experience. This allows us to not only get to know your strengths but to get to know your weaknesses too. Quality recruitment begins with understanding unique needs and helping people when possible. We value feedback from our schools greatly, it’s a tool we use to identify when a teacher might need a little extra help upskilling in something. Happy teacher > happy school.

Continued Professional Development

We help our teachers by running Continued Professional Development classes. Our CPD is an ongoing program which covers all sorts of gains. We’ve got 26 events coming up over the next term. There’s something for every teacher, in every sector.

Why were they your favourite teacher?

Who was your favourite teacher?

Understanding your purpose in your working life is not always easy. Like many things in life it needs a mix of things to make sure you make the best decisions possible:

1. Everything needs a little bit of experience.

2. A deep understanding of what makes you happy.

3. Imagining the working day to day that you want to create and why.

Asking yourself Why based questions is always a challenge but also very rewarding. By asking Why questions you are delving into your unconscious mind where your habits and behaviours sit.

For some context, asking What questions is your conscious mind, it’s easier to answer – What movies do you enjoy? Vs Why do you enjoy them? The reason being is that our brains operate with maximum efficiency, 92% of all you do is not conscious, like making a coffee or dressing, you don’t have to think about that or a million other actions every day, if you did you’d never make it out your front door! With this in mind Why questions help you explore the real you.

Try thinking on these for a day or two and see what you can discover:

1. Why do you teach?

2. Why does your student performance matter to you?

3. Why do you want to help educate people?

And one combo questions:

What is the Why of your happiness when it comes to your working life?

Part of this is understanding yourself and knowing what makes you the best version of yourself you can be.

When we asked around our office:

Why were they your favourite teacher?

These were our most common responses from 27 people:

“They helped me understand what I could become in life.”

“They made learning easy and fun.”

“They helped me understand I was wasting my talent.”

“They related to me and made me feel like they care.”

What kind of teacher do you want to be?

I’m ready! How do I sign up?

I’m ready! How do I sign up?

Right first thing’s first, whether you’re already in the UK or you’re living abroad, there are different ways to get a long-term position.

If you live in the UK

Let us know you’re ready to find a new role, and we’ll do all the hard work!

Meet us for a chat

We like to get to know every candidate that works with us, so we’ll invite you in for a cup of tea and a chat, or have a telephone call with you.

Compliance

In order to make sure you’re ready for work as soon as possible, we’ll need a few documents from you; things like your CV, references and DBS application form (our Compliance team will help you through every step!)

Interviews

Next is the exciting bit – we’ll arrange interviews with schools in the area you’re looking for that have vacancies that match your skills.

Offer

Because you’re a superstar educator – you get offered your dream job

Celebrations!

Horrah – you got the job

Ongoing support

We pride ourselves on the continuous support we offer our candidates. If you have any queries about where your nearest McDonalds is, what you can claim back on expenses or advice about shampoo – we’re here for you.

If you live outside of the UK

So you’re ready to move across oceans to work in the UK, that’s great. We can’t wait to help.

Get to know us

We like to get to know all of our teachers – our overseas Talent Acquisition team are a great bunch!

Compliance and visas

We need to make sure you’re visa and compliance documents are all ready to rock before you properly start interviewing!

Decide your journey – iday or profiling or skype interviews

iday – allows you to fly to the UK for free – to interview and find a school that suits you.

Profiling – this means we create an impressive profile of your skills and requirements and send it to the schools we work with in the UK.

Skype – if you’re ready to go now – why not Skype interview directly with schools? We can help find you the right ones.

Interview

The fun bit – meet headteachers (in person or over Skype) and find out all about their schools and of course – sell yourself!

Offers

Woohoo!

Relocation help

Once you’ve found your perfect position, we won’t leave you high and dry. We help with all aspects of relocating to another country, we’ve helped thousands of teachers relocate.

Ongoing support

We pride ourselves on the continuous support we offer our candidates after they’ve found work.

Dear Diary, a day in the life of a teacher

Dear Diary, a day in the life of a teacher

6 am – Up up and at ‘em! I must admit, I feel a little tired today.

7 am – Arrive at school, make a cuppa tea. This is vital for happiness

7.15 am – I warily check my emails for any upcoming meetings or alerts

7.25 am – Get all of my paperwork sorted for the day (pray the photocopier works)

7.30 am – Time to finish and check today’s lesson plans

8 am – Time for a quick brew

8.15 am – Staff meeting, whoops nearly forgot (again)

8.30 am – Class begins, the whole reason I’m here, to teach

8.35 am – Ah enter the late students, classic

9.30 am – Repeat classes

10.30 am – Break time – hooray! (unless I’m on break duty in which case, I really hope I brought a brolly!)

11 am – Two more classes until lunchtime

12 pm – Lunchtime. This usually means eating whatever concoction I threw together from last night’s dinner and the remains of my fridge

12.15 pm – Rest of lunchtime. Again, I hope I’m not on playground duty…didn’t bring my umbrella and my hair has already suffered enough for one day

1 pm – Afternoon classes begin for the next couple of hours

3 pm – The last lesson of the day, come on!

4 pm – Bus duty; one of the least glamorous parts of the job. I’m stood in the rain, and yes, I still haven’t got a brolly

5 pm – So I can stay here for an hour and get my marking and admin done, or head home early and put the feet up…

5.45 pm – Ahhhhhh pyjamas and a cup of tea. Made the right choice today, I’ll catch up on my marking tomorrow.

Every teachers’ days are different – some have meetings, some have parents evenings, some have extracurricular activities to do some days. Regardless, teaching is something we all do because we care and we want to inspire and educate the youth of today. Sometimes it’s tiring but it’s totally worth it.

What do your teaching days look like?

How can Special Education be more rewarding?

How can Special Education be more rewarding?

Teaching Special Education has become more and more popular in recent years, teachers from a mainstream background are making the switch to Special Education as it becomes ever more prevalent in their classrooms. There are lots of reasons why teachers find Special Education more appealing and rewarding.

Grow as an individual

Working with children that have different abilities gives you a much better sense of patience and compassion. As you learn about different types of special needs, you’ll begin to identify what they mean, not only on paper but in real life, too. You’ll understand why specific learning techniques don’t work with a certain individual. Every child thinks differently.

Little wins every day

Working with children with special educational needs means that you will need to support children more with different aspects of learning, for example, reading or writing, or behaviour or self-expression. As well as the academic wins that come with being a teacher, i.e. when a student completes a task set or overcomes something, there will be little wins every day with a child with special educational needs. For example, a child with Autism that resists any physical contact may approach you for a hug or to hold your hand. You’ll know the impact you’re having goes beyond academia.

Long-term wins!

Children with Special Educational Needs will reach milestones, it just might take them longer. A milestone is a milestone and should be celebrated regardless! If one of your students with behavioural issues makes a new friend, a child with cerebral palsy learns a way to communicate or a child with Aspergers is able to express how they feel easily, these are all things you should be proud. Your job is to set children up for life, and having a great attitude is key.

Better job prospects

Expanding your expert knowledge into the Special Education sector gives you greater job prospects. You’ll be able to work in different environments as your skills will be transferable. Experience with Special Education makes you diverse, which in turn gives you a much greater scope when looking for work.

Shorter days

Did you know that Special Education schools have shorter days than mainstream schools? This is down to fewer class requirements and smaller class sizes, as well as the school working towards a more flexible curriculum. Shorter days and a more lenient schedule mean one thing: teachers who work in Special Education may benefit from a more balanced life. Special Education is also a great way to have something which sits in between a part-time and a full-time job.

Engage with Quality Education

Our mantra ‘Engage with Quality Education’ and we live by this in everything that we do especially when it comes to our relationship with Schools. We have over 1,000 schools we work with and from the Heads to the Deputies to the teachers and administrators if we could not deliver quality experiences then they simply would not use us.

We know that running a school and focusing on the quality of the education you provide is key, we try to make life as easy as possible and creating long-lasting trust between us and the schools.

Some examples of where we focus:

1. Process

Communication is a two street and we have detailed processes so that those looking after the schools are always aware at each step of the recruitment process.

Quotes:
“The process was very well managed by my consultant who kept me informed of how the day was going throughout and ensured my schedule ran smoothly. We were delighted to be able to recruit from this process”
Simon Greiff
Deputy Headteacher
Manor High School

2. Quality matters

Whilst defining the what of Education is an age-old debate what is less debatable is that quality teaching works best. We have a proven vetting process that adapts to the need from day to day to supply to permanent positions.

“Feltham Hill Junior School has utilised Engage Education’s teachers for just over two years now. I can say that I have been very pleased with all of the supply teachers Engage have sent me. I relay any feedback to my Consultant via email or phone and they are responsive to my requests. We have a very positive professional working relationship with Engage and their staff. I can highly recommend the agency to other schools.”
Rachael Saim
Deputy Headteacher/SENCO
Feltham Hill Junior School

3. Being the expert

We have a strong programme to help support and develop our teachers with CPD being a key program alongside SEN development. For the schools, we like to eat our own lunch have also had internal development for our consultants so that they serve the schools based on their needs. This is not simply about recruitment, it is about policy change, behavioural needs and supporting the education system.

“The level of support and expertise given to us by Engage has been exceptional. They have supported us through the process offering guidance and advice. My Consultant has taken the time to really get to know our school and our requirements and is now able to match prospective teaching staff to us with skill. I would highly recommend ‘iday’ and Engage Education for an innovative approach to teacher recruitment.”
Helen Everitt
Deputy Headteacher
Oriel High School

4. Safeguarding 

Vetting, quality of performance and continuous improvement are all key factors that we focus on helping people with. This also includes who we let into our system and safeguarding is a big factor within what we check as part of our process.
“All their teachers are fully vetted and sending through these details has always been prompt, so that we can be secure in our safeguarding procedures.I have no hesitation in recommending this agency.”
Pauline Jamison
Associate Head Teacher
Stag Lane Junior School

At the end of the day, we are very aware that our role is one of support and that if we do not do it well then we will not function as a business. Education is a challenging place to be, we enjoy helping those who make a real difference.