24th May 2018
“As a post-primary NQT just finishing my PME, I found there was a major lack of job opportunities in my subject areas – English and History. Having attended a presentation at college from Engage, I made contact with Michelle in the Dublin office to have a chat about potential opportunities in the UK and how to go about completing my induction year over there. I was invited to attend Engage’s recruitment event, ‘IDAY’, in London in May 2018.
From the outset, Michelle was absolutely phenomenal and talked me through every single step of the process; from what documents were required for registration at IDAY, to what to pack in my suitcase! I sent over my documents on a Friday evening and received my flight details & itinerary on the Monday morning. It was completely hassle-free; Michelle advised me on everything I needed and I was even able to go into to the offices to run through the itinerary for the event and to have a mock interview with Michelle, whereby she prepared me for any and all questions I could potentially be asked. Michelle made me feel so at ease and so relaxed about the interviews I was going to have – which had previously been so daunting to me, as an NQT with no formal interview experience.
On the Friday morning prior to flying to ‘IDAY’, I received contact details for our Team Leader, Rachel – a consultant who was taking us from Dublin to the ‘IDAY’ event in London. There was an agreed meeting time and place in Dublin Airport, which again, was very reassuring. Rachel was also absolutely fantastic; from the moment we met in the airport, to the moment we landed home five days later, Rachel went above and beyond to take care of our group. Nothing was too much trouble for her – all of our transfers to and from the airport, our taxis and coaches to/from the ‘IDAY’ event was all taken care of and pre-arranged. I cannot emphasise enough the way in which Engage made the entire experience as easy and stress-free as could possibly be.
We flew to London on a Sunday, ahead of the ‘IDAY’ event on Monday. Again, having been thoroughly prepared by Michelle and Rachel, I can honestly say it was one of the most crazy, amazing, whirlwind days I’ve ever had! I interviewed with eight different schools across London and the surrounding counties, with each interview lasting from 30 to 45 minutes each.
Between each of those interviews, I had access to countless consultants from Engage offices around the world, on-hand to help with last minute interview preparation; to answer any questions I had and to brief me on the profiles of each school I was interviewing with. For the entire day, the Engage team went above and beyond to ensure everyone was feeling positive and confident about the day. The team really went so far beyond the call of duty to look after all of the teachers. The kindness, support and encouragement was immense and although we were all exhausted by the end of the day, all of us as teachers knew that we had been able to give our very best to our interviews due to the support and guidance provided by the Engage team. The ‘IDAY’ experience was absolutely invaluable, and one that I would recommend to anyone.
Following the actual ‘IDAY’ event, all teachers were asked to rank their schools in order of preference, so that we may be matched with potential schools. On the Tuesday, we received excellent CPD training from the Engage team in Watford – on everything ranging from interview skills to safeguarding, which proved to be indispensable. We were matched with our schools on Tuesday afternoon, before being given an entire afternoon’s worth of training on how to plan lessons effectively and purposefully; training that I truly felt was better than any I had received in my PME! Jay and Mike, the team behind the CPD, provided us with practical, hands-on techniques, strategies and methodologies for planning and teaching. As we went away to plan our lessons for our school visits the following day, all teachers were given a designated time slot in which to meet with one of the Engage team, who then went through our lesson plans in detail – providing advice, guidance and again, unlimited support on how to amend and improve our ideas & lessons to the best of our abilities, and in such a way as to provide us with the best possible chances of securing a role in one of our two schools for visiting.
Once more, the Engage team were invaluable in this regard. Many of the consultants stayed with us until 9pm, 10pm that night to ensure that everyone was wholly prepared and confident in visiting their schools the following morning.
On both Wednesday and Thursday, teachers were taken to meet with two of the schools that they had matched with at Monday’s ‘IDAY’ event. Again, the Engage team made this process so simple and easy – we were given a time to meet in the hotel lobby, and a taxi took us straight from the hotel to our respective schools, hassle-free. Due to the excellent reputation of Engage, both of the schools I visited were so warm and receptive to us as Engage candidates. We were welcomed to both schools, offered tours and even the opportunity to observe some lessons and meet with subject departments.
The aspects of the school visits that I had previously been most worried about were the ‘formal’ interviews and the lessons that we were invited to teach. However, again due to the extraordinary CPD we had received from the Engage team, I found that both of my interviews and lessons in both of my school visits were ones that I could be really proud of. I felt more prepared and assured going into those lessons than I had in the majority of my placement lessons, due to the training and techniques we had been provided with by Engage. Similarly, the ‘formal’ interviews with the Head Teachers at my schools proved to be more simple and more comfortable than any I had ever experienced in Ireland for my placements, and that was (again) down to the interview skills provided to us by the team at Engage.
At the end of the week, before flying home to Dublin, I received my feedback from both of my school visits – and I was overjoyed to have an offer from a gorgeous, high-achieving Catholic secondary school in Luton. I accepted the offer almost immediately – I was so taken by the school and by the entire experience. I cannot stress enough to NQTs who might be discouraged by the lack of opportunity in Ireland to LOOK ELSEWHERE! Within ten days, from start to finish, I went from being hopeless and disheartened with the lack of opportunity in Ireland, to accepting a position in a school that I genuinely loved. I am beyond excited to begin my new role in September, and I can honestly say that without the help, support and training I received from Engage – I would never have been able to secure this opportunity.
I can’t speak highly enough of the whole experience at ‘IDAY’ and of the Engage team itself – if you’re in any way undecided, I would urge you to contact any of the consultants and arrange to register for ‘IDAY’ if you can. It’s legitimately changed my life completely in such a short space of time, and I’m so grateful to have gone through the experience.”
If you were inspired by Kate’s experience, we hold a number of iday events throughout the year. For more information get in touch today by calling 00353 155 47332 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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