Top tips for returning teachers

Published 15 June 2021
By Get Into Teaching

A calculator on top of maths homework and a pencil case.

If you’re thinking of returning to the classroom, now could be a great time. After a period of disruption for so many pupils, you could help those most affected to get back on track. Bring your valuable experience back to the classroom with help from the Department for Education.

Not sure where to start? Watch our helpful guide

Having a designated person to talk to and to check in with is a huge help.

John Farrell, returning maths teacher

Read up on how things have changed since you were last in the classroom

The Department for Education are working with schools to take action in a number of areas to address issues that teachers may face. From workload reduction, to pupil behaviour, wellbeing and flexible working opportunities, you may find that the classroom looks very different from when you last taught.

It’s also a good idea to read up on the latest Teachers’ Standards and review changes to the curriculum.

Laura [Return to Teaching Adviser] identified the problems that I would have with my references being old and suggested how I could overcome that in the short term and the medium term. Laura also reviewed my applications and spoke to me before the interview. I found this extremely helpful. As I have been out of the profession for some time, there are very few people I could talk to in detail about my interview lesson.

Laura is very knowledgeable and she put me at ease, giving me good, practical advice and her highlighting my strengths gave me confidence. Laura struck the perfect balance between being professional and friendly. She was always quick to respond and everything she said added value. Particularly around the interview stage, I felt like I had a wise friend that I could look to for advice. I would certainly recommend her to others.

Lara Griffiths, returning maths teacher

Teaching maths, physics or languages? Get free one-to-one support

If you hold Qualified Teacher Status to teach maths, physics or languages, you can access a wealth of personalised guidance from a Return to Teaching Adviser (RTTA).

From helping you to brush up on your subject knowledge to preparing for interviews, our advisers will be with you every step of the way and help you get back in the classroom.

Kathryn [RTTA] has been central in my engagement in the programme. She made it incredibly easy to find all the information needed and is always on hand with first class advice.

John Farrell, returning maths teacher

Not sure about a full return just yet? Consider the National Tutoring Programme

The National Tutoring Programme supports schools to close the attainment gap in light of the coronavirus pandemic and provides two different options to return to a school environment without taking on a full-time or part-time classroom role.

If you’re unsure about taking on a teaching role at this time, consider applying to tutor or mentor through the National Tutoring Programme.

Make the most of support available online

Check to see if there are any upcoming online events for returning teachers. Look up podcasts and articles on education to help familiarise yourself with current issues.

I wouldn’t have got the job without Zaid [RTTA]! He has been both honest, factual and realistic.”

Karen Watson, returning maths teacher

Set up job alerts through the Teaching Vacancies service

Once you have made the decision to return to teaching what’s the best way of finding that full or part-time role? The Department for Education’s Teaching Vacancies job-listing service lets you search for roles in your area, filtering results by job role, education phase and working pattern. You can also set up alerts so you’re the first to know about new opportunities.

Remember though that teacher recruitment goes in cycles, with most teaching roles being advertised from January onwards. Setting up a job alert will mean you don’t miss out on your perfect role.

Find out more about returning to teaching. If you’re a qualified maths, physics or languages teacher, get your Return to Teaching Adviser now.

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