I had my second day of classroom observation today and I had an interesting conversation with a couple of the teachers from the art department.
They said that art teacher jobs are particularly hard to find, especially in the South West and applications require shortlisting before someone is actually considered. Art teachers – when they finally got the job – hold onto it with both hands and never let go. Departments are currently being reduced thanks to the government’s policies on what we should and shouldn’t teach in our schools. In the school I’m currently with, their design and technology staff got cut from 11 to 4 members because of this.
Apparently it’s not so bad in the South East but vacancies there are so high because no one wants to do it. The stress levels for teaching south eastern classes are too much that expectations of teachers staying on the job is around 1 year.
I asked one if they would consider overseas opportunities (because she was trying to get back into teaching and is only there for cover at the moment) but she said the only thing tying her down for that one is family. Her children have to come first, of course, and that stops her from doing it. She said if you keep yourself free then the world’s your oyster.
It gave me a lot to think about today.