WIBU to take a year out before starting teacher training courses in 2017?

(59 Posts)
RangeTesKopeks Mon 20-Jun-16 21:32:12

Hi everyone! smile

I'd really appreciate your advice or tips please! This is a bit of an AIBU and a WWYD.

I'm in the middle of applying for teacher training courses at the moment to start in September this year. I'm applying for a mixture of PGCEs and School Direct courses. School Direct is a course that lets trainee teachers work as an unqualified teacher at the same time as studying for a PGCE.

However, I've learned that applicants for teacher training courses aren't normally allowed to take a year out between applying and starting the course.

I'm applying to teach Modern Languages (French and Spanish) for the teacher training courses. However, I focussed on French in my final two years of my French and Spanish degree at university (including my Year Abroad).

Partly because I'd like to improve my Spanish and because I'd love to go travelling, I'm thinking about taking a year out before beginning a teacher training course. I'd like to travel from October to December this year before hopefully working as a language assistant in a Spanish school (from January to June next year). I would be reapplying from October this year for teacher training courses next year.

I'll be 24 and a half if I start the teacher training course this September, or 25 and a half if I start the course in September 2017.
I understand that age isn't necessarily an issue, but I would like to start a full-time job or training as soon as possible. This is also what my family and friends think, when I've told them about my plans to take a year out before starting a teacher training course in 2017.

I'd be really grateful if any of you could let me know what you think please! smile Do you think that it might be better for me to start a teacher training course this September or could I take a year out and reapply for September 2017?

Thanks everyone!! smile

weekendninja Mon 20-Jun-16 21:56:11

I would most definitely take a year out. The PGCE year is so intense and bloody hard work...the last thing you want to do is be completing that and wishing you had done your travelling.

cannotlogin Mon 20-Jun-16 22:02:40

Dual linguists - genuine ones - are hard to come by, particularly for schools which also have a 6th form. I would say taking a year out to improve your Spanish would be a good career move in the longer term.

redexpat Mon 20-Jun-16 22:03:21

Who says you can't take time out?

karalime Mon 20-Jun-16 22:04:09

This is purely anecdotal but my friend is just finishing her school direct training at 26 after working in admin for 4 years, someone else on her course is a former accountant in their 40s.

They are crying out for teachers as it is, I don't think anyone is going to complain about a gap!

acasualobserver Mon 20-Jun-16 22:06:19

I would consider a different career completely. Teaching is basically fucking horrible.

Mov1ngOn Mon 20-Jun-16 22:09:38

I wouldn't teach but if you can afford a year out I wouldn't see why you wouldn't?

SarahsGotANewOne Mon 20-Jun-16 22:15:00

Sounds good OP but if you have the offers, I think start straight away really! You can always take a year out post PGCE. Forgive me if I'm wrong but were you a mature student or have you had any other years out since graduating?

RangeTesKopeks Mon 20-Jun-16 22:20:39

Thanks everyone for your replies so far!! smile

Sarah I took a gap year before university to work as an English language assistant in a French school, so I started uni when I was 19.

At uni, I did a four year languages degree, which I finished last year when I was 23. I found my final year at uni quite stressful, so prioritised work and revision over job hunting. Since graduating last year, I've been working as a languages tutor, which has made me really interested in teaching smile

Just out of interest, does anyone have any experience of Teach First at all? I've been looking into routes into teaching such as PGCEs and School Direct, and would also like to consider Teach First smile

acasualobserver Mon 20-Jun-16 22:26:05

Yes, I've encountered a fair few Teach Firsters and pretty much all of them were self-regarding twats. If you must become a teacher - and I really hope you change your mind - at least do it properly.

DesolateWaist Mon 20-Jun-16 22:29:27

Well aren't you a delight Casual.

acasualobserver Mon 20-Jun-16 22:35:51

Yeah, whatever.

Mov1ngOn Mon 20-Jun-16 22:39:59

I think that's a common view amongst normal teachers. Enough so that I'd qualify properly.

RangeTesKopeks Mon 20-Jun-16 22:51:33

Thanks for all of your advice so far everyone smile so, in general, people seem to think that Teach First isn't as good as some of the traditional teacher training routes?

noblegiraffe Mon 20-Jun-16 22:52:59

Go travelling before starting your training. You'd regret not having a life before starting training, because you won't have one after.

mumtomaxwell Mon 20-Jun-16 23:13:52

I've been a teacher a long time. I think take the year to go to Spain - it will definitely enhance any future applications. Then do a proper PGCE. As a pp has stated the other routes are not as good/well respected and the lack of proper professional training really shows.

noodella Mon 20-Jun-16 23:14:29

Sorry Desolate but I'm with Casual and Noble. Op - travel the world, use your languages and be 100% sure about teaching in this country. It's really not a fun job. Sure - there are good days but as a linguist you have the world at your feet. Make the most of every opportunity.

scaryteacher Tue 21-Jun-16 07:31:37

Don't worry about your age - I did my PGCE at 35, and there were others older than me on the course.

Have your time out, and think long and hard about teaching. I resigned to move abroad after 5 years and it took me 18 months to stop waking up at 0500 in a muck sweat panicking that I hadn't done my planning. I still get teaching dreams when I am stressed - I am standing in front of my year 10s, and all my teeth start to fall out of my mouth, and in the dream I can feel them detach from my mouth.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 21-Jun-16 07:41:42

ex teacher. take time out to study spanish first.

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 21-Jun-16 07:50:28

Sorry to side step, but would you actually get on a course if you're only applying now? It may be different for secondary, I know someone who's starting a Primary PGCE in September, they were told schools/unis fill up all places by March. I also think it would look far better on your application to have more real world experience behind you. Getting on a teaching course isn't that easy, they won't take just anyone, you have to prove why you want to be there and not just by qualifications.

PurpleDaisies Tue 21-Jun-16 07:51:44

I applied in July and got on a Pgce for September edmund. It depends on the subject. Many secondary courses are really undersubscribed.

PurpleDaisies Tue 21-Jun-16 07:54:54

Getting on a teaching course isn't that easy, they won't take just anyone, you have to prove why you want to be there and not just by qualifications.

Not if you want to teach physics!

Op I agree with basically everyone else-go travelling first then do your teacher training. No one ever regrets time exploring the world. The more life experience you've got the better, especially since you'll actually be using your languages.

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 21-Jun-16 07:56:26

It still may be something the op should look into before applying I think. Ring the unis that you're thinking about applying to, see what the situation is with remaining places (especially with school direct placements).

londonmummy1966 Tue 21-Jun-16 08:11:16

The more experience you have the better a teacher you will be - its not all about the subject - you will be far better able to inspire children if you can talk to them about life in Spain/Latin America/wherever and if you feel your Spanish could do with polish now has to be the sensible time to do it.

Lots of people go into teaching later in life so taking time out now is not going to make a difference one way or another. In fact I once mentored a girl (French and Italian graduate in fact) who had been told by the education department at university to go away and do something else for a couple of years and then come back. She had two glorious years in Florence working for a company that had lovely adults staying in Florence and studying history of art and Italian on short courses in term time and escorting visiting (school and uni) choirs and orchestras in school holidays.

Now she is head of languages and teaches history of art as an extra curricular activity. Very few heads would want to turn down such a versatile teacher......

CMOTDibbler Tue 21-Jun-16 08:24:29

Indeed Purpledaisies - I know someone who had absolutely no experience teaching or volunteering with children, didn't even go into a class during interview process (though they were told they should) and still got a teacher training place for physics without a physics degree

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