Advice on route into becoming a Primary Teacher

(31 Posts)
margarinesimpson Sat 18-May-13 19:36:50

Having had a bit of a break I have decided not to return to my previous career. A route that has always appealed is primary teaching so I've decided to bite the bullet and finally do something about it. (Have previously done bits and pieces of volunteering/work experience.)

I have a degree so I am potentially looking at starting training in Sept 2014. My preferred route would be School Direct Training Programme.

So... How can I make the best use of the next 18 months? I realise that I need to get into school. Would it be best to volunteer or try to find a job as a TA? If I volunteer, would it be best to spread myself across a few schools or commit myself to one?

What else can I do, read, get involved with, etc?

Any advice would be most welcome.

Many thanks

margarinesimpson Sun 19-May-13 22:06:46

Art & Design

darl2283 Mon 20-May-13 09:58:23

Sorry OP practical advice: As others have said it is a good idea to volunteer at local primary schools to get a feel for what school life is like and what different schools are like. One route you could take into teaching is the School Direct route (previously know as Graduate Teaching Programme) this is 'on the job' training with a certain amount of face to face at a University or other HE provider. Some schools who offer School Direct take on Teaching Assistants with a view to them undertaking the training after a year in school as a TA. I think Teach First also offer training to career changers now however the Teach First brand is all about the very brightest and best and so unless you have a double first from Oxbridge don't hold your breath! Obviously you can also do a straightforward PGCE which is a year at Uni with significant amounts of time spent in the schools on teaching practice. However in the first instance get in touch with local schools and offer to go in as a volunteer. You might find teaching is not for you, a high quality teacher makes it look really easy but it is a real skill to get the very best out of 30 children and you have got to really want to do it if you are going to be successful.

margarinesimpson Mon 20-May-13 15:03:36

Thanks darl

Yes, that's exactly what I am thinking now (i.e. volunteer in several schools then teaching assistant role then School Direct route). I have no idea if I will be any good or if I will even like it so small steps probably make sense at this stage.

Sadly, I don't have a first from Oxbridge so Teach First probably isn't an option!

PinkMangoSays Mon 20-May-13 20:35:10

Sadly, I don't have a first from Oxbridge so Teach First probably isn't an option!

I've got onto Teach First for September 2014 and I will only have a 2.1 from a good uni but not Oxbridge! It's worth having a look!

Happymum22 Mon 20-May-13 20:53:23

I am primary teacher and after 30 years of it I still love it and have no regrets. Yes it is stressful, not 9-5 and difficult but it is manageable and you have to keep it in perspective. Most of the staff in my school loved their jobs (honestly!), it really does depend on the school. I worked in deprived area schools, surrey very middle-class schools, prep schools, highly organised schools and horrendously dis-organised ones! But the best one was the one in the deprived area as there was such high staff morale and a buzz. Everyone was very focused and well supported to help these kids who were living in such deprivation and needed us to do our jobs well for their futures.

To answer your question as you clearly have looked into this and thought about this a lot:
My DD is planning to go into teaching and my elder DD's best friend is doing teaching (via teach first)
School direct sounds your answer- my advice to get on would be to approach the schools offering it for work experience and make a good impression while you are there.
Spend the next 18 months volunteering one day a week or whatever you can in a school which you know has potential to take you on for school direct or recommend you to a local school which is offering SD.

Get as much other work experience with children.

I (think) you can apply for school direct, pgce and teach first. Teach first opens in June and so you can do the assessment centre and know before you apply to a pgce or school direct.
Teach first is worth looking at as other poster said, my DDs friend absolutely loves it (but it is tough). You need a degree from a decent uni at 2:1 or above- not an oxbridge 1st!! Teach first is specifically working to address educational disadvantage and so only go this route if you are interested in this and working in deprived areas. Also look at their areas.
PGCEs are another option. Loads of unis do them. Open University PGCE is an option?

claresf Tue 28-May-13 08:37:41

Teaching isn't for everyone, but you'll never know unless you try it. I love my job 95% of the time. The kids are hilarious, it's challenging, every day is different, you have to think on your feet, be adaptable and creative. Yes, there are negatives to the job, but that's the same in any industry.

The one thing that is horrid is the amount of teacher bashing perpetrated by Gove and Wilshaw. It is pretty demoralising to read in the media constantly about how they want to change this, that and the other.

Good luck, I changed career around three years after uni to go in to teaching and I've never looked back (apart from my first year of teaching which was horrendous and had me crying most weeks!).

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