hi everyone I'm looking for some advice! I really like the idea of working with kids, especially on an individual basis and I'm thinking about SEN teaching in a primary school. The thing is, this would be a career change for me. I'm 33 and have no experience whatsoever of children! I know your instant reaction is - well why do I think I want to work with them? I don't know, it's just instinct. I've thought so hard and logic tells me I'm not suitable and that it would be a long shot given that there are probably billions of much more experienced, younger people who will become teachers and competition for jobs is fierce.... anyway, could anyone suggest how on earth I might be able to get some experience with kids? I work full time and have a long commute so anything in the week is impossible. I can't seem to find much going on at weekends that isn't extremely energetic (even I know there's a difference between getting experience in a class or educational setting, and helping out at exhausting noisy sports activities or something...!) The only thing I can think of is Sunday school...?!? I have to support myself so can't go part time.
Is anyone here a primary teacher? What's it like? Would I stand half a chance applying for a job as a TA, and then PGCE, or even if I got some experience am I too old to change career? Is there anything similar to SEN teaching (i.e. working with kids one to one) that I could consider as an alternative? I'm naturally a bit 'intellectual' and introverted and not very energetic , and wouldn't be much good at controlling a class of 35 little ones!
You could see if any of the specialist group that are set up to support families that have children with SN need volunteers. In my area we have play groups and activity groups, riding and swimming groups that are aimed at children with a range of sn. Beavers, brownies, scouts and guides always need extra helpers and would give you experience of working with children at evenings and weekends, and they are inclusive.
You definitely aren't too old to change career! You could apply for TA jobs, they are hotly contested but that should not deter you. Make sure that you have the relevant qualifications (GCSE in maths, English and science) and think how your degree would be useful in the primary classroom- especially if it isn't directly a national curriculum subject (mine isn't, but can be linked). IME most SEN teachers have spent time teaching in the classroom, before doing 1:1, but I might be wrong! Good luck, with your idea. If you want to do it, the profession always needs people keen to join it!
I teach in a Special School. There is high competition at the moment but the only way you will know if it is for you is perhaps to use some and go into schools.
I am not fully aware of the situation in the general primary school setting but I did a PGCE, Masters in Education then a Post Grad in SEN. The University of Birmingham Course is highly regarded and available via distance learning but you would need your PGCE first.
I know that in my school, people who have got first preference are those that have worked in Special Olympics, Summer Camps etc. Best of luck to you.
Thanks everybody for your input. Thinking about it, I wonder if it's really SEN teaching that I'm after.... basically I just think I want to work one to one with children - or even adults - probably in education (as opposed nursing, for example) I really don't think the big class thing is for me and I wonder if I'm barking up the wrong tree with the primary school idea. I don't know what other careers there even are that involve this kind of work. thanks for your help.
If you have no experience wi children then I cannot imagine that a school would even consider you for an interview for a TA post as these are highly sought after jobs where there are usually a high number of applications.
Best advice I could give is for you to volunteer in a school first to gain some experience and go from there. If you are considering a PGCE I assume you have a degree level qualification.
Ooh inclusionist! I also run a resources base ( HI) what speciality are you in?