Ways into teaching part-time?(73 Posts)
I would like to career change and become a primary teacher, but part-time for the next few years at least. I have been told School direct/SCITT are only full time and I have rang some School direct schools and they won't consider this. OU and my local universities don't do part-time PGCEs. What else could I try anyone? I think I am an ideal cadidate - 1st from a great university, PhD, experience of working outside education, and very committed to starting teaching career.
Don't get me wrong - I love my job, and if you take an 'annual average' I don't work more hours per day than I used to in industry. However, it is essentially 'compressed hours' - in term time, I work all the hours God sends, and in the holidays, I work many fewer. When I worked part time, I still worked many evenings, because the demands are not 'tidy and predictable' - they are by their very nature lumpy and unplannable for.
I would say, on average, that there have been 70-100 applicants for every primary teaching job advertised in the schools I have worked in - more for PT.
I'm one of the "army of mums" hoping to train to teach, for me it's secondary English after years working ft as a journalist. I come from a family of teachers, grew up with it, my sister is an
exhausted primary school teacher.
You know, other jobs also require substantial commitment - in my previous work I could be asked to fly to Europe at w/e, had 5 weeks off a year, long, long hours.
I don't think teaching is a cosy, easy ride, I fully intend to be wiring full time and have experience of a tough industry to back me up us current horrendous nightshift experience to get me through the exhaustion.
Frankly if I am being looked down on fir being a mature student and parent then it does make you wonder about teachers - but they can't be worse than journalists
Ubik, I retrained as a mature student. I had a 5 year old and a 7 year old when I trained. If the OP wants to go into teaching for all the right reasons then she absolutely should. As I have had other jobs, I know well that other jobs require commitment, and I have frequently said on MN that on average teachers' workload is very similar to other professional jobs.
However, I want the OP to go into this with her eyes open - to know that PT is not really part time, that jobs are hard to come by, that evening work is inevitable, that there will be times when she doesn't see her children very much. If all this just makes her more determined to do it, then i say go for it - as I did and as other successful teachers I know have done.
Your plan to work on e.g. Thursday and Friday at home to avoid weekend/evening work if you taught Monday-Wednesday just won't work. As teacher said, marking is ongoing and can't really be saved up for a time of your convenience as it informs your planning for the next lesson. But also, if you are in a primary job share, you can't plan for Monday until you know where your job partner has got up to on Friday, which means you would have to work at the weekend. I know a primary teacher who works exactly that pattern and her job share emails her on Friday night so she can start her work.
While you will be able to do some work on your days off, evening and weekend work is really unavoidable.
I retrained as a primary teacher in my late 30s. I got a part time (3days/week) job straight away, so there are heads who will employ part time NQTs. However, I had a couple of years experience in early years before I did my PGCE and offered a few extra skills in curriculum areas they wanted to develop.
There is no point in thinking -'oh look a nice school that will provide a lovely working atmosphere and fit around my life'
To stand any chance against the other 100 people who have applied for the same post, you have to be able to 'bring something' to the school. Why will you make the school a better place? Start thinking about areas that you could develop to differentiate yourself from the pack.
Part time teacher= full time hours. You will need to work in the evenings. Once you have completed your NQT year it is likely that you will have to start supporting PGCE students yourself - with the associated meetings, frequent evening phone calls and emails...
We are expecting OFSTED; I am working 8-midnight most evenings; and last weekend I put in 20 hours (I just stayed in my pyjamas in my office and DP threw food at me every few hours).
I do not have children - I have no idea how anyone would manage a PGCE or a full time teaching job with a young family. (I know many do and I have huge respect for them.)
Thing is Jayne - you can't avoid the evening/ weekend/ holiday work by working extra on your days off because you don't choose what evenings the meetings happen. One evening a week will be staff meeting, another evening may be a Key stage or year or curriculum planning meeting or meeting about a particular child or behaviour incident. Even if it's not your 'working' day you will need to attend most of these because you wont be able to do your job without.
Add onto this the non obligatory but unwritten expectations of attendance on trip days, school fetes, evening performances and the inevitable half term or last week of the holidays spent doing displays or trying to catch up with all the jobs that you should have done in term.
It is not a job where you count your hours. You keep doing it until its done, whetehr or not your children are still at the childminders waiting for you.
And, I have missed many of my children's school plays, concerts etc because they are during the school day and Ai do not have the option of taking a day off or holiday to attend; other people's children come first. On the other hand, they will both soon be at my school so I will be there for everything, during the teenaged years when they can't get far enough away from me! I am lucky, my husband works part time, and flexibly, but schools are often the least understanding workplaces when it comes to time off for sick children, dentist, school plays. However, where I work is amazing, the children are wonderful and I wouldn't do another job for twice the pay.
As I said, you have to really want it for the job itself, not because of the holidays, fitting in round children.
Speaking as a career changer into teaching, I don't think mature students/trainees are 'looked down on' but non-teaching experience is mostly seen as completely irrelevant (even if it isn't).
OP, my tip would be to consider carefully the character and working hours of your DP/DH before pursuing this. I couldn't have got through teacher training without my DH's support. He did all the shopping and cooking in term time, helped me practise teaching difficult topics and when our DD goes to nursery (which will coincide with my return from mat. leave), will take time off in case there is a problem.
Yes DH will need to shape up, he is far too used to me doing everything, and this makes me even more determined to follow what I want to do, I am too nice, always making everyone happy so it's time to do something for me! He will be fine, I can honestly say he will do what I ask to keep me happy, he works from home and is very flexible, and all the children's schools/nurseries have 8-6pm care available if necessary.
I have applied for a TA position to get some experience, and I think I will apply to do the PT PGCE course at Winchester, starts March 2014, applications from September. It will be interesting to see if I get the TA position, they may think I am very over qualified and not take me seriously. Interviews on thursday!
Good luck with the interview. Let us know how you get on .
Plainjayne, as phineyj says so accurately, non-teaching experience is not always valued very highly in TA / teacher recruitment.
So the main barrier to your recruitment as a TA may not be that you are 'over-qualified', but that you have insufficient in-school experience and skills.
I only mention it because it is easy to assume (if you are 'non standard' as an applicant) that the problem lies in the thing which makes you non-standard - in this case, your previous qualifications and work experience. I know that I have fallen into the same thought process in the past, to be put right by a wise and experienced HT.
In fact, the problem may simply be that you lack the things they may be looking for - previous experience as a TA, TA qualifications, extensive experience working with children, even in some cases knowledge of particular conditions (for 1 to 1 TA / support roles) or of particular interventions that the person who used to have that job delivered.
Recruitment in schools, as in other organisations, is very much based on 'what are we looking for' -type paperwork - the match between the role and the person's skills and competencies. If you have lots of other things in your past that don't fit on the tick sheet, that's not a problem as long as you also tick everything that they werre looking for. However, if you don't tick enough of the things that they are looking for, you won't get the job - not because the things that you have over and above the job description count against you, but because there are not enough things that count for you on the tick sheet IYSWIM?
TA interviews will usually involve an observed task with children, as well as an interview, btw.
Good luck with the interview, I hope it goes well.
The only thing I would say, is that everyone in teaching, 'begins at the beginning'. Primary children are not really interested in your previous work experience or life experience.
I was just leaving my first school, where I had been teaching for five years and I fell into conversation with the student teacher who was due to be an NQT that September. I wished her luck and gave her a couple of tips. She said that she wasn't too worried about the stress or workload as she had two children and had held down pressurised jobs in marketing. I kept my own counsel at this point and went on my way.
A year later I met her in the street and asked her how her first year had been. She looked happy enough, but said that she was exhausted and it had been far more testing than she anticipated.
Anyway, the best approach, in my opinion, is to go in with the attitude that you are ready to start at the beginning, learn from others and begin your journey as a teacher.
Agree v much with the previous post. Great that you have a phd, but unfortunately it's not relevant experience. You may find that they prefer someone with no A levels over you because they have been a MDA and run a Brownie pack or because they have a level 2 TA NVQ. They wouldn't be rejecting you because you were over qualified but because you are less qualified than others at working with children.
I teach PT, currently 2 days a week. I started after returning following a 3 year career break and returned to the last school I worked at. However, I have 14 years teaching experience under my belt. Job sharing is not easy anywhere but can be particularly tricky in teaching. As others have said, there is no easy division of school/ home tasks. When you have a staff meeting until 5.30 on your second day you still need to have the jitters marked for your job share partner the next morning. Also planning far in advance is really not manageable. You can have an idea in your head but it will very much depend on what the class have grasped in your absence.
I am contracted 15 hours a week. I do more than that simply in school. On top there are a lot of unpaid, extra tasks to do. I work around 25-30 hours most weeks. Parents can be very anti job share and as part of a job share you often have to do a lot of extra work just to get them on side.
I need a lesson plan for my interview. Anyone give me a good place to find resources and ideas!
The TES website has a very good resources section.
Not sure why you would need a lesson plan in an interview for a TA position though.
Hi. They will contact us monday to say if we have the job or not. I think it went well. The activity with the children was enjoyable, they were engaged and hopefully learnt something. The interview questions I answered well apart from one maybe - where I said my reason for wanting the job was to get get some experience to do a pgce. However I went on to say that I would hope to carry on as a TA whilst doing a PT pgce. They are very flexible with hours. I did have experince of all areas they required I think through being a govenor, volunteer in school, having children at school and being a foster care of a child with special needs.
I went into secondary teaching following a phd in chemistry and did it for 7 years before returning to lecturing. PM me if you want to chat.
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