considering retraining as a teacher, advice please!(11 Posts)
For various reasons I'm considering retraining as a primary school teacher. I've worked as a Countryside Ranger for 10+ yrs so have experience of environmental education. I'm hoping to volunteer at my dd's school (when she starts reception in September) one morning per week, to gain classroom experience and see if teaching really is right for me.
But I'm looking into courses and funding (hoping to start sept 2010) and would like to know others experience of things such as SCITT PGCE and GTPs and how you funded various options. (I'm married to DH who earns around 20k, we own our own home but have a large mortgage so I need some money coming in to pay bills, but may get some redundancy pay).
Also how hard is it to get a job once qualified? I'm in Somerset, but not far from the borders of Dorset or Devon.
And anything else I should know about or consider?
I think it sounds like a great idea and you sound like an ideal candidate - just to warn you the PGCE is really hard work and takes up an enormous amount of time and energy, also so does being a primary school teacher -i'm sure you have already thought of this but some people think that primary teaching is a good job because it fits in with school - it does ish- you will need to be at school before your children begin in the morning and stay after they finish school for the day - you will have planning and marking whch will take time during the evenings and weekends and holidays, staff meetings inset days and parent evenings and extra curricular demands depending on the school. Also its physically demanding and if you have horrible children at school do you want to come home to your 'horrible' children at home ?
Its a great job and hugely rewarding but not an easy option - but as i said i'm sure you've already considered that bit.
Good idea to get as much hands on in school expereince as you can as it will help with your application and ultimately getting a job - there are always jobs going in primary schools but not always in your age area or chosen school so you might have to be prepared to travel or work at a more challenging school.
Sorry can't help with funding although there is a website which i will look for to link.
Hope this hasn't put you off - its a great job, hugely rewarding and i wish you best of luck
Thanks clutteredup. I have heard that the PGCE is alot of work, although I heard of a friend of a friend who managed it as a single mum of a preschool child, so I'm hoping with dd in yr1 and dh's support I will manage. I'm used to working flexible hours, evenings and weekends, although I think becoming full time again will be a shock at first, but it is what I planned to do when dd started yr1.
I'm used to a physically demanding job, and i'm sure the sometimes horrible children will make a nice change from the horrible complaining members of the public and landowners that I currently deal with! I'm looking forward to a challenging and rewarding job. I've been chatting to my daughters school today who are happy for me to help out with a range of classes to gain experience.
Could you tell me how long you are usually in school? I'm expecting to do alot of work in the evening/weekends/holidays and know there will be some longer days for parents evenings etc, but on your average days when do you usually get in and finish?
Some start earlier and finish earlier, some get there later and leave later iyswim
Mostly if the kids arrive for 9am you will be in the classroom ready to go at 8:45 arriving at the school probably 8:15 and leaving at 4 at the earliest
Planning and assessment was my downfall (hence I failed my final teaching practice) It was all too much for me tbh! During final tp I was leaving home at 7am everymorning commuting by bus to the school (arriving 8:30) leaving 4:30 getting home at 6.
3+ hours plus of paperwork every evening for 10 weeks - plus numerous hours every weekend
That shedule nearly finished me off tbh - Once you have qualified it wont be sooooooo bad but the first year from what I have read on here probably will be tbh
Go for it though - "those who can teach, teach" really is true
I trained with SCITT and am an NQT.
Yes, it is hard work and you have to put a lot of hours in. It is also very rewarding and I managed it with 2 young children (school age, just).
Others on my course without children still managed to have a bit of a life too!
There is a small bursary and you can get other funding too- student loans, some grant, lots of help with childcare. DH was earning about 20k and we were actually a bit better off on my PGCE year despite my increased outgoings (apart from the fact I will have to pay off student loans one day).
You sound ideal and if you want to do it, don't let others put you off!
PS, I am in Somerset too, jobs are hard to get but not impossible. There is also so much supply work around, and many teachers near retirement ;-)
Thanks Rach, thats really useful to know. I won't let others put me off!. I'm curreently looking into the various courses and funding options. I've got a friend who has just got onto the Somerset SCITT course, so she's giving me some pointers too.
I am in Dorset and I know our last bath of student teachers got jobs quite easily, even the less strong ones in some quite presitgious schools as well. It is a lovely place to teach, I practically skip into work in the morning.
It is hard work, but it is as hard as you want it to be. Some nots like me live and breathe their job and work long hours others work less and do a good job.
I cannot think of a more rewarding career - good luck.
Sorry just seen you want to do primary, I am talking about secondary.
If you are keen, go for it!
I did PGCE / NQT years with dc's 3 & 5. Lots of support from MIL and dh. Crazy hours.
Be prepared for 50-60 hr weeks, even after NQT year. My normal day is in school 7:45-ish, leaving around 5 pm. I would say this is typical of 75% of my colleagues, new teachers and long experienced - but it is satisfying, and never never boring!
Hi LittleB, I've just finished my primary PGCE in the SW. For SCITT, there is Somerset SCITT (was based in Taunton, but I believe it is moving to Bridgwater?) and also Dorset SCITT based at the Thomas Hardy School in Dorchester. I know someone who has completed the GTP route - there are very limited places (10 per year?) but he loved it and got a job easily (you also get paid for the year)
As for jobs, in primary you are looking at ~30-80 apps per job in rural South Somerset. Apparently in areas of Devon it can be as bad as 200 apps per job. A lot of people on my course are still looking.
As for money, the student loan, grant and student account overdraught have kept me going through the year. As you have children, there is a LOT more funding you can access (dependants grants) and you will receive the full whack government money available if your household income is under £25K.
Have a look at the ITT page on DirectGov - its very helpful
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