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Primary school teacher training

(15 Posts)
Missmibaby Mon 23-May-05 15:12:55

I am thinking of making a career change and going into Primary school teaching. I work in the City at the moment and whilst I love my job and it is very well paid I feel I need a change, need to work closer to home and need to have those school holidays. I am 37 this year and would be nearly 40 by the time I finished the course and got a job (hopefully). Has anyone got experience of doing this - would anyone advise against - if so why?
Would love to hear from anyone.

Evesmama Mon 23-May-05 15:15:17

try putting this in education..might be someone around who can advise

SenoraPostrophe Mon 23-May-05 17:16:09

Can't offer advice (I am a qualified teacher, but adult ed) but I just thought I'd mention that the best teacher I ever had did his training in his late 30s/early 40s so please don't let your age put you off!

Good luck.

Mandymoo Mon 23-May-05 20:20:17


My DH is a primary school teacher and finds it extremely rewarding. He is 32 and been teaching 6 years. I asked him what i should reply to you and he said that it is the best job in the world but sooooo taxing on time and you can never really leave the job when you're at home.

Obviously the hols are good but even then you spend much of the time planning, marking, assessing, etc. Money is ok but probably not as good as your current salary (i would guess anyway).

DH did his PGCE and was just a 12 month course. Course was obviously very intense and he spent much of the time acutally in schools.

Hope this has helped in some way - if you want any more info please get in touch

Take care


cazzybabs Mon 23-May-05 20:44:36

Lots of people I trainned with were people changing career. I did a PGCE though and you may find on a BEd they are more like 18/19 year olds. Don't let this put you off - you offer life experience and confidence in dealing with people. you may also get slightly more money than the starting salary as you get extra points for having worked before. Primary courses are the hardest to get onto and if you have a degree already you can do a PGCE (1 year course) and you get a bursery of £6000.

I find it quite tough and drainning and I teach in a private school. I hate the behaviour mangament side of it - but quite enjoy all the children.

kerfuffle Tue 24-May-05 15:25:18

Do you have to have a degree already, or can you use CAT's points and start further into the course? I have 180 credits at level 2, just wondering if I would have to complete my degree prior to doing the PGCE.

titchy Tue 24-May-05 15:58:25

Yes you would have to complete your degree before doing the year's PGCE. But your current CATS points should allow you to enter into a degree course in the 2nd year, but the points you curretnly have would have to be related to the degree course you did to enter into 2nd year. It is up to each individaul university how many of your CATS points they will take into account, and thismay change even in the sameinstitution depending on the degree you wanted to do.

Hope that makes sense.

I also think that to do a PGCE you normally have to have a degree in a National Curriculum subject, but may be wrong. You would have to check with the institution you were hoping to do your PGCE with.


Missmibaby Wed 25-May-05 12:00:02

I have do already have a degree. So hopefully I could get on to a PGCE course. Mandymoo, where did your DH do his course - any recomendations. I live near Goldsmiths, but I guess that is super competitive. Also what is his opinion of the job market? Does he teach in London?

Questions, questions...

spykid Wed 25-May-05 12:04:50

When i did my b. ed there were lots of men /women re training. some in their mid 40's.
I also know of people who have just finished a pgce in their 30's and are so glad they made the change.
As a career I couldn't recommend it highly enough...if its what you want. Be sure to get plenty of classroom experience before you make your decision, the reality isn't for everyone. It will also help you in your pgce interview, and help you decide which key stage you want to work in.

Missmibaby Wed 25-May-05 14:07:55

How do you get classroom experience?

spykid Wed 25-May-05 14:12:47

Try approaching your local schools, maybe the one where your children go, and ask if you can help out in class...hearing readers, setting up for art, helping change library books. Most teachers would bite your hand off!!

keresley Wed 25-May-05 19:50:45

Hi, I am a primary school teacher and absolutely LOVE IT! My job to me feels more like a hobby than work and I can honestly say that (apart from OFSTED) I have looked forward to going to school every single day. I mentor students and some of the older ones have been far superior in their teaching as they bring a wealth of skills/ knowledge with them to the job. If you get experience in schools, I would recommend that you try and teach small groups of children and run an afterschool club. B4 I did my PGCE, I taught Science to small groups of children in school and run an afterschool science club- this then helped so much in interview to get on the course.

andif Wed 25-May-05 20:16:51

I worked in a city type job and then retrained as a primary school teacher, but before kids. I loved it, and it is very useful to do supply at the kids' schools, but have to say I have never (even with 2 kids and now pg) been so tired!!! It is one of those jobs that you can never do as well as you would like as there are so many constraints. Have been teaching all this week and loved it, but couldn't think about it full time with a family - the long holidays and school hours are a myth - I used to work from 7.45am until 5pm and then still take stuff home. Much of the holidays were spent planning, preparing, assessing etc or being ill (!!) - teachers are notorious for running on adrenaline during term time and then collapsing ill in the holidays!!
A Mum at school is doing a 2 yr part time PGCE at the West London Institue (I think..!) and enjoying it, but finding it very hard with kids to look after as well. Don't want to put you off, as it probably IS the most rewarding career you can have (much more than the city, I found...) but I think a lot of Mum's imagine it to be the perfect answer and IME it isn't!
You will definitely need to get some experience in school to get a place on a course - I believe that competition is quite fierce!

happymerryberries Wed 25-May-05 20:22:39

I went into secondary as a (ahem) 'mature' student, just had to do the PGCE. Never regretted it and love my job. It is hard work, but Go for it!

Missmibaby Thu 26-May-05 10:01:02

Thanks for all your advice. My parents are teachers (both secondary) as are many of my friends, so I am sort of aware of the extra work they have to do.

I think the only way for me to get experience is to bite the bullet and hand in my notice. I don't see any other way of finding the time to go t a school otherwise.

Anyway will let you know how successful I am.

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