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I would love to re-train to become a teacher...what would be the best way to go about it?

(17 Posts)
2point4kids Wed 23-Jul-08 11:45:13

I have a degree in economics and economic history - I graduated with 2.1 in 1998.
I worked in retail head office for 7 years and then left to have my children 3 years ago.
I've always quite wanted to do teaching but it was never the right time. Now it seems as though it might be possible for me to re-train.

If I am able to start studying again - can I do a PGCE alone or do I need to do a childcare related degree or some kind of conversion course as well? How long is the studying and is only available full time?

I'd like to do primary teaching if possible.

Also, will I need to do some work experience alongside the study or will the course contain all the hands on experience I would need?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Hecate Wed 23-Jul-08 14:09:50

any use?

S1ur Wed 23-Jul-08 14:13:55

It would be a very good idea to get some experience in a school. At least two weeks. It'll give a bit of an idea about working in schools and will definitely help you when it comes to interview and is a requirement on some courses.

Approach your local schools, often they are willing to help. You'll need to start thinking about being crb checked.

Your degree may be fine. You need to break it down into percentages of relevance to school curriculum. I'm thinking maths is the obv one. How much maths? You just need to be able to prove relevance on application.

Anna8888 Wed 23-Jul-08 14:17:33

Surely you can teach economics - which is a fabulous subject smile and one which I think women need a much better grasp of. Brilliant, too, that you have worked in a proper commercial role in the real world - such a great combination of theory and practice smile - go for it, I'm sure you could be a fantastic teacher and a real inspiration to young women with that combination behind you.

Think you would be wasting your fab skills/experience
on primary teaching.

Tobermory Wed 23-Jul-08 14:19:05

my DH has been looking into this too, he has a degree in bus iness (managemant i think) and there seems to be no hard and fast rule as to what the different training establishments accept. He has found some will accept his degree and others simply will not, suggest you check out the establishments closest to you and ask them what their policy is.
1 year course for a PGCE and only full time. i think you spend about 17 weeks in school during that year, impossible to do as a p/t course.
A big fat YES to the work experience. According to the places my DH has contacted, all require recent (in last 4 months) experience in a school. Amd ,amy use this information to help them decided who gets in - our local places are over0subscribed, 5:1!

Do you have any experience in a school in a teaching role as opposed to as a parent? If not, that would be the first thing i would suggest, approach your local schools, explain what you want to do and volunteer your services - im sure they would be happy to fidn a place for you.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 23-Jul-08 14:20:19

Secondary teaching is marvellous. Go into some schools and see what they are like. I am going back soon after nearly 5 years out and I am really looking forward to it grin

Tobermory Wed 23-Jul-08 14:20:29

-And many-


allgonebellyup Wed 23-Jul-08 14:26:11

Tobermory - you can do the PGCE part time - i am doing it next year!!
So its not impossible, as you declared.

S1ur Wed 23-Jul-08 14:27:13

Of course primary teaching also requires fab skills and just as worthwhile/challenging etc as secondary if that's what you want. Your experience alone might be better for college teaching but I'm guessing there are other aspects about primary teaching that appeal to you?

It is worth checking out secondary schools to help you make your decision if you haven't already.

S1ur Wed 23-Jul-08 14:29:19

Oh and you can do a pgce p-t. FOr eg over as much as 5 years or as quick as 6 months on flexible routes.

The only aspect which must be f-t is the placements. Usually, in 3 blocks, adding up to about 18 weeks.

Littlefish Wed 23-Jul-08 14:43:08

I would absolutely, defnitely recommend spending a reasonable amount of time in school before you make a definite decision to start training.

I would also recommend talking to people on here or in real life about the workload both while you are training, and once you have qualified.

Personally, I think teaching is a very un-family friendly job.

But, having said that, I adore teaching, and wouldn't want to be doing anything else.

2point4kids Wed 23-Jul-08 14:44:08

Ok, this is going to sound very pathetic, but the only thing holding me back from thinking about secondary teaching is the discipline factor!
I am not sure I have it in me to be firm enough with cheeky teenagers! I remember from my own school days that any lack of confidence in teachers was pounced on mercilessly!
On the other hand, I am very confident with how to handle younger children.

If I went and spoke to a few secondary schools would they let me speak to some teachers and possibly sit in on a lesson or two before I actually have any qualifications or have started a course do you think? Just so I could get more of a feel for it.

Tobermory Wed 23-Jul-08 14:45:15

OK, stand corrected!

Slur, how long will your PT course take?

S1ur Wed 23-Jul-08 16:52:37

Doesn't sound pathetic, many people feel that way.

Worht thinking about the different positives in both too.

At primary you are much more generalised. You are teaching a wide range of subjects and top[ics and you are teaching lots of social and emotional skills as well. Plus it is a wonderful time to be able to be able to watch them grow, learning to balance, paint, hit a ball, count, read, make friends and encounter ideas about the world for the first time.
At secondary you get to specialise. You can really explore your own area of expertise and hopefully pass on your enthusiasm. You are also likely to get to teach some important life skills if you choose to within maths. It is a very exciting time to watch children turn into adults and make decisions about what they believe what and who (grin) they love, and see how they might soon find their place in the big wide world.

Teaching is a privilege. But not to be entered into lightly. grin

Go into a couple of primaries and a couple of secondaries if you can.

Discipline can be a challenge in either primary or secondary. Or neither!

You might surprise yourself anyway, it isn't all hoodies and back chat, though of course it can be. Similarly it isn't all little ones who want to please, though it can be.

I did a pgce course over 2.5 years, mostly from home. started when pg with dd and finished just before given birth to ds. Can be done - Lots of work though.

Niecie Wed 23-Jul-08 17:16:33

2point4kids - you sound a lot like me!

I have a degree in law and economics, post grad conversion in psychology and one third of a MSc in Psychology. I am too old to train as a psychologist so I am wondering what else to do with the psychology bit (or the law and economics come to that).

Like you I am worried about the discipline aspects of teaching older children but I don't want to teach primary - maybe Yr6 but not younger.

I have been wondering about teaching 14-18 yr olds so probably 6th form. I thought teaching A or GCSE level to 6th former might be easier but then I could be deluded! Unfortunately, getting on courses is difficult as there are only three in the country that train psychology teachers and they aren't anywhere near here.

I am wondering if there is some other way of doing it apart from the PGCE but as I am not imminently going to train (need to finish the MSc first) I haven't looked at it very throughly yet.

I did look at the website Hecate linked to a few weeks ago and there is a scheme mentioned on there where you can contact a local school to arrange to spend a day with them to see what it is like. It might be a useful thing to do for both of us!

eth37 Thu 24-Jul-08 12:33:36

Hi, I retrained to be a primary teacher 4 years ago. I love it!! (v easy to say that today, first day of summer hols!) There are lots of routes. Have a look at the GTP which is aimed at people who have had another career. You get a small salary (I think roughly 14k) and spend most of the time in school. I did a PGCE at the Institute of Education in London - v highly recommended.
Can I just say that discipline/behaviour mgmt is an issue whatever age group you teach. Although it might seem easier to discipline younger ones, remember that at least you can have a rational / reasonable debate with teenagers - 5 year olds aren't always able to reason in the same way! (And having had a chair thrown at me and been bitten by an 8 yr old in my first year of teaching, I have first hand experience!) Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

findtheriver Thu 24-Jul-08 13:04:58

Do you just feel more confident with dealing with small children because that's what you know best? Your own children will be teenagers one day, and then you'll realise they aren't really that scary!!
I also agree with eth37 that primary age children can have huge behavioural problems, so don't go into it thinking it's ll be a breeze. And the disadvantage of Primary is that you are with the same class pretty much all day every day. At least in secondary it's much more diluted - you might have some tricky classes but you'll have top sets and lovely classes to counter balance it!

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