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Has anyone done the Return to Teaching Course?

(5 Posts)
kitkatsforbreakfast Tue 13-Oct-09 11:21:50

I'm a primary school teacher (Foundation and Key Stage 1). I've been out of the classroom for 6 years, although have tried to keep my hand in by volunteering, tutoring, being a governor etc during this time. I decided about 6 months ago that it was time to go back to work and have had absolutely no luck getting a job. I even applied for teaching assistant jobs and was not even interviewed.

I think there are a couple of problems. 1 - I have done most of my work in the independent sector and I think this is off-putting to the maintained sector. 2 - I will be relatively expensive to hire but not much more use than an NQT (or so I have been told)

I have been accepted to do a Return to Teaching course in January, and hope that this might be my golden ticket back into work. The problems are that it is more than an hours drive away, is 6 weeks long and full time. My dh works away a lot and childcare is going to be an absolute nightmare.

My youngest dc has just started at pre-school now and from next week I will be volunteering in the local state primary school 2 mornings a week. My question is, do you think volunteering like this, over several months, would be as useful for being taken seriously for jobs as doing the formal return to teaching course?

Has anyone done the course? What was it like? And, did you get a job at the end? Has anyone else got back into teaching without doing the course? What did you do?

Ooooh, this post is too long. Sorry!

seeyounexttuesday Tue 13-Oct-09 22:06:22

no, sorry not done the course.

CeeUnit Mon 19-Oct-09 12:27:47

I am a secondary school teacher and would also appreciate answers to this question.

I have just had DC2 and want to go back in a couple of years time which will put me in an almost identical situation to you.

V. scary stuff, thanks for posting the question.

gladbag Mon 19-Oct-09 13:20:12

I was in a virtually indentical situation to you last year. Have been out of teaching for 5 years (FS and KS1 - 12 years experience) and am now living in an LEA where I've never taught so am not 'known' IYSWIM.

I had applied for a few part time jobs, but although I got a couple of interviews both jobs went to NQTs (I'm through threshold so expensive and my teaching felt really 'rusty' and not fluent or confidentsad).

I chatted to a couple of local head teachers about the situation and they both recommended doing a 'return to teaching' course partly because it looks good on an application form, showing you are serious and committed about resuming your career. It would also help get you up to date with current practice and give you the chance to actually teach again in local schools before having to do it at interview etc.

So I applied and last Spring did the same as you are planning - 6 weeks full time course.

Childcare was an issue, but they do cover the costs. And I was able to just use before and after school club so not too bad for me.

The course was in some ways brilliant and in other ways totally useless. We were a mixed Primary and Secondary group, which caused a lot of problems as the bias was towards Secondary. Our course leader was a Secondary trained AST and all her contacts were from her world which meant that all but 1 of the ASTs and advisory teachers that came to run sessions were Secondary. They did try to do nods towards Primary, and this was ok for KS2 teachers, but there was absolutely nothing on Foundation Stage during the whole course, and the new EYFS curriculum wasn't mentioned once. We did complain, but were told it wasn't an early years course hmm. We didn't get to look at the new primary frameworks at all, which was a real bugbear of mine as that was the bit I really needed to know about.

That said, the general stuff was really useful (sessions on CPD, performance management, Every Child Matters, CAFs, behaviour management, new Ofsted framework, SEN procedures and paperwork ,application forms and interviews, fantastic ICT stuff blah blah). I did thoroughly enjoy most of the course and left it feeling confident about talking through the new major issues in education, and definitely had more confidence in actually standing in front of a class and getting on with it.

The most useful bit was the two 1-week teaching blocks that we did in schools. I pushed myself asking to take on a fair amount of teaching, and was lucky with my schools and teachers in that they let me! This was the bit where I found out all about the new frameworks and everything, actually from the teachers. I asked so many questions about planning and teaching that the poor teachers were probably glad to see the back of me. I specifically asked for one Foundation Class and one KS1 placement, so covered it all.

Once the course was finished I picked up some supply work from the schools where I'd had placements, then in the summer started applying for jobs again. I got an interview on my first try - 0.6 post - got the job and have been working since September. I do think the course helped me get the job - from having it on my CV through to helping me plan my interview lesson.

So....... some good and some bad, but I'd say well worth doing. Make sure you ask about a focus on the FS, and if it's like my course ensure you have at least one FS placement.

Please do ask anything else, this is incredibly rambly and long! Sorry.

kitkatsforbreakfast Tue 20-Oct-09 13:57:49

gladbag thank you so much for your post. Really helpful. I'm still faffing and haven't done anything about childcare for the course duration.

But I have started this volunteering lark, 2 mornings a week in the local primary. I think it's going to be really interesting, but not sure if it will be sufficient to get me back properly.

If I'm really honest, I just don't want to do the course and will look for a way out of it!

The course I am due to do is purely primary, so that would help. Like you I am fs and ks1 trained, and want to keep it that way.

The course may give me some much needed confidence though.

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