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Any Secondary school teachers here today?

(13 Posts)
jofeb04 Thu 21-Aug-08 11:56:16


I'm in my second year of my degree Sept, and am thinking of highschool (A-Levels) or college teaching.

Degree is in Psychology and Social Welfare so this is the area I would love to teach in.

Is there any advice you can offer? Is teaching only A-Levels in school possible, or are these subjects available at GCSE? Would teaching in a college be a better option for me or even lecturing (especially as I love research).


Blandmum Thu 21-Aug-08 12:00:15

Not in a school. Yes in a sixth form collage. In a school most teacher teach lower school as well as sixth form. I have a high sixth form teaching load, and I teach 3 sixth form classes but teach 3 year 10s and 3 yesr 11s and 1 year 8

Psycology is available in some schools but not lots. Social welfare tends to be taught as a GNVQ

jofeb04 Thu 21-Aug-08 12:27:34

Thanks for the information.

If I were to teach in a high school, what subjects are teachers expected to teach - especially as my degree is in one subject are?

Blandmum Thu 21-Aug-08 19:46:38

Are are basically expected to teach your subject through the school. This will not be possible at KS3 for your subjecst as they are not on the UK curricu;lum. I think that you might well be asked to teach things ;like 'Learning for living' and PHSE in many schools to the lower school, given your degree in Socail welfare.

You may well be asked to teach both subjects at KS4 if the school you work in offers them.

Few if any schools will emply you just to teach A level, as you wouldn't have 'enough' students IYSWIM for a full time table. If you only want to teac A level you might be better off going to a sixth form college or a FE college

fizzbuzz Thu 21-Aug-08 20:43:35

Psycology is taught at A level in my school, and several others round here.

It is the most popular A level in our school, and very popular across the board I believe

TheFallenMadonna Thu 21-Aug-08 20:47:29

In a big school there may be enough A level students for a full timetable of psychology (there was in my first school). I've also known psych teachers to teach another subject as well, generally maths and science. I guess it depends on the content of your degree.

hercules1 Thu 21-Aug-08 20:48:33

You might well be able to teach RE with this degree.

chocolateshoes Thu 21-Aug-08 20:51:25

I think you need to look at the content of your degreee and may well have to train in, say maths & psycholoy. The best thing would be to ring somewhere doing a PGCE and ask for advice. I would worry that you might be limiting your options by having such a narrow 'audience' for your subject if you could only offer psychology.

Heated Thu 21-Aug-08 21:01:42

You will probably find the conditions of service not so good in a further education college/sixth form college.

Psychology is offered at GCSE and A level but it is very much the A level of the moment. It used to be sociology & a lot of these teachers have had to take a sideways move into another subject. So my advice would be to have a second string to your bow, more in a mainstream subject to increase your employ ability & longevity in the profession. For instance I know colleagues who teach Psychology & English, Psychology and yr 7 maths and Psychology, RE & Citizenship.

My best advice is to get some work experience in a school. This programme actually pays 2nd & 3rd yr degree students to go into schools. Have a read and see if it applies to you. It will also increase your chances of being accepted on a PGCE course to train as a teacher.

Elkat Fri 22-Aug-08 00:26:35

I teach in a FE College, but before that was at several secondary schools. I personally love teaching FE and find that life is much easier than being in a school in many respects, but it is often much harder to find jobs (less jobs come up), lecturers tend to have higher qualifications (most of my colleagues have got at least a MA / MSC or are working towards one and we are not paid as well as secondary school teachers. That said, I wouldn't go back into secondary teaching unless I had to... I just love the job I do now, because there is no 'babysitting', it is just pure teaching with students who want to be there and generally try hard.

However, one important thing to bear in mind is that if you train to teach in a secondary school (Get QTS), then you will also be able to teach in a college. However, if you just take the PGCE in FE (gain QTLS), then you will only be qualified to teach in FE/SFC and you will not be able to teach in a school (or if you did, you would be on the unqualified teachers' payscale).

Given the difficulty in getting FE jobs, you might be best of training to teach pyschology and another subject and then moving to FE once qualified.

It is also important to bear in mind, that FE is different in that there are no national agreements in FE, you are employed by the college and not the LEA, so terms and conditions can vary hugely between the different colleges. You also need to look carefully at where you teach, in some areas it can be quite tough because of the students it attracts - for example, in some areas most academic types stay on at school, so FE can have more than its fair share of lower achievers, which can have its own problems. However, in other areas, liek where I am, everyone leaves school at 16, and so there is a good mix of all abilities and attitudes. You also need to look outr for colleges where students are only there to get their EMA... because FE colleges tend to have very little disciplinary systems (by teh very design of them), but students are not always that mature - so that can be a bit of a challenge. I hope some of this very late night waffle makes some sense grin

Elkat Fri 22-Aug-08 00:27:56

Also, given your degree, wonder whether you could teach Health and Social care (but that has got a bit of a repuatation for the type of students it can attract iykwim).

jofeb04 Fri 22-Aug-08 07:42:35

Just to say thank you for all the information.

It has given my food for thought!

BellaBear Fri 22-Aug-08 07:55:08

As it happens, my school employs two full time sixth form only Psychology teachers. They teach A-level Psych and GCSE Psych (but only to Sixth form GCSE repeats). But we are in a consortium so loads more sixth form students then you would get just from one comprehensive.

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