Becoming a science teacher?(31 Posts)
DH has a passion for science and has tutored before and enjoyed it. He has a science degree from a top university. He has been in the police since uni and we hate hate hate the shift work. Thinking of going into secondary science teaching as a career change. It's for work life balance really. I know he would do long hours in term time - he does 12 hour shifts now. Anyone care to tell me what being a science teacher is like, what should we be considering? The family finances could support his teacher training if we had to but I understand there are excellent grants etc for science teachers - anyone know if these are means tested at all, I can't seem to find out.
The average secondary teacher works 55 hours a week. Durring training and NQT year it will be more.
Grants for training to be a secondary science teacher are not means tested. He will need to get himself into school observing lessons to show that he really understands what it will be like to be a teacher.
I am not a science teachers but I am sure somebody else will be be along to help.
Agree - get into a local school to observe some lessons and chat to teachers about what it's like in reality.
Often when people post on here about wanting to become a teacher so they can see their family more, I sit and shake my head because they obviously have no idea what they're getting into. But I would imagine that being in the police has given your DH a whole load of directly transferable skills which will be invaluable to him in teaching. In term time the hours will be very long, but at least he'll be able to choose whether to get up early to fit work in before school or to stay up late and do it in the evenings, for example. He'll be working longer than 12 hours a day but he'll have more control over when he does it.
There is still time to apply for this September, lots of courses still have places due to poor government planning re different routes into teaching. I reviewed an application last week that I will interview next week. School experience really helps.
We're definitely not under illusion about the long hours. I have worked 60 hr weeks before when we had 1 DC (now have 3) and understand the slack that the other person will need to pick up (and DH was working shifts then and no decent holidays so it was pretty bad). I work less now and very locally so I think it should be manageable. But yes, it's the change to days only and being able to manage time a bit better that would be great for us. Plus we think DH would genuinely enjoy the job although he does need to get some experience (he has experience of dealing with teenagers at their worst on a Friday night in town though!)
I don't think we could apply for this sept as I think DH has a three month notice period at work. It's definitely something that will take us some thinking about.
We have some teacher friends locally so he will make some enquiries about getting experience. Good news the grants aren't means tested I kept thinking they must be!!
Which science? The demand for physics teachers is far higher than that for biology.
Yes it would be physics. He did a material sciences at uni and has physics, maths and chemistry As at A level.
We're still accepting applicants and interviewing within a week for physics applicants.
The bursary value is based on degree class not means tested but beware not all values are paid in equal instalments. You'll need to pay tuition fees out of this/or studentloans.
Not sure how much physics you DH uses currently, but you may want to consider a Subject Knowledge booster course prior. Bursaries are paid or these weeks and all fees are covered. The provider may also make this a condition of a place. getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/subject-knowledge-enhancement-ske-courses
In the training year, don't count on holidays unless your DH has been able to get ahead with assignments whilst also on placement.
The last point from me is to start consider your backup child care for your DC. The number of placement days your DH has to cover as fixed. If not enough days are completed you can't pass, so he will have to keep time missed to a minimum whilst training.
My OH is a police officer I am a teacher. I work more hours without a doubt term time. I leave at 7am and am home between 4.30-6, definitely nearer to 6pm in the run up to Christmas. He might bring emotional baggage home with him depending on his day now but never work. I usually being books home twice a week. Of course, it's swings and roundabouts because I get the holidays. In many ways our jobs are similar- it is about managing people whether they are children or adults, so there are some skills which are certainly transferable. The paperwork, although different, will still take up time we'd rather it didn't
Thanks choco that's really helpful. Still think we'll be looking at next September as DH has been in the police for 15 years and we've literally started discussing this career change in the last week so don't want to rush into anything and think he should get some work experience in a school before taking the plunge. He definitely would do a subject knowledge enhancement course as his degree is 15 yrs old! From what I have read, is it right he would apply to a teacher training institution and they would discuss with him what sort of SKE he would need to do? As online I have seen reference to it the courses being anywhere between 8 weeks and 36 weeks.
Good point about the back up childcare. I work part time and fairly flexibly so can usually pick up slack and make my hours up if the DC are ill.
That's an interesting comparison ember rose. It will definitely be a shock for him to bring work home and we will have to think about how to manage that.
To be considered a 'properly' qualified teacher he would need to do the full 36 week course. For physics schools may accept less and academies don't need to employ qualified teacher. To do his best and for him to get the most support he will need to so the full course.
Teacher's never get to the end of their to do list and there is always more to do. This is another thing he will have to think about how to deal with.
Ah ok, so the full course will be needed. We shall start looking into that. Out of interest whichseason can you give me examples of what sort of stuff you have on your to do list and what's stressing you at the moment (assuming you are a teacher with a to do list!). Trying to get a feel for the sort of things he will be thinking about. He's not brilliant at multi tasking and to do lists.... He never seems to stress over police paperwork though and there is plenty of that...
I'm wondering if maths is slightly less pressured..... Seems less complicated to plan lessons?
The subject knowledge courses really do depend on the person and what they need to brush up on. For someone who is working in physics I would recommend a shorter one than someone who is working in an un- or marginally related field
Some providers offer online only options which can be studied at any point e.g. eves and weekends around other work, we don't offer them. I personally think that science is a practical subject, is taught as a practical subject and therefore there should be at least some practical experience in the subject knowledge courses. The 8 week courses are valuable as a brush up if thats all that is needed, but can't be as in depth as longer ones.
Applications for deferred entry are not accepted for teacher training so if your looking at a SKE prior, particularly things like an in depth 26 week one you'll need to be ready to apply as soon as ucas opens in Oct to be interviewed and give notice for a late January start to the ske and Sept 16 to ITE.
We look at applicants at interview and talk to them about their experience. We will then make either an unconditional offer or an offer conditional on passing a SKE (alongside fitness, dbs and skills test requirements )
many providers go to local train to teach events, even if not applying this year you can go along and see how your preferred provider (or start finding out about options ) would advise.
Completely agree re Physics name your price.
Put it this way.
I failed GCSE Physics and have no Science A levels.
I am a qualified teacher in MFL.
I have recently been teaching A level Physics in an outstanding State school.
As I have a year 11 form class who have gone and I really lucky in that I have extra time at the moment.
My to do list normally have things on like mark assessments, remark assessment after they have acted on feedback, place students on intervention programmes, eg additional tasks focused on their area of weakness or placing them on subject report (contact parent, form tutor, head of year and log in sims), plan lessons, create new resources, marks books, write reports, attend school events (parents evening, plays, fayre etc), interview form class about their current performance (log, chase up teachers specific areas of concerns, and remember to speak to student in three weeks), ring back parent who complained that there child received detention, set and mark homework, sort spare homework for kids in detention, do detention duty, write comments for care team meetings, photocopying, think I should do displays (never get done), implement new ideas, create new schemes of work, ring parents about child's incorrect uniform, behaviour both positive and negative or concerns about child, update class profiles, attend CPD, briefings, schools meetings and year group meetings, observe other teacher and feedback to them and visa versa, attend case conferences about underperforming students and occasional teach. I will have forgoton some things and there will be differences between schools.
I knew I would jump in the shower and start think about what I am teaching tomorrow and remember more.. Brush on subject knowledge or start from search if teaching another additional subject, create new seating plans, after school clubs and revision sessions, mark mock exam papers, think of yet a new way to deal with little Harry and his behaviour, sort store cupboard (next year will be my fourth classroom move in 6 years), contact ta with lesson info and what you will need them to do, sort and photocopy work for children on holiday, ill or excluded (you will hardly ever get any of this work returned completed).
That is a long list whichseason! Thanks so much for posting that, I think anyone considering teaching should read it, a to do list is so helpful in actually explaining what you do on a day to day basis.
That's good to know how in demand
We have spent time today looking at courses. There is a local consortium of schools in our area which offers the learn as you teach thing (sorry can't remember the name) and a local outstanding secondary school (church school which our DC are at a feeder primary for) is listed on the ucas site as having schools direct vacancies for physics.
Bit confused how the places in schools would work with an SKE course - should he do that first or talk to the schools first? Any comments on pros / cons on the various options?
Goodness much more! Sorry to make you think about your list on a Sunday night!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Oh! Why troublewithangels? Is it shit training?
No problem. I usually run through what I need to do Sunday night.
I did old fashioned PGCE over schools direct becuase I have already worked in the school and wanted a new start. We have had ITT (initial teacher training) students from lots of different types of places in our school. I will ask the guy in charge of ITT which type they would recommend tomorrow.
Thanks so much whichseason for being so helpful
Go for it! I changed over to teaching to science. Worked in a very high-achieving grammar school for three years. Yes it is hard work. But other jobs can be equally demanding. The hardest thing I had to come to terms with was pupil behaviour, even in the grammar school. Teachers do overexaggerate the hard work a bit. Also pain in the arse management. I am doubtful about the mangement abilities of teachers who become management or are one of the few who want to. Or maybe I have had bad experiences. But the job itself after a couple of years of experience is great. Term time hours can be stuff but you do get amazing holidays. Some teachers work holidays as well. But I make sure that I have organised myself so I don't have do a tap of work. It is possible.
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