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Starting teaching - which masters?

(38 Posts)
sunshineandshowers Thu 30-Jul-15 07:48:50

I am very excited that I will be doing teacher training primary in the next 2 years. Am 36, used to work in IT and am returning to work after dc.

I feel very ambitious. We are planning for dh to be at home why I establish career. So I have 1 to 2 years now before I start training and have been looking at masters at the institute of education.

Which masters might stand me in good stead, either to get a job initially or so I am attractive for a leadership position as soon as possible. It is obviously difficult for me to access all the masters dependent on my qualifications and experience. Some I can access are

Effective learning and teaching
Comparative education
Curriculum pedagogy and assessment
Education and technology
Education assessment
Literacy learning and literacy diffculties
Mathematics education
Policy studies
Primary education policy and practice
Social justice and education
Special and inclusive eduaction

Whoops sorry for the long list.

What does anyone think? Should I just choose the one that I would find most fun?


justjuanmorebeer Thu 30-Jul-15 08:40:41

I think you would be better to get your QTS first...when you say you want to work up to leadership, real life school experience will help you. As you are career changing and not a recent graduate your years of work experience and age should work in your favour. If you know this is what you want to do then go straight to your training. Do you have experience of working with children already?

sunshineandshowers Thu 30-Jul-15 10:52:12

Hi just thanks for your response. I can't do the training until a certain point in my husbands career which is 2 years time as we have three young dc, but I could do a masters as they are part time evening etc.

I don't have any experience of working with primary children. I was doing some secondary level small group maths teaching for a year. I know I need to get the 2 weeks before applying.

SpearmintLino Thu 30-Jul-15 10:57:30

You'll need to be a teacher for many f the masters courses, as you'll be expected to carry out studies and action research in your school setting as part of the course. I agree that QTS first would be beneficial - it can be done with small children, but you will need the support of your husband.

sunshineandshowers Thu 30-Jul-15 11:03:36

I know it would be better that way. I would really rather do it in that order, like you say, but we really cannot have me doing that for 2 more years. His job is just too demanding, but it is finite and in 2 years he will be totally available.

So you think I would have to be a teacher aready or working to do the masters? It seems a shame as I could manage one now and am keen to get my brain in gear.

noblegiraffe Thu 30-Jul-15 11:05:01

I think you are jumping the gun a bit, tbh. You want to be a primary teacher but you have no primary experience. Get into primary schools as soon as you can and get as much experience as you can. Once you are in a school you might find an area that interests you, which you can then pursue at a masters level, although as a pp says, I think you may need to be a teacher. You might also find out, once you have been in a primary school, that you don't want to be a primary teacher at all, rather secondary. Or that teaching is too much like hard work, especially with three young DC.

Something that would definitely help you get a job in the primary sector is maths A-level, if you haven't already got it. Primaries are desperate for teachers who are competent at maths.

noblegiraffe Thu 30-Jul-15 11:06:03

PGCEs usually have credits towards a masters, btw.

NickiFury Thu 30-Jul-15 11:10:45

Special and inclusive education. As a parent of two children with SN I would absolutely love to see a teacher prioritising that as a speciality.

Sleepyhoglet Thu 30-Jul-15 11:14:29

A Cambridge PGCE is worth 50% of a masters. You can then complete the other 50% one afternoon a week for a year (on school release) or by attending some training days and weekly online seminars. You only pay half fees as you've already done half the course. You'd be bonkers to do the masters first before you even know what your interests are.

Are you going to do PGCE or school based training? To do school based training you are either career changing or have a lot of school experience

Sleepyhoglet Thu 30-Jul-15 11:16:04

What if you hate teaching?! Quite different to IT and a pay cut.

Diamondsmiles Thu 30-Jul-15 11:18:59

As Sleepy says a Cambridge pgce is 50% a masters. However you'd be unlikely to get on the Cambridge pgce course without masses of primary experience. Lots of the pgce students have spent a year as a ta in a primary school before getting a place on the course. If you are serious then you need to prioritise getting hands on experience in primary schools to convince the qts course providers to give you a place.

AsBrightAsAJewel Thu 30-Jul-15 11:19:24

I agree that experience in schools or working with primary aged children is really the priority to get you in to ITT and QTS rather than masters level qualifications at the moment. Maybe your evening time could be spent volunteering at something like brownies, scouts, etc.

Even in the future masters qualifications are not necessary for career progression, including headship. I don't know of many primary heads with higher degrees, although NPQH count as credits towards MAs.

I did a part time MA many years ago and it took more than 2 years to build up all my credits with the evening hours I could manage, so do double check it is possible to complete in the time you have with three children. Also check the requirements for access to a classroom. Many require research projects linked to extensive observation in the classroom. Some of your options also seem to be "putting the cart before the horse" if you haven't studied teaching pedagogy and curriculum as part of QTS. Masters level curriculum courses often assume a working knowledge of a primary classroom and are aimed at practicing teachers.

It is great that you are so enthusiastic about entering the profession. But do find some time to spend in primary classrooms before you commit to the training - two weeks before you start the course is not enough. You need it for the experience and to go in with your eyes fully open. As an experienced primary school leader it worries me that you seem more interested in "a leadership position as soon as possible" (why?) without building a secure understanding of primary education. So please make sure you are really aware of the implications for both yourself and the school.

tessandjude Thu 30-Jul-15 11:53:30

I've done the ioe's special and inclusive education ma and it's very interesting and has been quite useful. Also there were people from lots of different disciplines such as speech therapy and special education so it would be useful even if you didn't stick with teaching.

Verbena37 Thu 30-Jul-15 12:02:17

What is your original degree in? Because with a recent in iT, if your degree is in maths, science or English, then I think you could be better placed to go into secondary. You have industry experience which is fab. If your degree is in a IT related subject, you could also apply to teach secondary or sixth form a level IT etc.

tethersend Thu 30-Jul-15 12:07:35

I think it's a great idea.

I would talk to the IoE to find out which courses you can access and which you could complete without being in a school setting.

Good luck with it all smile

noblegiraffe Thu 30-Jul-15 12:22:50

Seriously, get into schools first. Lots of people drop out of teacher training because they are unprepared for what it involves. You need to be going in with your eyes open, not a load of theory and no practice.

sunshineandshowers Thu 30-Jul-15 13:43:29

Wow thanks for all the responses.

I understand I need to get into schools. I am sure this is what I want to do. Having taught secondary, which I enjoyed, it's primary I prefer.

I have physics/maths a level and part of a physics degree and a full history degree (complicated!).

It sounds like maths is a good idea to peruse and I love it. And special needs. I did think sn as I know in my limited experience of friends children with sn very often teachers are unqualified or the head just takes it on with no quals. It's positive to see the ioe sn masters was good tess. I love that you say it was interesting. Might be right for me to get my teeth into.

So do all pgces give you 60 credits (except Cambridge which is way to far for me even if I could get in). Does school based training give any credits? Do schools unusually pay for teachers to do masters? Even if it doesn't benefit them directly?

I am keen to get a good grounding and understanding of primary education asbrightasajewell, I'm just excited to get on with a career after years of being at home. I just want to work hard and get on and learn as much as possible.

I am volunteering at church childrens group from now.

sunshineandshowers Thu 30-Jul-15 13:44:28

When you say no idea of what it involves noblegiraffe do you mean the workload?

sunshineandshowers Thu 30-Jul-15 13:45:01

I will ring ioe as well and have a chat with them.

noblegiraffe Thu 30-Jul-15 14:14:02

Workload would be a major concern, yes. But also what is involved in a primary classroom and the pastoral/emotional side of things. When I signed up to be a teacher I had no idea of all the other things I would be expected to be.

Verbena37 Thu 30-Jul-15 14:19:25

So have you been accepted already? Have you got in to the course and are deferring?

sunshineandshowers Thu 30-Jul-15 14:26:03

No not on course yet.

sunshineandshowers Thu 30-Jul-15 14:26:39

Will depend on our finances whether I do pgce or school based learning or part time etc.

noblegiraffe Thu 30-Jul-15 14:29:50

Primary PGCEs are quite competitive compared to secondary, in some areas of the country there is also a lot of competition for jobs. You might want to keep an eye on the TES jobs forum for your area to see if there is a demand. The TES prospective students forum is also very helpful.

CharlesRyder Thu 30-Jul-15 15:00:23

I would say, based on your background and future plans, go for the Maths masters (assuming you can do this without needing access to a school for action research etc).

This will give evidence of recent personal learning in a Primary core subject which will be helpful for your ITT application. You could use it to support an application for the Primary Maths Specialism which I think will be very employable indeed.

Also, one of the earliest 'whole school' leadership roles you could look to would be Maths Co-ordinator- the backdrop of a Maths masters and Maths specialism at PGCE would make you a strong candidate for this.

I agree with pp though, that you need to go into this with no other intention than learning the craft. You need to learn about how a whole spectrum of young people think and learn and how to conduct the complex classroom concert in which they all learn together. Forget management until you have fully mastered that- and it take years. There is no quicker way to piss existing Teachers off than to make light of the process of learning to teach by mentioning moving to leadership in your opening gambit. Teaching is about the children- not about your career.

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