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Please help me make up my mind feeling trapped with no way forward...

(26 Posts)
ErnesttheBavarian Fri 11-Sep-15 17:21:35

I trained as secondary (French) teacher, worked for a few years in a London comp, left to have dc, moved around a lot, had loads of kids. Ended up being off work for 14 years shock

Fast forward.

2 years ago (now living in Germany) I finally got the chance to return to work. My French ability and confidence long since gone, I took a position as a TA in a private school (primary). I really love my job, but after 2 years feel very much overqualified and under-challenged.

To work here as a teacher you have to get official recognition. I can't get that for secondary as my French is now not good enough, and probably cos I haven't work in secondary for so long. I can't get it for primary because my training is officially for secondary.

So, I'm trapped. I would 100% want to stay in primary. I guess my choices are accepting remaining forever as a TA, or doing the entire PGCE again? Which costs loads, and I would have to do it distance learning, and am already just keeping my head above water working (almost) FT and looking after kids and house). Not sure I can face studying again. Or are there any other options I haven't thought of?

mrsnewfie Fri 11-Sep-15 20:05:15

I wonder if you could get some supply work in primary schools and find a route in that way?

I also know a French woman (no teaching qualifications hmm) who goes into a couple of local primary schools to teach French. You could sell yourself as a French specialist and see what comes of that.

Good luck!

ErnesttheBavarian Fri 11-Sep-15 20:54:07

Unfortunately without the qualification there is no way I can teach here in any way round it.

. My french is shit now. No way can I teach it and our head has made it clear it's not an option.

Only choice seems to be (re) do PGCE or remain TA. I need an official and recognised qualification if I want to not remain TA. Don't know if there are conversions /alternatives to PGCE (baring in mind I live in Germany and my kids are at school here so I can't just pop over to UK for months...)

Or put up with remaining TA and have easy job?

IguanaTail Fri 11-Sep-15 21:57:27

How about an international school?

Or could you offer tutoring? Or being an English assistant? The training to be a teacher in Germany is very gruelling from what I remember a German national explaining to me.

But less aggro and less paperwork ...

ErnesttheBavarian Sat 12-Sep-15 07:23:12

I don't think I could do the german TT. The language would make tip it from gruelling to virtually impossible. I am at an international school, sort of. I really love working at my school.

I took a job as a TA thinking it would be a gentle start back into working after so long off. I crave more responsibility and challenge. But the only way I can do that, while staying at this school, is either remain a TA (which I do enjoy, albeit a bit bored, but it is easy to juggle w. family inasmuch as I have no unexpected work surprises, no prep, few meetings, can turn up and leave bang on time.

But can I see myself saying in 20 years time I'm a TA?

But then how on earth would I do a PGCE in UK from Germany and still manage my dc and family? sad And working as a teacher would mean FT and I'm not sure I'm able right now to deal with the extra demands of either studying or FT work. sad

aaarrrrggggghhhhhh. I really love the school I work at though and want to stay here and feel fulfilled and happy in my role, whatever that may be.

Openbook Sat 12-Sep-15 08:15:45

You are demonstrating a very negative attitude to this problem. If you really intended to get on professionally you would need to be prepared for substantial sacrifices and loads of hard work on a permanent basis. You don't seem to want this. Why not stay as a TA and look for things outside work to enhance your life and your image of yourself. You've told us it's not possible to get back into teaching where you live at the moment.

errorofjudgement Sat 12-Sep-15 08:22:32

Are there oportunities for progression in your current job? Perhaps a senior TA role with responsibility for mentoring new TAs?

Don't be discouraged just because the school doesn't offer a role currently, hopefully the Head would be prepared to discuss opportunities for you to take on more responsibility.

IguanaTail Sat 12-Sep-15 08:59:48

Play to your strengths. Do a TEFL (celta) and teach English in Germany.

spanieleyes Sat 12-Sep-15 09:06:31

You can't do a second PGCE in a different subject as the PGCE technically allows you to teach any subject in any age group. So, in theory you are qualified to teach French in primary or Double Dutch in secondary! So you are already qualified. What you don't have is the necessary experience/confidence to enable a school to take you on.

ErnesttheBavarian Sat 12-Sep-15 09:06:44

openbook. You're totally right. I guess I just had a big disappointment after meeting with head which is why I'm being so negative. I'm not normally. I love my job and love the school I work at. I just feel unfulfilled. Re the sacrifices again you're right. I sort of feel I've already done my degree, and done a PGCE and taught for several years, and now feel that I don't WANT to start a PGCE all over again and logistically how that would even be possible, not to mention the cost!!!

But, i think if I could find a course and could manage the logistics ultimately I would be prepared to do it, because I suppose ultimately, that would be my goal.

errorofjudgemen and IguanaTail both good suggestions. Thank you.

Like I said - I only got the 'bad news' yesterday so was feeling a bit down, but there will be a way forward, thanks for your comments so far smile

DitheringDiva Sat 12-Sep-15 09:10:30

If you're living in Germany long-term, then surely the solution is to do the german equivalent of the PGCE - yes it will be hard, and yes you have the language problem, but you'll have to (or will) become fluent in German at some point. In fact, your German can't be that bad, if you're a TA there? You sound like you're very lacking in confidence - even I could teach basic French, in primary/lower secondary, and I don't even have a GCSE in it, so you must be a lot better than me. And (I've heard) if you've once been pretty much fluent in a language, it's like riding a bike, and all comes flooding back once you start using it again? Have you actually looked into doing the teacher training in Germany? Perhaps there is more than one route, like there is in England? I can't see the point in (re-) doing a PGCE back in the UK, if you're never going to work here. Also, I would guess the main foreign language that is taught in Germany, is English, which you are fluent in, I assume. So why not train to be an English teacher in Germany? There's probably more demand for that anyway. I know nothing about Germany or the german education system, so just ignore me, if my advice is a load of rubbish.

DitheringDiva Sat 12-Sep-15 09:11:15

Sorry, cross-posted

IguanaTail Sat 12-Sep-15 09:13:40

In Germany - Basic teacher training

Training for primary school teachers takes 3.5 years at university. For lower-secondary teachers, university training lasts 3.5??4.5 years with two further years of practical training in school settings. For upper-secondary school teachers, training takes 4.5 years at university, with a further 2.5 years of practical training in a school setting.

Teachers in Germany have a very high status and level of respect and are paid well. It is very sought after and competitive.

To get on a PGCE you need a pulse. It's very different.

ErnesttheBavarian Sat 12-Sep-15 09:14:57

you're right about the confidence. And as far as I can tell, the german TT is something like 4 year FT, no 1 year course, and though my German is at a reasonable standard, I really don't feel confident to do TT in German shock

AnotherEmma Sat 12-Sep-15 09:26:44

I agree with IguanaTail, you should do a TEFL course and teach English. I'm assuming it's your mother tongue so you will be much better at teaching it than French. Plus I assume all German students learn English whereas not so many learn French. Bit of a no brainer if you ask me!

spanieleyes Sat 12-Sep-15 09:49:39

To get on a PGCE you need a pulse. It's very different.

Checks pulse
Heaves a sigh of relief grin

ErnesttheBavarian Sat 12-Sep-15 09:53:17

it's great to got all these different ideas. I have a (fairly fixed) idea in my head what I want to do so need your help to think outside the box! Actually, this year I am, in addition to doing 0.5 TA (so 2.5 days), am doing 1.5 days as English support for kids coming into the school with no English. This is new and exciting for me. But this is only in capacity of TA, with the status and salary reflected accordingly IYSWIM.

IguanaTail Sat 12-Sep-15 09:53:34

Depressing isn't it?!

ErnesttheBavarian Sat 12-Sep-15 09:53:58

IguanaTail grin

thatone Sat 12-Sep-15 09:56:10

You could aim to become a Higher Level or an SEN TA. They have a lot more responsibility and challenge.

Alternatively what about contacting PGCE providers and explaining the situation. There may be some flexibility to complete elements of the course without doing the whole thing again.

Or else think about doing a Masters. That would give you challenge and a further qualification.

WildStallions Sat 12-Sep-15 20:12:44

Presumably you can manage on the salary you're currently on, so that's not an issue.

And it's only you who cares about status. No one else does.

MidniteScribbler Sun 13-Sep-15 00:27:45

If your PGCE allows you to teach at secondary level for all subjects, not just French, then why not look at doing some supplementary courses for subjects that are in demand. You could do them through an open university set up and get the skills in a subject in that way. Surely you would have enough experience to teach English in Germany?

AnotherEmma Sun 13-Sep-15 00:36:38

WildStallions you are massively missing the point. It's not about the money or status (although I don't think we should judge anyone for wanting both to some degree), it's more about the OP doing work that she finds challenging and rewarding. It's about having a job that fulfils her. If I felt understimulated, underpaid and overqualified, I'd be unhappy too and I'd want to try and get a better job.
If you can't offer constructive advice or support, why post?

ErnesttheBavarian Sun 13-Sep-15 13:03:11

Another emma put it well. And anyway, other people (parents as well as colleagues DO care about status. It DOES matter.) But regardless, I do feel totally under stimulated and working significantly under my capabilites and have little room for creativity or input.

Midnight scribbler, I would only have permission to teach French. It is a much more rigid and tough system. Although my PGCE in UK would clear me to teach from age 5 to 18 and any subject a school felt I was capable of teaching, here in Germany if I trained to teach secondary French, I may ONLY teach secondary French. No leeway. So if I have to do another course it makes sense to me to do on leading to where I want to be (primary) rather than where I don't really want to be (somewhere else in secondary).

It's very inflexible here.hmm

GingerDoesntHelp Sat 19-Sep-15 22:44:35

Just brush up your French then go and teach French. Simples.

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