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teacher training and experience

(22 Posts)
T2710 Wed 21-Oct-15 13:38:17

Hi all,

I'm hoping you can offer me some advice. I'm hoping to start primary initial teacher training in September. I have secured in school experience in two schools but that isn't due to take place until next month and December. I'm also writing to my sons school to see if I can help out twice a week in the morning while he's there and I'm off work. My question is to do with the UCAS application. I note that apply 1 opens 27th Oct. I'm sure I've read that spaces are filled on a first come first served basis (subject to decent applications, so in wondering whether I should apply when it opens but don't yet have my experience, or wait until I have at least a week under my belt and apply at the end of November. Ideally I would like to do schools direct or a scitt course and know these are popular. I don't want to miss out but at the same time ding want to submit an application where I can't link what I've seen in schools. I currently work in law so am a career changer and would struggle to link the two fields in an application.

Thanks so much

KohINoorPencil Wed 21-Oct-15 17:20:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

T2710 Wed 21-Oct-15 22:25:25

Thanks for your reply. I absolutely have my heart set on starting next year. I have experience lined up but not until November so will just make a later application and hope for the best. If I can't get on schools direct (non salaried, not even going to attempt the salaried route) or scitt I'll try for the pgce.
I was talking to my sons head teacher today who has said I can also go in there for experience. His school also runs a schools direct course so fingers crossed I'll get something. I'll have well over 10 days experience by the end of the year.

Twinkle186 Thu 22-Oct-15 11:01:32

That's great, but bear in mind it still might not be enough. Many people applying for teacher training will have previously worked as TAs and will have spent at least a year in the classroom.

You say you work in law, have you spent any time in a classroom so far? I wouldn't advise anyone to go into teaching unless they have first hand experience of what the job can be like. Not meaning to be patronising but we have lots of people coming to observe with the intention of taking up a pgce place ( I work in secondary so it's a bit different) and it is not unusual for them to rethink having seen what the job is actually like. I know you’re only at the application stage so will have time to change your mind if you want to before you start the course but it’s something to think about.

That said, if it's what you really want to do, go for it. Good luck!

T2710 Thu 22-Oct-15 15:56:11

I have three good friends in the teaching profession so not going into it with my eyes completely closed as to the massive workload and difficult children, but ideally I do want to have some classroom experience before I apply. I think what I will do is apply in late November once I have had some experience in a couple of schools. Once I've made the application I'll go on to get more to make completely sure it's right for me. However, I do feel I've got more life experience that someone coming straight from uni so I'm hoping that, along with the fact I am a mother myself, will count in my favour.

mysteryknickers Thu 22-Oct-15 16:00:46

I really don't think your experience as a mother will factor at all. sorry.

T2710 Thu 22-Oct-15 16:07:16

I'm just going to leave this here. Thanks for you responses.

mysteryknickers Thu 22-Oct-15 16:11:22

Okay. I hope I didn't sound negative. Best of luck for what you decide.

leccybill Thu 22-Oct-15 16:14:00

Get a couple of your teacher friends to note down a diary for an average week, including how much work they do each evening. See if you can shadow them for a day/week in school.

There is a recruitment/retention crisis in teaching and you may well be lucky but it's not a profession I'd recommend to anyone at the moment.

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Sun 25-Oct-15 10:58:22

Dc completed PGCE last year. Nobody on their course had less than a year's experience of paid work in a school. The admissions tutor for the subject told DC that anybody without at least some paid experience doesn't even get called for selection and interview at that particular uni. of course, that was a secondary PGCE so could be different for primary.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 25-Oct-15 11:08:32

I have trainees every year with minimal work experience in schools, although they often have experience in another field, especially academia. I teach Science, but we work with a PGCE provider where there is still a fair amount of competition for places, even in shortage subjects.

MrsUltracrepidarian Sun 25-Oct-15 12:59:47

When I applied for School Direct 3 years ago I didn't see the add in the Evening Standard until December - did a few days observing in a school ( arranged by DfE (call them - lots of schools participate because they paid for it!) and applied in March. Interview a week later and offered it on the spot.
I had a career in an entirely unrelated field - my experience as a mother counted heavily in my favour..
Qualified and now work as a supply teacher which I love. Work five days a week, but can take a day off I feel like it. No marking or planning, meetings, assessments etc - arrive at school at 8.30, teach all day, leave school when the bell goes, and spend the evening with my own family.

NotQuiteThere Thu 29-Oct-15 15:19:41

OP, I hope you're still reading this thread.

I applied for a PGCE secondary, on the back of two days' experience in a secondary school. I was worried like you, and wanted to get my application in as soon as possible. I phoned around all of my local schools and two of them let me go in for the day. Really, I wanted to see whether I was comfortable in the classroom, and I had had no experience of teenagers at all (I have also changed career). I said to myself that if I didn't think I could handle it, I would not apply for the course.

Although I had had such little experience, I was invited for interview. I had also lined up the minimum two weeks (and a bit more) experience by the time I went for interview, which were then completed in March, May and June.

It probably helps that I am teaching a shortage subject, but I would encourage you to have a go at least!

Why are people being so negative?

When I did my PGCE (admittedly a few years ago) barely anyone had as much experience as other posters are suggesting here.

OP, if you're still reading, I think you should apply. It might be wise to draft most of your application but not submit it until after your first placement. Once you've done that you'll be able to mention some specific things that you've learnt on placement AND mention that you have further work shadowing lined up.

I also disagree with the poster who said that being a mother wouldn't be useful on an application. There's so much you could say there - especially if you've ever been involved in your child's school (e.g. going in to read, support with forest school, accompany school trips, etc)

T2710 Thu 29-Oct-15 23:59:05

Thank you so much for the more positive replies. I really appreciate them. I also appreciate the PM as otherwise I wouldn't have seen them smileHadn't wanted to fuel a potential fire earlier by attempting to 'defend/prove myself'.
I'm doing 3 days experience in a primary next week, after which I'm hoping that my DBS for the other school will be back and I can go there the two mornings a week my son is at nursery when I'm not at work. Once I've done my first week (albeit only 2 half days) in the second school I'll submit my application. It's partially completed at the moment but would like to attempt to relate my experiences in the schools to my application if possible. Following this I'll hopefully get another few days experience in my first school along with the ongoing placement at the second ( which happens to be one of the school direct schools I'll be applying to). If i don't get anywhere this year due to lack of experience, so be it, I'll reapply next year when i have much more but I figure I have nothing to lose by giving it a go for 2016 entry. I'll update the thread to let you know how I get on.

bellabelly Fri 30-Oct-15 00:20:15

When I applied to do my PGCE (secondary), I had precisely ZERO hours experience of working, paid or unpaid in a school. I think you should state on your application that you have secured in-school experience, as you state in your OP. You have nothing to lose by applying early. If you wait, you might find that places have already been allocated.


NotQuiteThere Fri 30-Oct-15 00:34:02

Good luck OP! Do let us know how you get on smile.

BackforGood Fri 30-Oct-15 00:39:10

I don't think people are being negative to be unkind, but to point out that schools direct and scitt courses in Primary, tend to go to TAs who have been working in schools, often for some years, and want to take the next step. It is unusual for someone who doesn't have any experience in school to be offered direct training like that. Maybe in secondary, particularly in shortage subjects, it's different - I can see schools struggling for science teachers would welcome with open arms and experienced scientist, but it's a bit different in Primary.
I wish you good luck, OP, but think you will be up against a lot of competition for places. Maybe it's different in different parts of the country. Hopefully you will achieve what you want.

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Fri 30-Oct-15 12:43:49

I imagine it will depend upon the KS and the university. My DCs experience is very recent (is now NQT) and in a shortage subject (science). It is still the case that of the 10 PGCE places available for that subject at that university, not one of them went to anyone who had not been employed in a school previously.

I do not want to be negative, but can only speak from our experience.

Good luck OP

T2710 Fri 11-Dec-15 18:26:56

Hi all

Just a quick update to let you know I've been offered a place on a SD course :0) also have an interview after Christmas for the school I currently volunteer so hopefully have a fair chance there too.

Wanted to update in case someone saw this post and felt they shouldn't apply due to lack of experience.

Littlemissjt Fri 11-Dec-15 18:35:03

Good luck with it all!

I've only just seen this or I would have said I got into my pgce course with no school experience whatsoever, well except helping in class in my last year at school but that was purely for uni applications! Although you didn't have experience you were being proactive and seeking some so that's always a positive! Hope it all goes well for you and if you need any advice feel free to pm me. (I am secondary but could maybe help with some things)

T2710 Fri 11-Dec-15 20:11:20

Thanks so much, I'm really looking forward to it :0)

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