Anyone applying for/starting teacher training this year?

(35 Posts)
backinschool Thu 21-Jan-16 14:57:05

Hi,

I have just sent my application in to hopefully begin teacher training in September this year. I'm applying for Secondary Biology. I'm very excited but also really nervous about interviews, skills tests and just generally about completing a PGCE. I've spent a lot of time in schools, talked to all my teaching friends (and any other teachers I could grab for 15 minutes) and I've have taught in a college for 3 years so I think I have a good picture of the life of a (trainee) teacher - part of me thinks I'm mad to even consider it but I know I need to give it a go and find out whether I can do do it and if it works for me.

It would be great to chat to anyone else who is starting teacher training (or anyone who's in the middle of it all). I've posted on the TES forums too but they are less chatty. Anyone else going for it this year and wants to chat?

backinschool Fri 22-Jan-16 14:05:34

Nope? Just me?

Oh well, I'll be excited by myself for now. I have my first PGCE interview in two weeks. The e-mail has a huge list of tasks to complete before and during the interview - very scary!

MrsUltra Fri 22-Jan-16 18:21:39

Maybe because in the staffroom area? If you put it in chat or Education might get more passing trade grin
Good luck!

MizK Fri 22-Jan-16 18:28:18

Good luck with your interview!

I've been accepted onto a PGCE Primary course, v excited to get stuck in. Have been warned not to expect any form of social life to be possible during the course but I'm sure I will survive...

Hopefully your interview won't be as daunting as the paperwork suggests!

backinschool Fri 22-Jan-16 18:53:40

Congratulations Mizk! Any top interview tips? Have you done the skills tests?

MrsUltra I didn't realise there was a general education area, I missed that somehow, and this seemed better than primary or secondary. I've put it in chat too so thanks for the suggestion.

wonderpants Fri 22-Jan-16 20:40:07

Yes, I have accepted a place to do a primary PGCE! Big career change for me! Exciting and scary!

y0rkier0se Fri 22-Jan-16 23:31:51

waves I've been accepted onto a SCITT training place (primary) starting in September. The skills tests aren't that bad, just do the practice ones online. Then do them again, and again grin. For my interview I had to teach a group of 12 children for 20 minutes whilst being watched by six local headteachers! Then an interview with school council, a written reflection task and then an interview with the six headteachers. Secondary is maybe different though!

backinschool Fri 22-Jan-16 23:32:05

Congratulations wonderpants. It will be a big change for me too. I was in research but my contract ended when DD2 was born so I've had almost 4 years (mostly) at home. I teach a few courses at the local college but it's very part time so I do most of the school runs/activities/sports days etc. It's going to be tough missing out on those things but I'm really excited to be getting back to training/working.

backinschool Fri 22-Jan-16 23:37:44

Congratulations y0rkier0se and sorry for x-posting. That sounds quite similar to my interview. The letter says there will be an individual interview, group task, literacy task and a reflection activity. Plus I need to teach a small group of year 7 or year 8 children.

I've tried 2 numeracy and 2 literacy tests online and I passed them but there are areas I need to work on so I feel confident going in. I must get them booked this weekend so I have a date to work to. Unfortunately I have a pile of GCSE controlled assessments to mark before I do anything else - sigh.

nashley Fri 22-Jan-16 23:43:55

Hi, I thought I'd just butt in on this thread! I'm a qualified primary teacher who is not currently teaching (my choice).
I think it's great to go for a career change or follow your dreams and I'm not here to dampen them. I do think you're all crackers though! smile
Teaching is a wonderful job in the classroom (if you love children like me!) it's just such a shame that we're not trusted to do a good job. Hence piles of paperwork, observations, targets and other jumping through hoops.
The skills tests are nothing to worry about - just ensure you revise plenty.
Interviews are always tough in the teaching world but enjoyable in lots of ways too because they are so hands on. Lots of advice online for preparing for them. One question I had by a school council was 'if you could be any animal, which would it be?!' Random but fun!
If you have to teach or complete an activity with a group of children then make sure you have a clear learning focus and keep it simple. Lots of fun and imagination too! I am coming from a primary point of view so not sure what secondary is like.
I really hope you are all successful and enjoy it, teaching needs your enthusiasm. Prepare for less social life but many rewards smile (sorry this was quite long!)

backinschool Sat 23-Jan-16 08:07:31

Thanks nashley, I think we are crazy too but I've been toying with the idea for so long I need to try it and find out for myself or I'll always wonder. Fortunately I will get a good bursary which makes it easier. I have lots of friends who teach, mostly in secondary, and they enjoy it despite the endless paperwork so I know it's possible if you can get into the right school with a supportive SLT. When I worked in research I worked very long days and over the weekend too, often going back into the lab once DD1 was in bed so the hours don't worry me as much as the lack of flexibility.

What do you do now or are you taking some time off?

nashley Sat 23-Jan-16 21:59:29

I totally agree, you shouldn't have regrets in life.

Sounds like you will be fine if you're used to working long hours. The holidays cushion the blow a bit too!

I worked last year but had to give it up because I have weekly migraines and schools (well, employers in general) aren't very understanding of a high absence record! I did find it tough though. I'm not working now - hoping for a bubba in the near future! If unsuccessful I will have to rethink.

Do you know when you will hear if you get a place? It is exciting and I think you're brave to go for a career change too smile

backinschool Sun 24-Jan-16 07:54:28

That's awful nashley. My DM and DB have both suffered with migraines and they are horrible. I really hope you have some bubba new soon.

I'm not sure when I'll hear but hopefully it will be quite quickly after the interview. I applied for 3 different places - one PGCE and 2 school direct. The one I have the interview for would be my last choice out of the 3 because the lead school and the university are harder to get to. The other two go through a uni that is 5 mins from the kids school so drop off/pick up would be much easier, at least during the uni based parts. I'm really hoping I hear back from one of the other two soon.

ArmchairTraveller Sun 24-Jan-16 07:57:53

There's always www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=97
DD used it, although not as a teacher trainee. Having a parent as a teacher put her right off the idea around 7. smile

backinschool Sun 24-Jan-16 08:09:40

Thanks ArmchairTraveller - I'll check it out.

Needmorewine Sun 24-Jan-16 08:17:29

I've just started mine! Doing a part time primary PGCE. Loving it so far grin

backinschool Sun 24-Jan-16 08:32:55

That's great to hear Needmorewine. I'm really pleased you are enjoying it. How are you finding the assignments? Are your mentors/teachers good?

I wish I could do mine part time but there aren't any part time courses near me. I keep reminding myself it's only 9 months and we'll all survive. It just seems a huge change for the kids and I need to think what our best childcare option is.

Needmorewine Sun 24-Jan-16 09:11:57

Yeah so far it's not too bad at all! The mentors are great and so encouraging and I'm enjoying getting stuck in to some of the assignments they're quite interesting. Ah it's swings and roundabouts really I would have preferred full time but couldn't sort the childcare. You'll be absolutely fine I did my two week initial
Placement in a lovely school and yes the staff were very busy and the days flew by but all seemed to have lives outside of work and were quite realistic. Two of the staff had qualified recently both had children and did full time they both said the trick was just to be super organised and don't aim for perfection in assignments - just get them done and move onto the next. I hope you get your childcare sorted that's half the battle won !

backinschool Tue 26-Jan-16 11:28:32

Two more emails arrived this morning so I now have 3 PGCE interviews in a week shock. The first one is on Tuesday! I am really pleased but I am getting increasingly nervous. I'm quite worried that anything I know about science and/or teaching is going to go straight out of my head as soon as I walk in. Any tips for getting prepared? The things I have started doing are:

-getting all the documents they need to see together in a folder
- planning my teaching sessions. The interviews have all asked for something different so this is going to take quite a bit of planning
- I am reading through my recent copies of TES to remind myself about current issues in secondary teaching
- I have printed the KS3 science curriculum and looked through the KS5 biology curriculum
- looked through the changes to the GCSE science curriculum
- I have booked childcare for the kids for my interview dates
- I have told DP I need to shop this weekend for something to wear to my interviews. My mum wardrobe isn't going to cut it!

It's the group discussions and written tasks I feel totally unprepared for. I just don't know what they will ask. Has anyone had a teacher training interview recently and can shed any light?

madcapped Tue 26-Jan-16 11:33:50

Hi! I'm starting on a SCITT program in August as a primary maths specialist. I'm very excited and a lot nervous as I've been a sahm for the last seven years.

backinschool Tue 26-Jan-16 11:55:09

Congratulations madcapped! I know what you mean, I have mostly been a sahm for 4 years and it is a bit nervewracking to be going back to something so full time. What are you doing for childcare? I am thinking about finding a childminder as I'm not keen on the afterschool club and I hope a childminder will be a bit more homey for them - DD2 is only 4 so I want to give her some time to relax after school and the afterschool club is loud and chaotic. Luckily the Uni I am hoping to attend is 5 min from the kids school and we finish at 4 for the first half term so we can build up to longer days gradually.

madcapped Tue 26-Jan-16 15:02:27

I'm going to use the breakfast and afterschool clubs but hopefully MIL will have 1-2 afternoons. We only have 1 car since DH works a 5 min walk from home and he can't park at work. My problem is how to get them to school (too far to walk really) and still get to the course on time as my course is 2 days lecture and 3 days in school.

backinschool Tue 26-Jan-16 15:22:14

My course seems to be more in blocks of university weeks then school weeks with a few mixed weeks thrown in too. Luckily we can cycle or drive to school in around 10 min then I can head to Uni from there. I am more worried about the school based bits. DP keeps saying it's fine, he'll do the drop offs but he has a habit of agreeing to things then realising he can't manage it quite as regularly as he thought.

madcapped Tue 26-Jan-16 15:51:00

My course is being run an academy chain. They're the ones who will confer (if that's the right word) the QTS but the pgce will from a local uni. I won't be attending there. I think the uni just asseses the work.

backinschool Tue 02-Feb-16 14:45:38

I'm very excited (and somewhat terrified)! I had an interview for a Schools Direct scheme today and I have been offered a place grin. I just need to pass my skills tests on Saturday and I'm ready to start training to be a science teacher. Eeeeekk!

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