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Is it possible to get a teaching job with no work experience?

(16 Posts)
Blup Wed 29-Jun-16 22:39:04

My cousin's DD is currently studying languages (Spanish and French), has just finished her year abroad (so has one final year to complete, will graduate summer 2017), and is thinking of applying to do a PGCE after that. She is fairly bright, and currently on track to achieve a 2:1 in her degree.

However, she has no work experience whatsoever. Every summer, my cousin says "Oh, I don't want her to get a job; I want her to enjoy her holidays", and her DD spends the summer lazing about in the garden, working on her tan.

This year looks like being the same. However, my cousin has asked me to be a referee for her daughter when it comes to applying for the PGCE course (in addition to her tutor, I think), because she has no previous employers to ask, and I'm quite close to the DD and have helped her out (eg helping with researching her accommodation options when she was going to Spain). I've said that I really think the DD needs to look for a summer job, or perhaps at least do something voluntary (even just for a few weeks if needs be), and that I can't really give her a reference because firstly I'm related to her (although this would not be obvious from our details), and secondly I've seen very little evidence of her being interested in working.

I feel that the DD needs to understand that she's not going to simply waltz onto the course and into a job. Cousin says DD works very hard all year and deserves a break. So I guess my question is how hard should i push this? Would you ever employ someone as a teacher if they had never worked at anything? I'm concerned that she'll end up either in a very desperate school, or not get a job at all.

The whole thing shouldn't be any of my business, but as I say, I'm quite close to the DD, and want to see her do well. I'm not sure my cousin understands how important work experience is these days.

Getting a job won't be a problem necessarily as she'll have gained experience from the pgce, but most courses insist on at least a week's recent work experience in school in order to get a place. She'd be hard pushed to arrange that so late in term. Saying that, is she not too late to apply for a pgce too?

Blup Thu 30-Jun-16 06:24:49

She's applying to start in September 2017 - she still has a year of her degree to finish. So I think she'll be applying in the autumn. You think the experience she'll gain on the course will be enough for future employers? That's good news.

Groovee Thu 30-Jun-16 06:38:31

My dd (still at school) wants to be a teacher. A recent chat with a tutor (from the uni she wants to go to) visiting a student teacher in one of her classes, the tutor told her to gain as much work experience as she can. She's been doing work experience in local schools. Helps at brownies and has trained as a peer educator for girl guiding too.

So it would probably depend on the uni but work experience or volunteering may well work in her favour. My dd works hard all year round too as she has a weekend job in a hotel too (gains experience in dealing with people i.e parents/difficult situations)

hesterton Thu 30-Jun-16 06:41:27

I think you are right to be worried but after you've told that that, there's no more you can do. She'll have to learn the hard way.

hesterton Thu 30-Jun-16 06:41:57

Unless she's a physics grad!

BoboChic Thu 30-Jun-16 06:45:46

Some sort of summer job working with children (day camps recruit lots of students) would be a good idea.

SpaghettiMeatballs Thu 30-Jun-16 06:50:17

Many moons ago I applied for a PGCE place. I had work experience in a shop and a bank but hadn't spent so much as an afternoon working in a school. I was accepted there and then but ultimately didn't take my place up.

Times have really changed especially in subjects where there is no real shortage. My friend's DD starts training in September and she has been a Rainbows leader for 3 years and has helped at a school an afternoon a week for 2 years.

0hCrepe Thu 30-Jun-16 06:51:46

a friend of mine worked in a school for years and had her pgce application declined purely because she hadn't got early years experience within the last 12 months (the age group she was applying for). She did get on that cycle in the end when she'd proved she'd arranged to do it. Any experience helps not just to get on the course but to actually know if she would like it! More sought after secondary subjects will be more flexible obviously.

ChablisTyrant Thu 30-Jun-16 06:57:45

She'll be fine because we are desperately short of linguists in schools... Ideally she would get in touch with secondary schools now and arrange to spend a week in one in September before her own term starts at uni.

Leslieknope45 Thu 30-Jun-16 06:59:25

The last two Spanish jobs at our school have had 1 applicant so I really think that unfortunately she will be fine and will manage to get a job!

SisterViktorine Thu 30-Jun-16 07:10:46

Relevant work experience will help- yes. However, I don't think sitting on the tills at Poundland all summer would make any difference at all.

I will be very difficult to get good quality experience of education over the summer. Really she needs to try an do an afternoon a week in school next year while she finishes her degree.

That said, I agree with PP that in current times she probably will Waltz in. I'm not sure the Teach First graduates have so much as sniffed a school before they walk in to their first day on the job and apparently they are here to save us all.

SavoyCabbage Thu 30-Jun-16 07:11:33

On my course some people got a few weeks work in after they graduated and before the schools finished. Most people had no experience other than that gained on the course though.

I'm doing supply at the moment and almost every school I go to is asking me if I want a job. The one I was at yesterday has three posts to fill for September.

useyourimagination Thu 30-Jun-16 07:22:24

Check you can act as a referee for her too. Many jobs don't allow family to do this.

MaybeDoctor Thu 30-Jun-16 07:29:27

Well, I think the PGCE school experience placements might come as something of a shock to her, but if she is bright and hardworking she will probably be fine.

Every year people without prior work experience start in the workplace - everyone has to start somewhere...

I was a TA for most of a year before doing my PGCE and I am not sure it helped much with the tricky aspects of teaching - because the roles and responsibilities are so different.

Blup Thu 30-Jun-16 08:38:16

imagination, I don't plan to act as referee - it was just that my cousin asked me to do it, which then got me thinking about all this.

I'm glad that people don't seem to think it'll be a problem that she has no experience. I guess my concern is that it a job has two applicants, equally qualified, that they'll look at pre-PGCE experience, and that's where this girl has nothing. There's a local summer scheme that I've suggested she volunteer at, just for a week, but she doesn't want to, and her mum is telling her not to bother. It does seem like the others in her class are either working or traveling (which I'm guessing would be good experience in itself if you're doing languages) this summer; I don't want her to be disadvantaged by her mum constantly telling her to just relax! But it's good to know that it shouldn't be a huge problem.

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