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Teaching without a qualification

(30 Posts)
AChocolateOrange Thu 06-Jul-17 15:38:37

Hi all. Hoping someone can help. I'm a recent graduate- history BA with a first followed by history MA with distinction from RG uni. I'm hoping to have a few years off before going into a PhD.

I'd thought about teaching, but I don't want to invest time and money into the qualifications when it's not my long term plan. I've seen a few adverts for academy teaching jobs that don't require specific teaching qualifications

Is this commonplace? Would I struggle without one? Has anyone any experience of this?


OP’s posts: |
user1471134011 Thu 06-Jul-17 15:39:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

user1471134011 Thu 06-Jul-17 15:41:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scurryfunge Thu 06-Jul-17 15:41:25

Your best bet would be a private school. Qualifications are not compulsory.

grasspigeons Thu 06-Jul-17 15:45:14

A large public school near me often advertises for teacher concentrating on their degree and where it was from and normally say recent graduates are welcome. Try large public schools.

KatherinaMinola Thu 06-Jul-17 15:51:39

With those qualifications you'll have no problem getting a job at an independent school. If you'd rather teach at state you could get a higher-level teaching assistant job and teach as an unqualified teacher - I'm not sure whether there are history teaching jobs on this grade (there are lots for English and maths).

But if you're planning to do a PhD and work in academia then a teaching qualification might not go amiss - it's desirable for most academic teaching jobs these days. I understand not wanting to shell out more though.

LancashireTea Thu 06-Jul-17 15:58:29

Honestly? As someone who has been teaching for a decade in a core subject, (but also with time spent in humanities and the arts), ive seen a lot of people start teaching and quit teaching.
Unless you have the passion for it, don't do it. It's a commitment, not something to do as a willy nilly thought.

If you are serious, then volunteer first. In November, when its mock time and you'll see what a school is really like for a member of staff. If you came in the summer or September, it can be a little unrealistic.

Also, if you did decide to train some Teach first style programmes don't stick you in a plush school on an easy ride. So unless you're willing to deal with some tough times, then maybe a different route is for you.

Personally, having worked with unqualified teachers, the standard is poor. Also, my head wouldn't touch with a bargepole thankfully. It's tough enough when you're qualified, never mind with no training. It often means uncontrolled classes and badly planned lessons.

Like i said, my experience is mine and others may have a different opinion.

CarrieBlue Thu 06-Jul-17 16:50:00

History isn't a shortage subject so you'd have to have a pretty special application and interview (which would involve teaching at least part of a lesson) to get a job - though as an unqualified teacher you would have the advantage of being cheap which counts for a lot these days.

Teaching is not a job to do because you can't think what else to do or you just want to fill in time - to do it well you need to be committed and dedicated, which doesn't come across in your op - have you any recent experience of schools (not as a pupil)?

BobbinThreadbare123 Thu 06-Jul-17 16:59:56

Ok, some harsher truths here: you can't do teaching to while away some time; it isn't that sort of job. If you don't have QTS academies and independents may give you a shot, but history teachers are ten a penny (if you were maths or physics they'd bite your hand off even if you were a bit crap). Also, in a regular school, nobody cares about your MA and they definitely don't care about the Russell Group.

Make contact with some local schools and ask for some volunteering. Have you ever even done any outreach with children, perhaps when you were at uni?

BobbinThreadbare123 Thu 06-Jul-17 17:01:10

Oh, also as an unqualified teacher schools can pay you peanuts. You'd be better off working in a supermarket or something based on the salary!

Piratesandpants Thu 06-Jul-17 17:05:43

I've employed unqualified teachers - when I've had to. They don't last as they have no idea what to expect. There is an arrogant assumption that anyone can teach. I believe it's a highly skilled job - based on 20 years of training teachers, supporting teachers, observing teachers etc etc.

phlebasconsidered Thu 06-Jul-17 17:06:12

Having a history degree and being able to teach history are two vastly different things.

The PGCE in Secondary history at the IOE is competative. There are few places precisely because history is not a shortage subject, even in inner cities. History teachers also tend to stay in posts.

It isn't just rocking up and giving a history lecture. Key stage 3 to A level reauires more than just subject knowledge, it requires a great deal of understanding about levels of historical understanding linked to development. It requires a pedagogical understanding, which in my view as an ex history teacher and current A level examiner, is needed. It's not a job just to take in the meantime. You can't just pick.up a book and teach GCSE and above.

There are history students who are qualified who want these jobs. Apply, you'll be on the unqualified rate and you might get lucky. But before you do take a look at the syllabus requirements of GCSE and a level and more that you will be required to teach these plus ks3 and perhaps ask.if you have the range and teaching skill to do that without having first got at least some idea about the work involved by either volunteering or training.

If you're still determined, apply to a private school where classes are smaller, and you won't be required to engage learners to the same degree, and manage behaviour at the same time.

Or just find a job you actually want. Teaching is in the worst place I've known for twenty years and unless you love it, really love it, you're doomed and you're just fodder in the cheap de-professionalised teacher mill.

EvilTwins Thu 06-Jul-17 17:58:24

I'd thought about teaching, but I don't want to invest time and money into the qualifications when it's not my long term plan.

Wow. What an arrogant thing to say.

Teaching is an important job. If you're not willing to invest time in learning how to do it, then do something else.

AChocolateOrange Thu 06-Jul-17 18:46:48

Thanks for the responses! Lot to think about.

@EvilTwins I did phrase it quite badly. But what I mean by it is I'm already £55,000 in debt, and have spent 5 years at uni. I also don't really want to take the already scant resources provided for training teachers iyswim

OP’s posts: |
chemenger Thu 06-Jul-17 18:51:56

What about tutoring rather than teaching? I've got 25 years of university teaching experience but I wouldn't know where to start in a school.

Hulababy Thu 06-Jul-17 18:54:08

Before you even consider applying...

What do you think you can bring to such a job, over a qualified History teacher?
What education based work experience do you have?
What experience do you have of working with children of that age?
To what extent are you willing you invest your own time each day/weekend to make sure the job is done adequately, at a minimum?
As pointed out, humanities isn't a shortage subject. So other than a much lower salary, what else can you bring to the job?

Academies can and do employ unqualified teachers, and are doing so more frequently due to the reducing numbers of teachers.
Independent schools can too, but those within the larger trusts are far less likely too and only in specific vocational-based subjects or where a specific skill is seen as highly desirable, such as sport, music, drama, etc. They often then don't work in exam level subject lessons, ime.

FaFoutis Thu 06-Jul-17 18:56:26

Have you looked for temporary research positions? That's what I did at your stage and I got a funded PhD out of it after a couple of years working as a researcher.

LockedOutOfMN Thu 06-Jul-17 18:56:40

Teach First? Or an "on the job" PGCE?

noblegiraffe Thu 06-Jul-17 19:01:43

I also don't really want to take the already scant resources provided for training teachers iyswim

Why not? Do you think you won't need them? confused

There are training routes on-the-job where you get paid as you train.

viques Thu 06-Jul-17 19:02:56

chemenger do you mean tutoring for secondary age children? not really a good idea if like you the OP has no idea what goes on in school. The sort of children who need tutoring need tutors who understand the curriculum, and what exam boards are looking for. The OPs own experience will be of no use as things have changed since they did their GCSE and ALs.

Broccolirevolution Thu 06-Jul-17 19:06:52

Please please please don't get a job in my kids school!

I don't want my kids education to be a gap year experiment for someone who isn't interested in being a teacher.

As a potential colleague... this year we had a PGCE student in our department. It was hard going. And this guy wanted the job.

MaisyPops Thu 06-Jul-17 19:07:46

If you're interested in teaching then train to teach.

If you're only interested in filling some time then get on the books of an agency and do some cover supervisor work.

Be aware that subject knowledge isn't enough. In addition to the pedagogical stuff you also need to know about tracking student data, dealing with behaviour, pastoral skills and experience, awareness of send needs etc.

Don't tutor! A friend of mine does it and she hasn't a clue what is required by the boards etc and it's not just 'help child to revise'. She asks me all sorts of questions that I can't answer. You'll charge less as an unqualified tutor but the parents still oddly expect you to have the same impact as an experienced teacher.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 06-Jul-17 19:14:41

Unless you are actually interested in teaching you won't last 5 minutes.

LeannePerrins Thu 06-Jul-17 20:36:38

I know that by 'a few years off' you meant a few years away from full-time academia, but the phrasing is unfortunate.

I'd encourage you to have a look at Teach First. Your academic credentials are appropriate and as it is a finite two-year programme there are always people who choose not to remain in teaching at the end of it. The careers support is pretty good (although perhaps not for academia) and it is salaried.

However, as PP have said history is not a shortage subject and the places fill up fast. You would also have to be prepared to work in a tough school in challenging circumstances. They were running an incentive for early applicants for 2018 to get their first preference of region but I don't know if this is still going.

Alternatively, and if you want to save, you could investigate housemistress roles at any boarding schools near you and live in.

Finally, however, if it's your intention to stay in academia then I'd honestly crack on and get your PhD soonest, especially if you think that you might want to start a family in the next ten years or so. What do you want to achieve from this 'break'?

FaFoutis Thu 06-Jul-17 20:55:44

I agree with Leanne. If you want an academic job you'd be better off getting on with the PhD. Teaching skills are not highly valued in HE, stupidly enough.
(or actually you'd be better off aiming for something else the way things are in HE now)

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