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Thinking about becoming a teacher..

(21 Posts)
Barbaro Sat 05-Aug-17 08:34:34

But I'm getting a bit confused on how!

I thought you needed a PGCE to be a teacher but it seems in Scotland that isn't the case? But then I'm thinking I should get it anyway incase I decide to move down to England in the future like me and my boyfriend would like to do.

I'm also worried that I won't know enough. I have a 2.1 bachelors in forensic psychology and a masters in computer security, as well as a hnc in computing. But while that makes me look smart on paper, I don't feel that I am really. I feel like I should know everything about my subject area before being a teacher. Did anyone else feel like that?

I don't even know what subject to teach or the age range. I know primary school wouldn't be good for me, so it's secondary or college/uni for me. I would love to be a lecturer in a university but again referring to the point above, I'd feel too stupid and that the students were smarter, especially in computing.

Anyone else had these concerns? How do you get past it? Everyone thinks I would be a great teacher, I do like showing people how to do things at work, I like training people.

I do work currently as a security analyst for a company, got 3 years work experience so really computing would be best I think. Can I become a teacher part time though? I dunno how I would afford it otherwise if I didn't have a job, but none of the open university courses seem to allow you to be a teacher (I guess because you've had no practical experience).

Sorry rambled a bit. Any help or advice is appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
hoopdeloop Sat 05-Aug-17 08:39:43

You would need a post grad in teaching for Scotland as far as I'm aware. I'm sure Aberdeen/ Highlands have a different qualification you can do but I'm not sure about it.

What subjects would your degree allow to use to teach. You've mentioned computing but that you aren't sure?

As far as I know (I did the 4 year primary teaching so not sure about post grads) you wouldn't be able to do part time. The course is very intense with lots of placements. I think people have to work evenings/weekends to support themselves if they can't afford it (I had to)

Graceflorrick Sat 05-Aug-17 08:49:37

Don't do it to yourself OP.

Groovester Sat 05-Aug-17 09:09:24

You do need a PGCE in Scotland.

DaisyMacDaisy Sat 05-Aug-17 12:13:42


I am also considering secondary teaching in Scotland. I am just looking into it at the moment.

From what I can see the main (only?) way is to study for a PGDE. Mostly these seem to be full time 1 year uni courses, but not all. I remember seeing that Aberdeen Uni do a 2 year part time distance learning option for certain subjects and depending which authority you are based in, so not open to everyone. You would I assume still need to be available to complete the placements in school though.

I get what you mean about not knowing enough. It is a long time since I did any study and feel like I know nothing! I think this is more down to my lack of confidence in myself though. You do look very smart on paper and I'm sure you would have no problem getting up to speed in your subject.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Sat 05-Aug-17 12:19:05

I'm fairly sure the OU does a distance learning PGCE as one of my friends is a lecturer/tutor in it (secondary school science subject). I don't know how the placements work though.

If you're not sure about teaching it might be worth trying to work as a TA in a school before committing yourself.

Heratnumber7 Sat 05-Aug-17 12:21:29

You don't necessarily need a PGCE in England either these days.
You've never needed one to teach in private school, and there is a new process for learning teaching "on the job" that some schools have signed up to.

stargirl1701 Sat 05-Aug-17 12:25:09

You need to look at the GTC website for the criteria. It has opened up a few new routes in Scotland but most secondary teachers will have an undergraduate degree followed by a PGDE now. Primary teachers used to do the BEd which is now a BA although there is a PGDE Primary route too.

After qualifying you need to pass a one year probationary period.

It is very different from the English system and teachers trained in England can find it difficult to get GTC registration.

stargirl1701 Sat 05-Aug-17 12:26:56

There are no TAs in Scotland so that route does not exist.

Chillyegg Sat 05-Aug-17 12:35:29

Yeh I think anyone who wants to be a teacher needs to work in a school to see how it actually is. See if your actually any good with kids, whether you like kids etc. Knowing stuff is the least of your worries, you get curriculum training etc.

Barbaro Sat 05-Aug-17 18:30:14

Bit difficult to work in a school though when there is no opportunity without the right education?

Thanks though everyone, got some answers which is great. Will look into it more, I thought you needed the PGCE but I found on one website that said it was only for England which confused me.

OP’s posts: |
stargirl1701 Sat 05-Aug-17 18:58:56

You could try volunteering. We often have volunteers in school. Pupil Support Assistant? Classroom Assistant?

Legrandboucle Sat 05-Aug-17 19:18:32

I would also suggest volunteering in a school. Where in Scotland are you? Before teaching I volunteered for a charity in Edinburgh that ran workshops in schools. It gave me lots of experience in the classroom which I could talk about when applying for a PGCE. I think in Scotland you need to teach a subject you have studied at university which isn't the case in England.

sonlypuppyfat Sat 05-Aug-17 19:20:47

I thought you only needed to be a sarcy bastard to be a teacher grin

AlfieTheRailwayCat Sat 05-Aug-17 19:51:18

It's a PGDE in Scotland OP - a diploma instead of certificate. This means if you qualify in Scotland you can teach in England without having to do anything else. But if you do the PGCE then it's not enough for Scotland.

phlebasconsidered Sat 05-Aug-17 22:09:15

I didn't know that a PGCE wasn't enough to teach in Scotland. I'm sad, I was hoping to escape to a place where there was still a modicum of sanity in education!

peoniesandtulips Sat 05-Aug-17 22:39:51

If you want to come up to Scotland, give the GTCS a call. They do accept PGCEs but I believe that each applicant is considered individually.

stargirl1701 Sun 06-Aug-17 09:28:49

If you are looking for sanity in education, go to Finland before Brexit.

Groovester Sun 06-Aug-17 21:47:05

I qualified in 2000 in Scotland and it was PGCE then. Still in Scotland and still teaching...

stargirl1701 Mon 07-Aug-17 08:39:58

I qualified in 1999 with a BEd and I'm still teaching. Won't help new entrants though given that route no longer exists.

Anewcareerforme Tue 08-Aug-17 11:58:35

OP this is my understanding of the training (I could be wrong it is all a bit confusing). In Scotland they seem like you to have a PGCE although having read around bit (we've got 1/8 an eye on moving there one day) its not absolutely essential there is a poster on here whose ?DH hasn't got one. In England you need to have the QTS which is not the same as the PGCE it appears apparently many teachers themselves don't know the difference. If you don't train with a university but with a SCITT the actual PGCE is often optional, a sort of add on. My SCITT says it compulsory but many don't. It doesn't cost anymore to do it. Ive spoken to various teachers some say do it if its available others say it doesn't matter if your planning on staying in England.
There will be lots of open days/evenings coming up next term at schools for those thinking about teaching, least there is in England I'm sure Scotland is no different. My recommendation is go along and talk to as many people as you can, including current teachers, student teachers and providers and then you'll get an understanding about what the training is all about. It seemed very jargon top heavy and confusing when I first started looking. You can train part time if you want too.
Computing is one of the subjects with a £25,000 tax free bursary available when you train, you can also apply for a student loan to cover the fees and a maintenance loan if you want too. [ Look]] on this site for further info.
With regard to not knowing your subject well enough my degree (also in a subject with a £25.000 tax free bursary) is 8 years old I haven't used in any way since doing it, I was initially unsure that I would know enough to teach it but am currently doing a 'subject knowledge enhancement course' which I don't pay for in fact am I'm being paid to do it; £200 a week tax free! It is a lot of work 25 hours a week so Ive reduced my hours in my current job to enable me to do it (this is the point of being paid to do it). I'm over 1/2 way through and have really refreshed my knowledge of my subject but also acquired lots of really brilliant resources for when I start teaching.
Some teachers will say "don't do it" but if I'm being totally honest and having spent quite a few days observing and talking to teachers I don't think they work any harder than lots of other jobs. My DH works a 55-60 hour week, and he only gets 4 weeks holiday a year (and like teachers often spends bits of his holiday working) as do many of our friends. I coming from a very stressful, demanding job with a very high level personal accountability; my decisions are constantly being monitored, (in the public sector), one teacher when they found out actually said "teaching will be a walk in the park in comparison with what you're currently doing!" I'm not sure that necessarily true but Im not looking for a cushy number (I could stay in my own job and find one of those if I really wanted too) or am overly interested in 14 weeks holiday a year, especially when my DH only gets 4, or even less stress or demands. I've just got to that age, and after 30 years in my current profession, where I'm simply looking for a change of walls.
Look into it OP, talk to lots of people, observe as many lessons in a wide variety of schools as you can, IME most schools particularly secondary schools are very happy to let you come and observe lessons, talk to current teachers, trainee teachers, training providers, disgruntled teachers who've left the profession and pupils (they'll tell you an interesting story!) with an open mind, if you do then decide to pursue the application you'll hopefully have decided this is genuinely what you want to do, and therefore be in a strong position to persuade people that you've seriously thought about, it not that you're just doing it because you don't know what else to do, or you need the holidays off or you think the school day will fit it with your children school hours (I heard these sort of comments a lot when I was looking into it).
Good luck.

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