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Career change - How do I become a teacher?

(14 Posts)
SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 29-Aug-17 16:17:02

Hi there, could do with some advice please. Apologies if this isn't in the right section.
I've been in the corporate world for a few years and it's not working for me. My original dream back in the day was to become a teacher, and I'm wondering how I get into that now.
I have two children, youngest starting school in September.
I have a high degree in English Language, which is what I would like to teach.
I don't have any in-school experience.
I'm wondering what the best route into teaching would be. Any ideas / advice would be very gratefully received. Thanks very much!

OP’s posts: |
Apple23 Tue 29-Aug-17 16:47:37

First things are to get into at least one school as a volunteer with the age group you think you might want to teach and to make sure you have all the relevant qualifications (including good GCSEs in English, Maths and Science).

Abandon all thoughts that teaching is a family-friendly career and work out how to manage your childcare, including when your children are off-school ill. There are different routes to qualify post-grad (uni-based with placements or school-based) but these change fairly often and I did the undergraduate route so hopefully someone with more info will come along soon.

mrsRosaPimento Tue 29-Aug-17 16:53:23

Don't. Management and OFSTED will expect more and more until they suck you dry. The teaching of the children is fantastic, but the rest of it is enough to give you a nervous breakdown. I don't know any of my ex colleagues who weren't on antidepressants.

BizzyFizzy Tue 29-Aug-17 16:57:02

OP! I was in you position 25 years ago. Corporate job with two young children.

I just applied for a PGCE, which was via UCAS, and they took me!

I didn't like teaching at first so I had three more children. I love it now and it has been such a good career choice for our family situation.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 29-Aug-17 17:00:08

Thanks for the replies everyone! bizzyfizzy were you able to work alongside / get a bursary / grant while you did your PGCE?

mrsrosa I'm already on ADs so I'd be perfect! grin

OP’s posts: |
BizzyFizzy Tue 29-Aug-17 17:16:55

I didn't work alongside the PGCE. It was tough, financially, as I still had to pay childcare, but saw it as an investment in the future. My parents and inlaws were supportive and on hand to help out if needed (we managed).

There was a £1000 bursary in January that I received as a science student. I believe there is a lot more on offer nowadays.

CarrieBlue Tue 29-Aug-17 17:28:57

If you have no up to date experience of schools I doubt whether any training provider would give you a place. You sound very flippant in response to mrsRosa's post - she isn't making up the reality for an awful lot of teachers. With due respect to BizzyFizzy, training these days is very different to now, there is very little chance of working alongside a PGCE and whilst there are bursaries for certain subjects you do have to pay fees (£9250). There are other training routes like SCITT or Schools Direct which would involve a small salary whilst training and these days free schools and academies can employ unqualified teachers.
There is a reason for the recruitment and retention crisis in teaching, you need to be very sure about what teaching now involves and be prepared for a very family unfriendly job, not just whilst training but also when qualified.
Get some experience of working with the age group you think you want to work with and some observations in a school.

Pizzaexpressreview Tue 29-Aug-17 17:32:44

I'd be very wary. I think you need to be v. and it's honestly rubbish for mental health!


You would need to have at least 2 weeks experience in a school (some providers expect more). You would have to sit numeracy & literacy exams & complete an application on ucas & student finance (the personal statement is very important on UCAS).
You would then be invited to interview, where it may involve a teaching observation, a presentation on something relevant to teaching theories/practise. You may also have group interview sessions and an individual interview, plus further exams (I had to do a further numeracy, literacy, science & computing exam).

Then with a PGCE, you usually are in uni for a couple of weeks (I was in for a month mon-fri 9am-6pm with an hours lunch break.) Then placement usually split weeks (three days at school teaching around 40% and then two days at uni about 10-5) until you start full time placement where you are in school usually at least 8-4.30. This will be when you teach around 80% of the timetable, and there are also academic essays equivalent to about a total of 10k words.
At my uni, we had to provide a lesson plan (very detailed) for every lesson taught (so if teaching 80% this can be 20 lessons) plus an evaluation of each lesson. There was also a lot of uni tasks we had to complete.

The thing about a PGCE is you have to be able to take criticism, even if it's not constructive. You stand up there & deliver a lesson you've planned in so much detail & feel so confident about & have spent so much time preparing & then the observer tells you it was a "requires improvement" or that it was "only a low good" and it's crushing. It's very easy to believe you're shit at it if people let you. I graduated with outstanding on both placements but still felt, at most points, that I was doing all I could & it still wasn't enough.

user1498754524 Tue 29-Aug-17 17:50:00

Hi it all depends on what kind of Teaching you wish to do and at what level. I myself am a qualified SEN meaning I'm a Special Education Classroom Assistant. To gain this there are several reputable organisations but you must remember that you will require a DBS [or whatever your country equivalent is to be alone with Children]
If you wish to become a higher grade teacher then you will need to complete some form of Degree level Teaching Qualification [Depending on your Country of course]

SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 29-Aug-17 18:56:56

Apologies, I didn't mean to be flippant. I do realise the stress and pressures that teachers are put under.

Thanks for all the replies. Certainly a lot to think about.

OP’s posts: |
Anewcareerforme Tue 29-Aug-17 21:04:18

OP why don't you come over to this thread. Most on it are starting teacher training next week. We'll be able to tell you about our training, who we are training with, how we got a place, what preparation we did for the interview and what we're doing now etc.And as time goes by how we find the training.
Also look at the Get Into Teaching website.

TheUnseenAcademic Tue 29-Aug-17 21:08:54

Good responses here- just to add, you won't be teaching English language solely (unless you want to Teach English as a Foreign Language) but language AND literature, so look at developing your subject knowledge of literature too. PM me if you're in the South West as I might be able to help further.

DrMadelineMaxwell Tue 29-Aug-17 22:06:08

Never mind about PGCE, the whole job is one where you need to be able to take criticism.

Performance management observations, Ofsted/Estyn, sometimes advisors from the educational dept will come and watch you. And give feedback. And feel that, even when they can't put their finger on anything negative, that they need to give a room for improvement comment. This will out me, but I was miffed when one advisor told me that my lesson was sound, learning was good, behaviour management was spot on, but I just didn't SPARKLE! FFs. What type of feedback is that? Another head told me all the same good things, that there was nothing they could fault, but they just knew I could do better! I'd never met her before. Luckily, the inspector who watched me gave me no negative feedback in our inspection and was glowing in his praise and I was happier with that after 2 lots of naff feedback.

Also, in your own eyes, you can never do the job 100%. You have to put a limit on the time you can put into any one given lesson and then admit that there are always external factors (the pupils!) that mean that even some of the best planned lessons don't go brilliantly. And even with great ones you can think how you'd have done it better if you did it again. It's never ending.

For me it is one of the better parts of the job, though, as it means you don't get bored as you rarely do the same thing in the same way.

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