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Any point in doing a TA level 3 course whilst studying for OU degree?!

(19 Posts)
Dazedandalittleconfused Sat 25-Nov-17 20:30:19

Advice needed please!! Basically am currently studying for an OU degree (English) and by the end of this academic year should hopefully have only 2 modules left. Eventual goal is to apply for a PGCE hence why I'm posting in here. However I'm finding it nye on impossible to secure any kind of voluntary experience in a school, have sent various emails out and also asked in my own dc's school, but I keep getting brushed off! This has led me to think that If I undertook the level 3 TA diploma at my local college I could guarantee some kind of work experience, and also that having the level 3 might be an added boost for my PGCE application. However , i'm unsure if it's a bit crazy to pay out to spend a year studying for a level 3 qualification when i'm doing a degree?! Does anyone on here have any opinions /advice on this? I have nobody knowledgeable to ask IRL!

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Cynderella Sun 26-Nov-17 17:51:39

I don't really know, but it doesn't seem sensible. I don't know your circumstances or whether you're considering primary or secondary, but I would have thought schools would snap you up if you were offering extra help.

In secondary, we're all really busy, and so if you wanted to come in for a week or two, you might not get an offer. But if you were willing to come in for couple of hours every Thursday morning to work with our EAL or weakest SEN kids, I think we'd be happy to have you. A regular slot over a term or two makes you more useful to a school. In a school with a big student support room/centre, there's always a need for someone willing to help out.

Once in situ, you could find the Head of English and arrange some observations.

crunchtime Sun 26-Nov-17 22:06:39

level 3 requires at least three days a week in school plus a day in college
could you commit to that?

imip Sun 26-Nov-17 22:21:09

I’m currently doing level 2 and have committed volunteering for a full year 2 days a week 9:30-2:30. I think that’s probably the key.

Similar to you, I’m doing it with a longer term view to doing a PGCE. It’s really obvious that I’m massively overqualified in terms of the college course (not trying to brag I have post-grad qualifications and in my class most people have GCSEs). Perhaps I could have saved myself the £700 doing the course by just volunteering alone and getting the experience?

PersianCatLady Tue 28-Nov-17 11:55:29

I am currently applying to study a PGCE through SCITT.

I have already spent a day in the School that I want to apply to the most and another l9cal school has already offered me every Wednesday.

How are you asking for the School experience?

Dazedandalittleconfused Tue 28-Nov-17 22:44:15

Thanks for the replies! I have just been emailing all the schools explaining my situation and saying that I would appreciate any opportunity to volunteer in any capacity . Ie listening to readers etc . I didnt email my own dcs school- I went in and asked directly- but they have kind of brushed me off, saying they're busy at the moment etc!

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Dazedandalittleconfused Tue 28-Nov-17 22:45:46

I think my main thought behind doing the level 3 course is that I will definitely get school experience that way!

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Lollipop30 Tue 28-Nov-17 22:45:55

Yes do it, it’s not difficult and you can do distance learning ones that allow you to manage your own time

PersianCatLady Tue 28-Nov-17 22:51:02

Do you still live in the same area as your old school?

crazycatgal Tue 28-Nov-17 22:58:49

I'm sure that when my friend did her TA qualification she had to organise the school placement herself - so you might end up stuck like you are now.

Dazedandalittleconfused Tue 28-Nov-17 23:19:12

persian no unfortunately I don't live in the area that I grew up in, we've moved about a fair bit and ended up here about three years ago.
Crazycat ooh not good I was hoping that the college arrange the work placement for you ! Although maybe they'd at least be able to help if I found myself still in this position !

I don't know why i'm finding it so hard to get any experience , I was always under the impression that schools are desperate for regular volunteers to do reading etc ! confused

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crazycatgal Tue 28-Nov-17 23:32:34

@Dazedandalittleconfused I was the same when trying to get experience - ignored by schools. I had an email address for the deputy head at a school that I had an interview at for a PGCE in June (unfortunately I had no experience so didn't gain a place) and that's how I've managed to sort a one day a week placement. It's all about who you know.

imip Tue 28-Nov-17 23:34:21

My college did arrange it for some students, but it was the absolute, absolute last resort.

Daisymay2 Tue 28-Nov-17 23:50:27

When I retired, I chatted to a neighbour who works in admin at a local primary school about volunteering. They were looking for volunteers who could offer regular days, long term to assist with reading or to help run art type clubs/ help with craft or art classes. The other reason she was keen that I went in to see them to see whether they could find something for me is that I had a CRB/DBS certificate from my previous job.
Have you thought about volunteering for youth organisations ( cubs/brownies) getting expereince in working with children, then you might find schools more interested in you - and you will probably have a DBS as well.
Before anyone else says it, yes I thought you needed a different certificate for every role - but obviously not in practice.

Dazedandalittleconfused Tue 28-Nov-17 23:55:12

crazycatoh dear,if it's all about who you know then I think I'm screwed!
I guess I just have to keep ringing round and emailing schools. Though i've kind of ruled out my dc's school for now as i've asked a few times and I feel like I'm pestering them blush
I live just outside a small city that has a specialist teacher training university so i'm guessing part of the problem is that schools have lots of requests for classroom experience!
This whole thing is making me realise how much I want to fulfill my goal of becoming a teacher , as the thought of not being able to do it really sucks!!

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Dazedandalittleconfused Wed 29-Nov-17 00:06:24

daisymay I would love to volunteer at cubs/brownies etc but unfortunately not an option for me right now as I have boisterous little ones who need to be in bed wink and no evening childcare. Definitely something i'll look at in the future though!

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crazycatgal Wed 29-Nov-17 08:12:04

@Dazedandalittleconfused I totally understand your frustrations. Primary PGCE applications want at least 3 weeks worth of experience but it's so hard to get. People always say that schools are crying out for volunteers but when you try and do so you get shot down.

Do you know anyone who is currently a teacher or TA who could get you the contact details for a head?

PersianCatLady Wed 29-Nov-17 11:57:19

Have you been to any of the Train To Teach road shows?

I got chatting to a teacher at a local school at one and she has arranged a one day a week placement at her school.

PersianCatLady Wed 29-Nov-17 11:58:20

Have you looked at the Get Into Teaching website for some advice?

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