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Thinking about primary teaching...(3 Posts)
Hello I'm definitely not a mum but am posting in hope of advice about primary teaching.
For context I'm in my 2nd year of a law degree at a Russell group uni but definitely don't want to be a lawyer. I've been volunteering with primary school aged children from disadvantaged backgrounds since October in an academic support after school club and absolutely loved it. My plan is to do a PGCE after I graduate but looking for any advice, specifically answers to a few questions.
In terms of PGCE does it matter where you do it or are they all pretty much the same?
How intense is the PGCE year?
Do they teach you the specific ways to do a maths question or do they simply assume you can do it all (A* GCSE Maths but am aware they could have changed the method in the 10 years since I left primary school)
Is there any market for primary teachers or is it fairly saturated?
Would two weeks observation plus my weekly volunteering be enough? Also spending six weeks working in a summer camp for international students aged 8-12 this summer
When I go for work experience in June what is the best way to make the most of my time and gain a realistic notion of what teaching is like? As a teacher if you had me in you classroom what would you expect from me?
I was you ten years ago! I did my law degree, worked as a TA for a year and then did my PGCE.
With regards to experience, get as much of it with as many different year groups in as many different school as you can. Shadow the teacher - if he/she's working, what can you do to help. Be proactive: sharpen pencils, stick things into books, tidy book shelves, wash paint pots. Don't stop, because teachers don't. If you've got a good relationship with a teacher, ask to look at planning so you can see how the lessons come together. Volunteers are a total pain if they just sit there. Get involved in everything, help as much as you can. If the teacher says there's nothing to do, go to the staff room and make them a cup of tea
With regards to maths, you'll have to pass the skills test but they should cover some teaching methods during the PGCE . However, every school teaches differently so maths in your placement school could end up being a bit different to maths in your NQT school.
Try posting in the TES community and you will get loads of responses, or have a look at what's already there. I made the leap 18 years ago and to me, it's the best job in the world (but I am starting to feel like I'm in a minority for saying that).
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