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Becoming a teacher later in life(5 Posts)
I’m currently a carer (2 autistic children) and home educator to 2 children but my long term goal is to go back to something once they are older. I will be 46 once my youngest is 18 and am debating secondary teaching. I was accepted on a pgce before I fell pregnant with my eldest and have a first class biology degree.
I know the hours are hellish and the environment atm isn’t the best but I’m thinking with no young dependants it might be manageable?
Has anyone here started teaching late in life? Any comments?
Also what would be recommended in the run up to applying? I was thinking things like some refresher courses in science etc (though I’m currently doing biology gcse sessions with a small group so will still have some knowledge). My degree will be over 20 years old though.
I started a PGCE (secondary) in my early 50s. My degree was 10 years old. On paper I looked a very strong candidate I was offered three training places. In preparation I I did 20 days observation I already had school experience in a different professional capacity. And I had to sit a math and English test.
The SCITT I Started the training with asked also asked me to do subject knowledge enhancement course because my degree was 10 years old I was paid to do it you do it on line.
Personally I hated every minute of it, the best day was when I finally chucked in the towel, I had slight niggling doubt that it wasn’t for me even when doing the observations but everyone kept saying you’ll be brilliant etc. It was as a totally alien and different world to that I came from frankly I think I was to old to make the change but I suspect that was me my previous profession defined me and had me me the person I am, the two jobs had no similarities frankly I found teaching boring but I’d come from a very fast paced unpredictable no ten minutes let alone day are the same job. A few others of similar ages to me drop out but the drop out rate was shocking about 70% dropped out from over the course of the year and two never took up teaching posts when they finished but all ages chucked it in not just the older ones. The good news is that a women the same age as me finished and is now teaching she would admit that she is happier teaching than in her previous occupation.
Talk to lots of people visit lots of schools get as many observation days as you can.
The work commitment is huge, and everything seemed to my mind to be very prescribed.
It was a useful lesson I returned to my old job it doesn’t look that bad after all!!
With a biology degree, have you considered becoming a physician's associate? They are in growing demand because the government wants every GP surgery to employ several, and you can also work in many areas of hospital medicine. You would need further training, but I believe some bursaries are available.
Not so much later in life, but I think choosing your school and/or setting for your career is really crucial.
There are some great places to be and there's some hellish places to me.
Anecdotally, people with more experience under thei belt tend to be quite good at spotting bullshit and have a much better handle on what is reasonable/unreasonable in terms of workload. Its a double edged sword as a career changer or a later in life teacher. On one hand you're well equipped to see through BS and are more likely to have a range of strategies to manage workload etc, but on the other you spend a lot of time looking at what is considered acceptable in schools and find it infuriatingly annoying and inefficient and/or find yourself wondering how people manage to get promoted way beyond their capabilities, get demotivated and leave.
I trained when I was 40, after having had a career in a completely different field. At the time, my son was at primary school so my PGCE (via Schools Direct) was hard work, but it was only one academic year. I'm 45 now, my son is at high school and yes, the hours are long. But, to be honest, I think any professional role will have long hours.
As a more 'mature' teacher, I feel I am taken more seriously even though I don't have as much experience as other teachers. As a previous poster said, I can recognise the bullshit for what it is and try not to take the pointless things too seriously.
In the run up to applying, I would suggest you do lots of voluntary work/observations in different schools and different year groups in order to gain as much experience as possible. You may find you are eligible for a bursary too. I was able to apply for one as I had more than 5 years experience working in a field related to my degree (even though my degree was almost 20 years old at the time!) My advice would be to go for it. I don't regret it at all. Good luck!
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