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Opinions on the TeachFirst route into teaching?
69

MrsAJCrowley · 22/07/2019 17:49

Hi guys, I need to pick your brains.

I am looking to change my career and I am looking at going into teaching. It is something I have always wanted to do and tbh, I’m not sure why I didn’t go down that route straight from uni.

I would be looking to do this course www.teachfirst.org.uk/our-programme/about-the-programme . Does anyone have any knowledge or experiences about the teach first courses?

If it’s necessary , I would look to teach history or English in secondary schools as I have suitable qualifications and a passion for both.

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MrsAJCrowley · 22/07/2019 17:50

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UrsulaPandress · 22/07/2019 17:51

I only know that a friend's son did it and has been teaching for about 6 years as is now a Deputy Head.

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Joopy · 22/07/2019 17:53

I did it. Have you applied? It is hard work but if you really want to teach and you have a good support network it can work. PM if you want!

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Teddybear45 · 22/07/2019 18:09

From what my sil (who did this programme recently) told me, this programme is essentially the equivalent of a grad scheme and so there is a strong preference in the assessment centre for recent grads with lots of teaching experience or (to a lesser extent) STEM qualifications combined with significant industry level leadership experience. If you are a grad then you may be better served via a PGCE and a teaching assistant job arranged locally. Suggest you explore all options. The DoE has a session on the 5th of August about all the teaching options available getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/teaching-events/online-events/change-career-to-teaching-0

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Alpacathebag · 22/07/2019 18:11

My sister did this last year and is still teaching now. She had no previous teaching experience, but does have a degree. She worked in a creative industry first for four years. She loved the course and loves her job.

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MrsAJCrowley · 22/07/2019 18:19

That’s brilliant excellent to hear guys

@joopy I haven’t applied just yet, I wanted to see what the consensus was about it tbh. Because if it was looked down on or people thought it was a Mickey Mouse course or whatever then it wouldn’t have been worth doing yknow? Thank you though, I may well take you up on your offer and swing a message by you ☺️

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MrsAJCrowley · 22/07/2019 18:21

@Teddybear45 thank you, I’ll be sure to have a look at that link. Thank you

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houseofrabbits · 22/07/2019 18:25

I've just finished my second year training with Teach First. For me it was an easier/more financially sensible route into teaching. Many others in my cohort are going onto other things. I agree with Teach First's values but they do hype it up a bit. Also the new PGDE is a bit odd, although I have been the guinea pig year for it so they may have made some changes. If you want to be a teacher and think you can cope with teaching your own class right from the start plus the demands of essays etc for the PGDE, then it's a great route!

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MrsAJCrowley · 22/07/2019 19:10

@houseofrabbits thanks for your reply. It seems to be more financially sensible for me too tbh. It’s one of the major selling points

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noblegiraffe · 22/07/2019 19:16

As a teacher who did a PGCE it sounds absolutely bonkers to me to drop a trainee into a full-on timetable from the start.

From friends who’ve dealt with TF trainees, some cope, quite a few don’t.

But I guess if you need the money, English doesn’t attract that much of a bursary.

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houseofrabbits · 22/07/2019 19:49

Just to add, I had been a teaching assistant for 3 years previously so I knew what teaching was like and it was a life saver in my first year!

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rillette · 22/07/2019 21:24

As a career changer, you should look at Now Teach. It might be a better fit!

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Piggywaspushed · 22/07/2019 22:07

One of the worst and least prepared (for leadership) colleagues I have taught with was TF so that has affected my view somewhat. It does have a bit of a reputation as elitist and arrogant and producing a certain type of teacher who expects a fast track. It has a high drop out rate especially in the second year for a range of reasons. But it works for some people. They used to only recruit people from 'high calibre' unis with 2:1s and above but may have moved these goalposts. It's mainly young people straight out of uni : the clue is in the name.

When you say you are qualified to teach both English and history... what is your degree in?

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PancakeAndKeith · 22/07/2019 22:24

I did GTP which is what ran before Teach First I think.

I did 30% teaching in the first term, 50% in the second and 70% in the third. It is incredibly hard work.

One thing to be aware of, and I’m not sure that this is still the case, is that you will have qualified teacher status but nothing else. This means that you can only teach in England.

As for people looking down on it, who is to know once you are in the classroom.

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NotAPenguin · 22/07/2019 22:36

I am about to start with Now Teach. They give you a day a week at home which really appealed to me. It doesn't change the workload but feels more manageable with kids of my own. Also having a cohort of similar aged career changers really appeals. I could have done a PGCE but am choosing not to, I don't envisage teaching outside England and I'm trying to keep the workload as manageable as possible.

I am doing science though so will get a bursary, I don't think that you would be paid to train to teach English but it's worth asking them. But think that they are only really in London and Birmingham at the moment.

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noblegiraffe · 22/07/2019 23:21

Teach First is 60-80% timetable from the off, I think.

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Thethingswedoforlove · 22/07/2019 23:23

Was going to mention NowTeach too rillette!

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SabineSchmetterling · 23/07/2019 08:05

I’ve not done Teach First so cant comment on that directly but I’m here to say teach history. I do and bloody love it! There’s less scrutiny and pressure than for English. We have a couple of English teachers in my school with joint honours (English and History) degrees who have said they would like to switch because of this. The English department get far more dictated to them by management, by the government etc. History, by comparison, gets a lot of freedom. Our exam specs offer lots of choice so we get to choose what we teach and are largely left alone to decide how to teach it.

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hashtagthathappened · 23/07/2019 08:11

Everything I learned on the PGCE was in the classroom.

Go for it OP.

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houseofrabbits · 23/07/2019 08:22

Just to clarify a few points, with Teach First you teach 60% up until Autumn half term and 80% from then onwards. This 80% continues in your second year because you are entitled to NQT time. Yes Teach First do talk a lot about leadership and how you should be pushing yourself to apply for leadership positions after your NQT year. In general this in unrealistic, although I have actually been offered a leadership position so perhaps not as unrealistic as I first thought.

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PinguDance · 23/07/2019 10:02

I know loads of people who’ve done Teach First but have myself opted for a PGCE cos I get a whacking great bursary - TF seems to be very hit and miss and largely depends on how much support you get from the school, however you could say that about a PGCE route too. Some people I know have absolutely bombed and others have done well on TF, however not any better than others who did a PGCE. if you need the salary then that’s the major selling point otherwise it seems unnecessarily stressful to me.

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PinguDance · 23/07/2019 10:03

Also - logistics wise you don’t always get first choice about what subject or where you teach with TF, I’d probably want a back up option if I didn’t fancy moving to wherever for two years.

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MrsAJCrowley · 23/07/2019 10:10

@Piggywaspushed I have two BAs both 2:1s. One in history and one in english. The English course I’ve only recently completed as a distance learning course to stop me going mad in a job I can’t stand! Lol

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MrsAJCrowley · 23/07/2019 10:10

Thanks all for your replies and information. It’s really helpful

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ThanksItHasPockets · 23/07/2019 19:08

I’m not sure that this is still the case, is that you will have qualified teacher status but nothing else. This means that you can only teach in England.

This information is about ten years out of date. TF participants started to receive PGCEs instead of QTS only from (I think) the 2009 cohort onwards, and from 2016 have studied for a PGDE - not to be confused with the Scottish PGDE. It is worth 120 M level credits, to the PGCE’s 60.

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