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25 but wanting to be a Primary School teacher by 2016, what are my chances?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by JamieD33, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. I'm 25 and although up until now have been uncertain as to which career to choose, I have now done some voluntary work with 6-10 year olds and feel sure I would make a happy and successful primary school teacher. I'm wanting to get a degree and PGCE and just go for it but these questions are holding me back:

    * My CV is patchy at best due to being (although undiagnosed) a long-term sufferer of depression and anxiety. Since leaving College with only one A-level I have been in and out of various retail jobs and spent a significant amount of time unemployed. How much are these CV gaps likely to effect a carer in primary school teaching?

    * What will schools look for when doing CRB checks? I ask because when I was 19 I was sacked from working at Sainsbury's for stealing something priced £1.50. My manager got me to sign a statement admitting this but I don't know if they passed this statement on to the police or even if it is too petty to matter if they did. Is it possible this might effect schools' decision to employ me?

    - James D.
  2. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    I would doubt a single A-level will allow you to do a degree. I'd have thought with all this time out of work, a good option would be to study further at college and improve your status.
    Teaching is one of the hardest careers to pursue and the time given each week approaches 55 hours. Without knowing you, I'd suggest you aren't really in a position to impress someone enough to take on a commitment to training you, let alone employing you. As an example, I've 15 years teaching experience, a degree and 5 A levels and I'm still out of work.
    Further, nowadays the costs involved in further education are prohibitive and caution should be used when making decisions. I'd have thought the local careers centre would be a good place to start and then going to your local college and enrolling on some courses, which are free for the unemployed.
  3. In order to get on to an undergraduate course you need a certain amount of UCAS points, with your 1 A-level it's very unlikely you would be accepted. You could go back to college as a mature student and work at Foundation Level perhaps look at Child Development, or look at the Open University courses. Have you considered working in a nursery? Look for nursery assistant positions, wherein you will be payed Nat Min Wage but most offer free training to gain NVQ level 3 which would also add to your qualifications and experience working with children (at pre-school level).
    Whilst teaching (teacher training) is rewarding it can also be extremely stressful and whilst you state it's undiagnosed I definitly wouldn't recommend to look to this profession unless your underlying anxiety and depression issues have been addressed!!
    As suggested get as much information and help as you can from the job centre. 9/10 they can look at your CV and point you in the right direction.
    With regards to the CRB, it only states anything you have actually been convicted of. So whilst I don't think this will flag up, I wouldn't go asking for a reference [​IMG]
    Good Hunting.
    x C x
  4. James,
    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" Lao-Tzu.
    Anything is possible, there is nothing in your background to suggest that you should not go for this, if you believe this is the for you. Training may not be easy or a "quick fix" taking years of sustained effort but the most worthwhile endeavours rarely are. Forget the minor incident at Sainsburys and move forward and start at the beginning, getting qualified and getting support in developing yourself and your career aspirations. A good starting point could be the Open University (I have found them very supportive both pastorally and academically including CV presentation, managing your studies, support with any other items affecting your ability to study etc.) or an access course or similar at another Higher Education Institute. Your A Level suggests you have the academic ability and keep up where possible voluntary experience with young people. Keep well and take the first step.....at the other end a demanding but fulfilling profession awaits you. Good luck.
  5. Hey James
    I am currently on a PGCE course but my boyfriend is in the same position as you.
    He left school without any passes at GCSE, he hasn't got any A levels either ( you've got one up on him there) and he has been in job after job since leaving school.
    Last year, he applied to the Open University to do an Open Degree which is basically in anything you want and you can mix and match the modules to suit your interests. He started off with English and Spanish and has moved onto child development. He plans to move onto either a GTP or PGCE and he is 25 as well.
    I estimate if all goes well that he will qualify by 2014/15 so bearing that in mind you should be able toqualify by 2016. He is also attending college sessions in the evening to get his GCSEs and at the minute (I don't know how long it will last) but the government are paying for Maths and English GCSE courses as they want everyone to have to opportunity to have a good standard of maths and english. You haven't stated whether you got GCSEs but if you didn't it's worth considering. You only need to do Biology for science as well to get on a PGCE.
    Be optimistic James. It's so easy for people to try and slap you down and regardless of whether people have had masses of experience of are new to the whole area of expertise, you will be employed based on your own merits. If you believe in yourself then others will.
    I personally wouldn't mention that you were sacked for stealing something worth £1.50 for your CRB because I think it is irrelevant and if you weren't convicted then it is even more irrelevant. Honesty is the best policy but why bother if it is irrelevant and I can't see how it would affect your chances.
    You obviously need the mmotivation to do this and volunteering in that environment is the best experience you can get. Keep volunteering as you will be more appealing to prospective employers if you have lots of experience as well as the qualifications. Everyone makes mistakes, even those who profess to be perfect so forget about your past and start thinking about your future becuase if you are determined and it is truly what you want to do then you will succeed.
    Have a look on the OU website, you don't need any GCSEs or A Levels to undertake a degree with them (you can do your GCSEs later for your PGCE), some of the courses start in February and you can also receive funding if you earn under a certain amount.
    Good luck James, the profession needs more people who actually want to teach and not who just fall into it because the bursaries are going to be good and they get a first in their degree.
  6. camis

    camis New commenter

    I agree with those that are suggesting the Open University as an option - I left school at 16 (no A levels) and am now completing my last module for an OU degree. I have also accepted a place on a PGCE course for September.

    With the OU you can either do a named degree, or mix and match subjects to gain an open degree. My degree is mostly French with some German, English and Children's Literature thrown in for good measure. By the time I finish, my degree will have taken 3 1/2 years, although I have doubled up on a lot of modules to finish quickly - you will need to think about how much time you have to devote to studying.

    I would also suggest carrying on with volunteering - if you are serious about a future as a teacher the more classroom experience you have, the better.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

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