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Advice on routes into classroom exposure prior to starting a teaching course

Discussion in 'Welcome lounge and forum help' started by lizzietoklu, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. lizzietoklu

    lizzietoklu New commenter

    Hi there,
    I have started my journey into teaching with a chosen intended destination as DT teacher , hopefully specialising in food tech and cooking ultimately. This is much considered career change from one previously in creative retail and latterly as chef, restaurant management and deli owner.
    Prior to hopefully gaining a place for 2021 on a SCITT course, I would like to gain as much experience and exposure to the classroom and school. I would love to get advice on how to approach this . I am applying for TA roles currently as this would seem a possible meaningful route in .As I yet have not classroom experience, would anyone advise online TA training at all?
    What is the best approach to present myself for classroom assistance/ observation. Thanks
    averagedan and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  2. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    Also consider perhaps voluntary roles - we have had a couple of "pre-teaching" students working with us for say one day a week.
    Regarding DT/Food, I would ensure that you are aware of the courses schools offer - for instance I know many have restructured the traditional DT dept that used to have food, textiles, graphics etc due to the fact that the nature of the GCSE/BTeC courses the exam boards offer have changed considerably.

    The OU has a range of free online courses - several on learning to teach - that could be useful.Also Future Learn - eg https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/supporting-learning-secondary/1
  3. lizzietoklu

    lizzietoklu New commenter

    That’s really helpful thanks so much. I am aware that DT covers a wide range of shifting subjects. I will look at OU and future learning too
    ACOYEAR8 likes this.
  4. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @lizzietoklu DO NOT pay for any online courses. Check out the free ones advised above, and also look for courses on Coursera, Futurelean etc. which will be free also.

    There are loads of crooked online course providers offering Level 3 this and that in Teaching whatever that mean absolutely nothing in teaching circles. So watch out and carefully guard your hard earned cash.

    You have a very good profile and a lot to offer and another thing, is you have practical business experience, which will help the students who would love to follow your route of being a professional chef.

    Also contact the Getting Into Teaching people and register on their website. There are usually opportunities to attend events for people interested in becoming teachers that may be local to you.

    Good luck!:)
    lizzietoklu and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  5. lizzietoklu

    lizzietoklu New commenter

  6. lizzietoklu

    lizzietoklu New commenter

    Thanks so much @catbefriender , all sound advice and confirms my suspicions on fee paying TA courses.
    I have registered with getting into teaching. And had a conversation, advice quite generic. But events look useful.
    any views on bodies that offer to manage your journey into teaching like transition to teach? Or is it better to go it alone?
    It’s quite confusing to navigate best route.
  7. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I would suggest getting a route that PAID you. Try to avoid paying for it yourself. Schools can train you and pay you at the same time and you come out of it fully qualified.

    The best schools to do this are training schools. Google your LEA and surrounding LEAs and, Put in TSA LEA, or LEA TSA i..e. TSA Wandsworth will bring up training schools in Wandsworth and give you information of the Teacher School Alliance (teacher training body) in the area. All TSA are based in schools and those schools have the best training facilities going. Every LEA has lead training schools.

    Via these routes, you can become a qualified teacher and either get a PGCE and get QTS or just get QTS. So always check to see whether you will get a PGCE as well as QTS. Whether it makes a difference having a PGCE is a moot point.

    If you can't get a paid route into teaching, then you can do a PGCE at a good university, but it will cost you.

    More teachers that take the paid route to train get jobs, usually in the schools they trained, than those who train in universities. This is because as well as training you, the school is sometimes filling a permanent vacancy.

    Because of the lockdown, there are now more people wanting to get into teaching this year so the competition will be fiercer.
  8. lizzietoklu

    lizzietoklu New commenter

  9. lizzietoklu

    lizzietoklu New commenter

    Thank you.. much needed guidance ! I am
    Looking at different models of teacher training in my region like alliance schools that collaborate and train etc, as well as a course which is based around time in school too I.e SCITT. . It is quite confusing to understand and differentiate and I am entering sideways as a career changer not a graduate . However I believe I have a lot of useful skills and experience that I hope can enhance my overall offering and am passionate about supporting young people .
    I really appreciate your feedback
  10. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    lizzietoklu and catbefriender like this.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

  12. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    The best route depends on your personal qualities and your personal circumstances.

    For some, a more academic approach is best and a PGCE is the correct route. It provides a nice gentle introduction to teaching and focusses more on theory. The people I have employed who have come into teaching via the PGCE route are definitely more knowledgeable but lack teaching experience and often need help with behaviour, workload, etc.

    For others, where they cannot afford to go without an income OR they just want to get stuck in and get teaching a provider such as Teach First is advised. The people I have employed who have entered teaching via this route tend to be much more "make a workable solution and go with it" but do tend to lack knowledge of the wider aspects of teaching, such as how curriculums are built and need help in this area. This route does tend to be sink or swim as you have very little support.

    You can enter teaching via a degree in education, not a post-grad route - I have no experience in this area. This is very rare in secondary and is more common for primary teachers who are generalists.

    As to whether or not becoming a TA helps.... Again - I've seen that work both ways and lead to overconfidence which has then lead to some almighty messes, I've generally seen it work very well when staff are good at self-reflection. If this is your strong point - then go for it!

    On the subject of courses - wait until you're employed in a school and get them to pay for it. All the schools I have worked at have been keen to get TAs on to staff training courses as once they have finish their PGCE, normally with us, we can employ them and cut some hassle out of our daily lives. This is a win for everyone.

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