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Advice wanted

Discussion in 'Primary' started by RayDuell, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. RayDuell

    RayDuell New commenter

    Hi All

    I wish to become a primary school teacher and need advice.

    Soon I am embarking to gain QTLS status with the Education and Training Foundation (formely ILF). I have Certificate in Education (don't have my degree hence the QTLS route) and have been teaching vocationally to businesses for several years. I have my adult Literacy/Numeracy too. I will register to gain QTLS before the September deadline and begin submitting my portfolio of evidence.

    Although I have many years teaching to adults (a year teaching in FE too) I do not have any experience teaching to children. I teach short mandatory training courses such as First Aid, Health and Safety, Food Safety etc and many more.

    Recently I was able to observe in a Primary school several lessons and all I can say is I was blown away by the expereince. Now it is all I can think about and want to work with the children and hopefully make a difference. I am highly inspired and motivated to do this.

    Questions that have come up are....

    What wil I be teaching exactly? Presumably Maths, English and another subject?
    I am male, 46 years of age and wondered if my age could work against me? Also I hear that male primary teachers are in demand... Hope so!!
    Do I need to have had experience working in a Primary setting befire I will be taken seriously for interview?
    If so does anyone know what options there are there with this as I currently work fulltime... office hours! (I'd gladly work as a teaching assistant for 6 months or so if need be and take the drop in wages although would I be considered for this role with my quals/expereince?

    Sorry for the long message and I do hope it makes sense.

    Best wishes

    Ray Duell
    Training Consultant for a Health and Safety company.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    In Primary normally the class teacher teaches every subject on the curriculum. So not just Maths, English and one other subject but Music, PE, Science, Geography, History, MFL, RE PSHE, PE and Games.
    f you're EYFS you'll also need to know about phonics. KS2 all about grammar for English.

    Don't be misled by rumours about being male giving you an advantage. Schools just want the best teachers male or female.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. RayDuell

    RayDuell New commenter

    Thanks Lara.... Clearly more subjects than I appreciated. I tried all sorts of google searches but didn't get the answers I was looking for. I have a feeling I will need to gain experience in the setting first, maybe over an academic year. This is my main concern, teaching the subjects.

    I wonder if I can gain access to the various syllabus' here and I can start my own learning at some point.

    Thank you for your response, much appreciated :)

    aayaf24 likes this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    You'll find the (current) Primary Curriculum here
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    If I were you I would ring The Teacher Training Agency and discuss your plans with them. They will be able to tell you what you will need to do.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. aayaf24

    aayaf24 New commenter

    It's heartening to know that others out there want to teach :)

    There's not much advice I can offer, I can tell you what I've learnt from teacher training open days at my uni. I'm a graduate with a truck-load of experience working in schools and is applying for TA positions.

    Good news: there so many ways to train as a primary teacher. There's Teach First (highly competitive, I wasn't offered an interview with three years experience working in schools), PGCE, a more academic approach, expensive but generous bursaries available depending on your undergraduate degree award. Primary places are highly competitve, STEM subjects insecondary schools science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics/modern foreign languages are less so. School's Direct is another another University based course with a heavier emphasis on placement than PGCE.

    Bad news: to complete ANY of them requires a FULL TIME commitment over 1-2 years. That's if you can secure a place.

    So teaching assisting could be an option, most job ads will tell you the rate of pay and whilst no experience or qualifications are essential, you will notice that the pay is between usually £11,000 to £18,000 a year. For new TA's it will be on the lower end. Even High Level Teaching Assistant's rarely make over £20,000.

    Think carefully if this is the kind of pay cut you can live with. Experience working in schools is almost essential in securing an interview however. I'm not taking about simply observing lessons, but having worked in a school/with children consistently over a sustained period, say minimum 6-12 months.

    Volunteering is a fantastic way to start. I will advise looking at weekend volunteering roles which can fit around your full time job. All schools/children are different, so you might find it either extremely rewarding or very challenging! Children's charities often deal with kids from deprived backgrounds, offering them support with their development and learning. Be aware of the kind behavioural problems you may face. They are always looking for committed individuals like yourself to help their cause and mentioning you're looking to gain experience to go into teaching would be helpful.

    You can also do an online teaching assistant qualification (check accreditations!) for under £500. You can choose between ones which offer placements and one's which don't.

    My male friend began teaching aged 37, having transferred from the police force. He is now subject leader and has taught at my old Sixth Form for six years.

    Best of luck and I hope it works out!

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