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Can I become a UK teacher again?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by cate33, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. cate33

    cate33 New commenter

    I completed my primary PGCE in 2000 and taught for two years. I felt young and craved adventure so I left the classroom and for 2 years worked as an education officer at a UK zoo. I then moved to Australia and wanted to return to teaching but ended up working again as an education officer at an Australian zoo (at both zoos I mainly taught science and geography based sessions to students from reception age to year 12).
    I left this position in mid 2012 to have a baby and now my two children are at school and preschool I am desperate to get back into the classroom.
    I have strong behaviour management skills on my side and the ability to quickly build up a rapport with students but other than volunteering for one morning a week for a year I haven't had any teaching experience in the classroom for 15 years.
    I am currently reading as many recent teaching books as possible and I have seen the teachagain program and a SCITT return to teaching course https://www.scscitt.co.uk/returners-to-teaching/
    but wonder what advice you would give me to return to the profession.
    Thank you
  2. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Decide on your age range and apply to independent schools: competition for science teachers in prep schools is low and offering a humanities second subject would be an advantage in some schools. Perhaps do a bit of supply to loosen your class teaching muscles again.

    Arguably, you would easily get into a state secondary offering science also as there are so few science qualified science teachers at the moment ... but there's a reason for that.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I'm not someone who thinks schools are pretty much arriving at 'Hell in a Handcart' when it comes to behaviour, far from it. But schools are very different places now to what they were 15 years ago and strong behaviour management skills then may not work for you now. Similarly the skills needed for children on a trip to a zoo are not the same as those needed for managing stroppy sods when you are shattered on a dreary Thursday afternoon! (Not saying you won't still have strong skills, just be wary of saying so in an application.)

    Like @drvs I would apply to prep schools asking for either science or geography. (If there are middle schools nearby, then they might work as well.) Certainly if we were advertising for either subject, we'd bite your hand off to appoint you. A great many small preps will.
    Once you are there, especially in smaller schools, you will end up teaching other subjects anyway and can gradually move back to being more of a general classteacher lower down the school if that's what you want to do.

    Best of luck.
    cate33, MarieAnn18 and agathamorse like this.
  4. teachagain20153

    teachagain20153 New commenter

    I recommend volunteering as a teacher in a school. If you can't organise that yourself, there are organisations that can do it for you. It's highly unlikely that a Head Teacher will appoint someone without any recent teaching experience as they are too much of a risk. Good luck
    cate33 likes this.
  5. cate33

    cate33 New commenter

    Thank you for your responses. I've started the TES return to teaching course and will try to organise somevolunteering and hopefully some supply.
  6. StarbucksCovfefe

    StarbucksCovfefe Occasional commenter

    I was out of education for 8 years. I've been supplying since May, and now have a perm job for sept. I'd suggest just signing up for supply. Don't work for free!
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Many of the supply agencies will not touch you unless you have recent, classroom experience. I enquired about the Department for Education Return to Teaching Programme and, bizarrely, some of their schools have 'classroom teaching experience within in the last three years' as one of their selection criteria. Makes a mockery of the whole thing!

    @teachagain20153: Some of these 'organisations' that find you TP placements do not come cheap!
    agathamorse likes this.

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