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Considering all my circumstances, what do you see the best path for me is?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by abigailjosevv, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. abigailjosevv

    abigailjosevv New commenter

    This is my situation.

    I am 23, graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a Bsc in Communications, Media and Culture & International Relations (High 2:1). After living in Oxford for 4 years I had to leave due to the fact that I'm not a UK/EU citizen. I am from Venezuela, and I am now residing in Argentina. My partner (from the UK) and I are planning to get married next summer with the end goal of returning me to the UK and being together.

    That is that part of the story, now this is the teaching bit.

    After having a couple of jobs in Comms and Marketing I did not find personal fulfillment in the profession. I was good and I could do it, but I did not feel passionate about it. Upon reflection, I found that my experiences as a teacher's assistant/intern were the type of fulfillment I was looking for. This has led me to look into the kind of teacher I want to be, where I want to go, etc.

    I studied in an International School in Qatar for the entirety of my secondary studies, doing the International Baccalaureate MYP/DP. My favourite subject was History. This is something I could see myself doing, working in an International School teaching IB History. Great.

    Now... the task at hand (after some research) feels so monumental and impossible, I've come close to giving up before starting lol. Which is why I'm here, to engage with a community and hopefully see how I can progress in my career. I understand if I move to the UK I will need to do a PGCE/QTS, but if I want to primarily teach in independent schools how do things work then?

    I know I get no funding as a dependent in the UK, which also hurts. What Master's can I do in the meantime here in Argentina (where things are cheaper) to progress in this career path?

    I've thought about keeping up my work in Comms and Marketing, whilst I slowly transition and gain the right qualifications for working in my true passion, teaching History. But is this wise? Or should I be trying to do something else entirely? Questions.
  2. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    History teaching jobs of any sort are hard to come by at the moment, particularly in the independent sector. I don't think I'd shortlist you from your current CV - you will need to develop your subject knowledge significantly to compete with candidates who have a BA/MA in History.
  3. parseltongue

    parseltongue New commenter

    Do a Masters or post grad diploma in History before a PGCE. Then consider History and/or Media Studies teaching jobs.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I can't see an independent/international school appointing you on the basis that your favourite subject was history! They have a great many applicants from people who have studied history at GCSE/A-Level and Degree level and have then gone on to get a PGCE in 11-18 history.

    A masters in British/English history would help you, but may still not be enough. A degree in history, followed by a more specialised masters in some area of history may help you get on to a PGCE in the UK.

    Someone will come on an say that independent schools don't require teachers to have qts, which is true. So if you had worked for the BBC as a history correspondent and had written half a dozen books on various periods of history, you could stand a decent chance of teaching history in an independent. Or if you had played first violin for the Berlin Philharmonic while conducting the youth orchestra, you may be successful as a part time strings teacher. Not having qts, doesn't equate to anyone can be appointed, regardless of qualifications and experience.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    You would probably be getting off marketing yourself as a Spanish teacher as Spanish is now the number 1 Foreign Language GCSE in the UK and being a native speaker will help.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. abigailjosevv

    abigailjosevv New commenter

    Thanks for the replies so far, all your perspectives are incredibly useful.

    What I get from this is that I really need a History qualification to compete in the market; a Masters and maybe something more. And second, a QTS, which I can't really get anywhere else but in the UK. So I suppose that is something I would work on getting once I'm there.

    I have heard what @catbefriender mentions before. Perhaps teaching Spanish can be my point of entry into teaching... and I can start there and develop as I go.

    On the QTS point however, I have read of entering the independent education system as a School Direct Training trainee and getting my QTS training on the job (source here: http://www.iscteachertraining.co.uk/for-trainees/routes-into-teaching/). Imagining I have successfully acquired a Msc in History or a Spanish Teaching qualification, and that I qualify for a position, would this be a good way to go? Thoughts.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This is very true.
    Offering Spanish at secondary is on the increase in general and doing this as a mainstay could support you financially whilst you develop whatever you'd need for history.
    Whilst you can often walk into this as a native speaker, I don't agree that being a native speaker makes it easier to deliver. You'd need to look at the pedagogy of English speakers learning another language, otherwise the disconnect with your classes would be really difficult for everybody. And you'd have to teach to a very precise specification.
    Still, analysing your own language into very strictured units would be easier for you than trying to get more complex credentials in history.
    I'm just thinking of what would get you into the job market quickest.
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    History masters now

    PGCE when you return to the UK

    I'm sorry though, I don't think the job is what you think it is. you are not likely to find a job that is teaching history IB in a private school. You are likely to end up teaching history GCSE in an inner city comp.

    But the experience of the PGCE will help give you a taste of reality, and then you can decide if its for you
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Schools Direct is much more prevalent in the state sector and in the schools which would struggle to recruit qualified teachers.

    Very few decent independents would employ you before qualification.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. Geoff Thomas

    Geoff Thomas Star commenter

    I ask because I simply do not know the answer, but is South American Spanish going to work in a UK school, where, I am pretty sure, it is the metropolitan version of the language which is normal?
  11. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Spanish is Spanish and all educated Hispanic people speak and read 'proper' Spanish. It's like American English and English English. An educated American, can easily learn the different spelling etc. and rules. Hispanic Spanish is softer sounding and not as harsh as Castilian Spanish, so the children, would be in for a treat.
  12. ellaemma0

    ellaemma0 New commenter

    You could apply to some PGCE courses for history but for most you need an undergraduate degree with at least 50% history related components or a closely related subject (for example I have a History PGCE but my degree is in archaeology). You may be able to find somewhere that will accept your degree - a quick google search shows that UAE will accept History PGCE students with an international relations degree, there may be others that will also.

    An additional factor to consider is if you will actually find a job after the PGCE. Unlike many other subjects there is not a huge shortage of history teachers. I was able to find a job for October so was only unemployed for half a term. Many others I know were unable to find a job for a full year after their PGCE ended. Because you have not got a history degree you may find yourself being passed over for other candidates. The chances of you finding a job in an independent school are very slim - there are less independent schools and therefore far fewer jobs!

    Good luck what ever you choose to do.

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