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Dear Graham - Experience, GTP etc

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Lottie03, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    I have recently finished a degree in Journalism and have now started a full time job but what I really want to do is become a primary school teacher.
    I have looked into the routes into teaching: PGCE and GTP; and I think the GTP would be better suited for me.
    I have applied to the GTP provider in Wigan for this year but my application was sent rather close to deadline and I've read that this risks me not being accepted this time.
    In the mean time, what else can I do job-wise/experience wise with a full-time job to get luckier next time/to gain enough experience to apply to another one (the provider in Runcorn requires a minimum of 6 months' classroom experience but I just can't do that with a full-time job!). I am already a brownie leader but I don't think this is sufficient? (I have a variety of other experiences with children as well but nothing as regular and recent)
    I would love to be a teaching assistant but every job I've seen requires a qualification of some kind or relevant experience in a classroom which I don't have - do I really need a qualification in order to become a teaching assistant? If I could become a teaching assistant I would gain enough experience in the classroom to apply to other GTP providers.
    Any help/advice would really be appreciated as I feel rather confused right now as to how to get to where I really want to be!

    Thank you!
     
  2. Hi,

    I have recently finished a degree in Journalism and have now started a full time job but what I really want to do is become a primary school teacher.
    I have looked into the routes into teaching: PGCE and GTP; and I think the GTP would be better suited for me.
    I have applied to the GTP provider in Wigan for this year but my application was sent rather close to deadline and I've read that this risks me not being accepted this time.
    In the mean time, what else can I do job-wise/experience wise with a full-time job to get luckier next time/to gain enough experience to apply to another one (the provider in Runcorn requires a minimum of 6 months' classroom experience but I just can't do that with a full-time job!). I am already a brownie leader but I don't think this is sufficient? (I have a variety of other experiences with children as well but nothing as regular and recent)
    I would love to be a teaching assistant but every job I've seen requires a qualification of some kind or relevant experience in a classroom which I don't have - do I really need a qualification in order to become a teaching assistant? If I could become a teaching assistant I would gain enough experience in the classroom to apply to other GTP providers.
    Any help/advice would really be appreciated as I feel rather confused right now as to how to get to where I really want to be!

    Thank you!
     
  3. I'm in almost exactly the same position as you (was starting to think I was the only one). I applied to GTP two years in a row and failed to get to the interview stage, when I asked for some feedback they said it was partly due to lack of experience. All the teaching assistant jobs that come up always require an NVQ I don't have. I volunteer at a Primary school one day a week as I have to fit it around my other jobs so I can't make it in more often. I have started looking into SCITT in my area, unfortunately the date has already gone, but they say if you apply before June they will still send your application to anywhere with a vacancy. With SCITT they don't require quite so much experience, you get less funding however. If you go to the GTTR website it tells you how to apply and you can search courses with vacancies. Good Luck with everything.
     
  4. Hi Lottie03,
    I am not sure how much you need to worry about not having relevant experience and an NVQ in a relevant subject. I did an LLM and worked as a Lawyer, but then decided I wanted to teach primary school children. I have never worked with children before and don't have a related NVQ even though this is what it seemed prima facie that the LEA were looking for when they advertised the post. A friend of mine who is a secondary school Maths teacher in fact encouraged me not to apply as she thought it was a waste of time without an NVQ and apparently very competitive too, but I had already started my application, so decided to finish it off and send it anyway. I ended up getting the job because I was able to demonstrate transferable skills and initiative. As part of my interview I had to deliver a 20 minute lesson to my prospective class on a subject which I was told about just 5 minutes prior to delivery. In that 5 minute planning period, I was given shapes where I was unsure of the names. I panicked because I could hardly ask the other interviewees or interviewers! I ended up using some basic common sense and was able to relay the correct information in the end. I think what is most important initially is having a good rapport with the children, demonstrating creativity, being able to explain things in a way they are able to comprehend it in their five year old world, and of course the correct subject knowledge! As long as the interviewees can see that, then I think you are in with a relatively good chance.

    Of course, as a prerequisite to all of this, do ring up the job advertiser to make sure that the NVQ and other criterion are not absolutes, without any flexibility whatsoever.

    I hope that helps! It would be nice to see how you get on in the future.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. As you have discovered, the GTP is a very popular route and course providers often do ask for substantial classroom experience. All the experience you have gained will strengthen your application but working as a teaching assistant (TA) would certainly enhance your chances and demonstrate commitment.
    There aren't any mandatory qualifications for working as a teaching assistant; however schools and local authorities are increasingly setting their own requirements. Although I appreciate that it is difficult with a full-time job but any voluntary experience you could gain, perhaps in after school clubs, would be useful, both for gaining a TA position but also for your GTP application.
    If you feel you would like to undertake some form of training, you could consider the level 2 award, (support work in schools). It will help you to demonstrate an understanding of how schools work; child and young person development and safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. For more information visit the TDA support staff qualifications page www.tda.gov.uk/support-staff/developing-progressing/qualifications-credit-framework
    Good luck with your applications both to become a TA and to become a primary teacher
    Graham Holley
     
  6. Hi all,

    Thank you so much for all your advice - it's all extremely helpful!!

    I am at this moment looking into SCITT as I have never heard of it before.

    I think I have come to the conclusion that before I re-apply for a GTP, I will try and apply to as many Teaching Assistant jobs as I can despite my lack of experience in the classroom etc...Alongside this, I have already drafted a formal letter to schools asking to take me on for some voluntary experience, which I will send out in good time before the end of the school year ready to start in September (and in this case, I'll have to take time out of my job and get some invaluable experience which is more important right now), and then hopefully with this voluntary experience I will be able to apply for TA jobs and be more successful and later on, successful with a GTP application - Fingers crossed anyway!

    Good luck Lyns85!

    Thanks again.
     

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