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Dear Headteachers,

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by anon261, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Dear Headteachers,
    I need a little advice with regards to my career and I thank you in anticipation for your replies.
    I qualified in 2006 and I had one year part time in a school which did not suit me before leaving the profession. I still need to commence my NQT year. I have since had an 18 month contract working as a trainer and 2 periods of maternity leave. I have very fond memories of my ITT and have come to the conclusion that I would like to try my hand at teaching again.
    Unfortunately I know that there is heavy competition for teaching jobs at the moment and I am very aware that I have had considerable time out of the profession.
    For this reason I am considering either:
    a) a self-funded returners course, or
    b) a 6 week full time placement.
    My question is this:
    Given that the returners course is £810 over 10 weeks and includes general updates, focus activities and a portfolio, would you, as headteachers, consider this better than a general full time half term placement? It will cost me £32 per day to put my youngest into nursery in addition to the course and I am aware that after spending this amount of money on my career I am still not guaranteed a teaching position. I am fully dedicated to returning and would like your opinions as to which you would deem as better. If I do decide to opt for the course I need to know that I am spending money which will benefit me in the long run rather than on a course I didn't need to do.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your opinions on this matter.

  2. I do think these courses are a waste of cash. Get into a school as a volunteer regularly. Tell the Head you want to teach & want to give your time to bring yourself up to date and you'll give your time as a free TA. After time ask to see planning and whiteboard resources & ask lots of questions. You could offer supply as an mta, TA & teacher when you know the school well. If you can offer a club, support a residential trip or run a project it will help your cv. You may find a school or teacher who'll offer to teach alongside you until you are confident. Supporting one teacher would be best so you can support learning progress over time & see the process.
  3. I completely agree with the last poster. The return to teaching courses are no better than seeing really good teaching over a number of weeks. Even better if you can persuade a teacher to go through their planning with you and talk you through a lesson before and afterwards.

    I agree that volunteering as a TA in a class is a good way in but I don't think you can shortcut this one so I would set aside three months of part time volunteering (if you can afford this). That way you can gradually move from general TA duties to whole class teaching at which point you might find yourself getting supply in the school. Once you've got uptodate practice and a recent reference applying for jobs will be much easier.
  4. Thank you for your comments
    I'm going to look into volunteering 3 days per week from September through to January. My only concern is that it's unlikely I will be able to offer supply as my 16 month supply period as an NQT has expired. Will I still be allowed to teach a full class under the supervision of the class teacher?
    I'm pretty certain I'll be able to think of something that I could run as an after school club as I play the piano, have prior experience of running a recorder group, am quite artistic and can also play netball. Just thinking about playing Y6 netball brings back some great ITT memories!
  5. You can share teaching input, read stories, lead part of the lesson etc. With teacher in the room. Need a nice one who is kind and wants to help! You can supply cover as a TA or cover supervisor HLTA. I employ a HLTA who trained as a teacher. I also have had a weekly volunteer with a degree for a year who is thinking about that fast track graduate programme. Ask to sit with the Head and make sure they are on board to help then you can ask which project or club they need. I'd advise leading a band or painting a mural- do something which has impact. You want to be noticed and given a job!
  6. Thank you, transilvanian
    I'm pleased that I can still do some supply via the HLTA route. Also, the band and mural are great ideas! Although I would love to be given a job at the end of my time in school, to be honest, I'd be happy with some recent experience and an excellent reference!
    Many Thanks for your replies

  7. Sorry to contradict several other posters, but don't write off returners (RTT) courses. Some are exceptionally good. Many RTT courses incorporate a school experience which is highly focused and include lesson observations. You also get very good tutoring in SEN, AfL, learning styles, job application advice, safeguarding, ICT which you wouldn't get to the same degree if doing work experience. Ideally of course you should try to do a RTT course and an extended experience in a school as a TA.

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