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Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by JimEd70s, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. Doubts are looming. Having received no funding for a PhD (1st choice) and now have a PGCE as an option. However, after school visits earlier this year and with much negative feedback from teachers leaving the profession I have doubts. Doubts about the level at which I would teach (low and repetitive), doubts about being stuck in the UK and doubts about low pay. I also wish to move abroad. PGCE will limit this option.

    However, in my early 40s, it is proving impossible to change in any other direction. Too experience / old for entry level job in other professions. I'm trapped by what some might see as a good option and others not.

  2. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    Don't become a teacher whatever you do. It's awful and getting worse. Abuse from politicians, abuse from the press, declining wages, increasing pressure, uncooperative pupils [and parents]. People are leaving as soon as they can.
  3. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Ah, there's nothing like a nice, positive attitude, is there, cake?
  4. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    Don't do a PGCE unless you really want to - it is absolutely life- consuming which you will find awful if you didn't want to do it in the first place. However, you are wrong to say it will prevent you from going abroad - employers in international schools value the PGCE very highly. Indeed, in some places ( Australia for example) it's the only kind of UK teacher training they accept as equivalent to their own programmes.
  5. whapbapboogy

    whapbapboogy New commenter

    cake, what are you doing on this forum? Go get a job somewhere else!

    I used to love coming on this forum practically every day- where's the optimism gone?

    Yes, teaching takes over your life, but it's SO MUCH better than many other jobs out there. I'm half-way through- been teaching 22 years. It's never boring, the huge majority of the time it is a pleasure interacting with young people, you have the opportunity to use your skills to benefit the school that you're in and to bring out the skills in the kids you teach, you can express your creativity, you get to work with very intelligent and fantastic colleagues, you get to have brilliantly stimulating conversations about topics as wide as the horizon- just to name a few of the benefits.

    Luckily for me, I've been added onto an MFL teaching forum on facebook which is really zingy and inspirational- which is what this forum has been in the past, and hopefully will be again. Come on, everyone! There are so many brilliant MFL tessers out there.

    Let's get the MFL forum zingy again!
  6. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    I think you're unrealistic. The optimism has been ground out of teachers by government interference and deteriorating working conditions. I still do a good job - got an outstanding review from OFSTED a few weeks ago, some of the best results in the school, but just look at the news section: 40% teachers hope to leave in the next 5 years, recruitment crisis, etc. Hardly the sign of a "zingy" profession. I work to live, not vice-versa, so I do not want a job that takes over my life - family, friends, hobbies, etc. also need space.
  7. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I think it depends a lot on your individual circumstances, character and school.

    From the OP, I'm not convinced you would be suited to teaching. But sometimes you don't know until you try.

    I didn't think I wanted to teach, until I was contacted by an agency during a period of unemployment (they found my CV online) and ended up working as a food technology technician, then a day-to-day cover supervisor, then landed a couple of long-term cover roles in MFL which led me to apply for my PGCE. It was hard work but I did enjoy it and I now work in one of the schools I originally did cover in.

    I know I am someone who thrives on interaction with people and I really enjoy teaching. There is a lot of rubbish that comes with it, but the main teaching bit is great (if you're the right sort of person for it). I enjoy planning and teaching good lessons and seeing pupils finally get something. I am continually amazed and impressed by some of my top set Y9 pupils (seriously, some of them are scarily good) and they give me the motivation to get through some of my more challenging classes. One of the best things for me this year has been the number of parents who have told me at parents' evening that their child really enjoys French - including 2 from bottom set Y10 which was a pleasant surprise.

    How much **** you have to deal with depends a lot on your school. If management are fairly hands-off and Ofsted aren't expected imminently, things might be fine. But some schools sound truly horrific (constant observations and book scrutinies, being required to follow OTT marking policies with 3 different colours of pen, having to provide written lesson plans, etc.). but it's not like that everywhere.

    I suggest you get some more experience in schools to help you make your mind up. Or you could go for the PGCE (given the large bursary available for MFL trainees to cover living costs) and see how it goes.
  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    No-one is this optimistic and of sane mind after 20+ years of MFL! It's either a wind-up, of which I wholeheartedly approve, or you're snorting lines to get that 'zingy' feeling.
  9. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    I couldn't agree more with the above. Try it and see! You're not a conscript and you can bail out any time you like. I tried it and I liked it, to my surprise. But don't expect something academic like a doctorate from Oxford. I'm intrigued to know what that doctorate is in and why a PGCE in MFL is a suitable alternative. Have you considered Higher Education? Can't you get a loan for that doctorate if it's what you really want to do? If you want to be a teacher (and you obviously don't so there's your answer) - and you might take this the wrong way, but so be it - you need to be decisive and take control because the kids will eat you up alive and spit you out otherwise!
  10. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    Well my zing had definitely zonged until I semi-retired last year and got a part-time job teaching French in primary. I'm much zingier than I was a year ago! [​IMG]
  11. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

  12. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    I prefer this one Vlad:

  13. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Yes, it is rather charming and her voice is sweeter than it was in later years.
  14. whapbapboogy

    whapbapboogy New commenter

    No, I'm not on drugs. Yes, I still enjoy being an MFL teacher. Of course, I'm more cynical now, about a number of things in teaching, but I stand by everything I said.
  15. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Looking back, would you have taken a different route, knowing what you know now, and where you'd be today?
  16. I'm definitely on the optimistic side of the profession, having taught in state schools for 23 years (having left an early career in industry), despite the constant change, exam pressure etc. etc. I love every day of my job, working with amazing young people and hopefully sowing the seeds of inspiraton for them to develop a passion for languages, travel and life! I have a young family, have worked full-time throughout and regularly top 70 hours a week of school work. I say this just to underline the fact that you absolutely must WANT to do this job, settling for it will never do and the young people who you would be responsible for, don't deserve second best either. Good Luck in whatever you decide to do.
  17. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    It pays the bills and you get long holidays. The rest is irrelevant.

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