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Feeling a little lost trying to qualify as a teacher...

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by lateseptember, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. First of all, Hi everyone! This is my first post, however I have been a lurker for a year or so. I'm having some trouble with getting into teaching, probably best of I start from the beginning...

    ...About 2 years ago, just after I got my degree in Graphic Image Making I decided that I was unhappy with the prospect of working in retail for the rest of my life, and that I have no idea what to do as a career. I spoke at length to a few different career advisers and it was suggested that I look at teaching, specifically Art & Design in post-compulsory education. Shortly afterwards I enrolled in my local college's PTLLS course as a taster of what being a teacher might be like, all the while looking for job opportunities which would allow me to train. I absolutely loved the PTLLS programme and really felt I was on the right track.

    Since then I have achieved very little else. I know in order to complete CTLLS/DTLLS I need regular access to teaching hours (at least 4 hours per week), and that the usual route is to work in an ancillary role within a school or college and train within the same establishment. However I have been unsuccessful in every job I have applied for at a school or college based on my lack of relevant work experience. Due to financial restraints I cannot afford to volunteer and I do not have the time or flexibility in my current job to commit to evening classes for voluntary work (I work 45 hours per week, long shifts which usually finish between 8pm and 10pm everyday).

    I have been back and forth in deciding to apply for a PGCE; I am scared that if I do get onto the course, that's another £6500 on top of my student loan I'd be adding to, plus I don't even know if I stand a chance getting a job as a NQT in Art & Design after the course. I'd have to leave my current work in retail management (which I hate) to be completely funded by my loan, but then after the course I'd be really stuck - unemployed with no income! However I have applied to the full-time PGCE at University of Portsmouth.

    And now I have the interview process to contend with! I have to deliver a 10 minute presentation on how my experience, skills and knowledge of the subject can be applied to the qualifications in the subject area, as well as discuss the relevant syllabuses and qualifications in the subject....! Plus a 20 minute panel interview and portfolio review... Stress and pressure - yay!

    Until today these were my only concerns, however after reading at length posts on this forum about applying for PGCE, it appears that PGCE is really hard to get onto! People have stated that they have applied 3 or 4 years in a row to try and get onto the course!

    At the end of the day I actually feel like I'm ready to give up. I know I'd be a great teacher. I know I'm passionate about the subject and genuinely excited helping people learn and develop, but it just seems something (call it fate or whatever) keeps getting in the way and makes me think that it's a life I will never have. I just want to be given a break, a chance to show what I can do. I'm feeling pretty exhausted and depressed about the whole thing.

    In short, if anyone has any advice, help or even just to say 'sorry mate but it's survival of the fittest out there' then please do!
     
  2. First of all, Hi everyone! This is my first post, however I have been a lurker for a year or so. I'm having some trouble with getting into teaching, probably best of I start from the beginning...

    ...About 2 years ago, just after I got my degree in Graphic Image Making I decided that I was unhappy with the prospect of working in retail for the rest of my life, and that I have no idea what to do as a career. I spoke at length to a few different career advisers and it was suggested that I look at teaching, specifically Art & Design in post-compulsory education. Shortly afterwards I enrolled in my local college's PTLLS course as a taster of what being a teacher might be like, all the while looking for job opportunities which would allow me to train. I absolutely loved the PTLLS programme and really felt I was on the right track.

    Since then I have achieved very little else. I know in order to complete CTLLS/DTLLS I need regular access to teaching hours (at least 4 hours per week), and that the usual route is to work in an ancillary role within a school or college and train within the same establishment. However I have been unsuccessful in every job I have applied for at a school or college based on my lack of relevant work experience. Due to financial restraints I cannot afford to volunteer and I do not have the time or flexibility in my current job to commit to evening classes for voluntary work (I work 45 hours per week, long shifts which usually finish between 8pm and 10pm everyday).

    I have been back and forth in deciding to apply for a PGCE; I am scared that if I do get onto the course, that's another £6500 on top of my student loan I'd be adding to, plus I don't even know if I stand a chance getting a job as a NQT in Art & Design after the course. I'd have to leave my current work in retail management (which I hate) to be completely funded by my loan, but then after the course I'd be really stuck - unemployed with no income! However I have applied to the full-time PGCE at University of Portsmouth.

    And now I have the interview process to contend with! I have to deliver a 10 minute presentation on how my experience, skills and knowledge of the subject can be applied to the qualifications in the subject area, as well as discuss the relevant syllabuses and qualifications in the subject....! Plus a 20 minute panel interview and portfolio review... Stress and pressure - yay!

    Until today these were my only concerns, however after reading at length posts on this forum about applying for PGCE, it appears that PGCE is really hard to get onto! People have stated that they have applied 3 or 4 years in a row to try and get onto the course!

    At the end of the day I actually feel like I'm ready to give up. I know I'd be a great teacher. I know I'm passionate about the subject and genuinely excited helping people learn and develop, but it just seems something (call it fate or whatever) keeps getting in the way and makes me think that it's a life I will never have. I just want to be given a break, a chance to show what I can do. I'm feeling pretty exhausted and depressed about the whole thing.

    In short, if anyone has any advice, help or even just to say 'sorry mate but it's survival of the fittest out there' then please do!
     
  3. As they say, be careful what you wish for.

    You are right to be nervous about taking out student loans considering that after spending a lot of money, going into debt, and spending great time and effort on the goal of becoming a teacher, you may find that there is an oversupply of individuals all competing for a teaching position. Which could mean going into student loan default while you pursue your first teaching position whilst working at whatever you can get.

    I would advise anybody in the current educational climate to pursue a career that has more of a financial payoff and less of an oversupply in the labor pool.
     

  4. Hi


    Your interview is an essential part of the
    application process for your PGCE. Interviews usually take place over a full
    day, but may take as little as an hour. You will be asked about your experience
    of working with young people, your commitment to teaching and your relevant
    knowledge and skills.


    Your interviewer(s) will be looking for you
    to demonstrate a number of qualities. You should therefore try to tailor your
    answers and contributions to reflect these qualities. They are:


    • <li class="MsoNormal">A commitment to, and
      understanding of, primary or secondary education and the role of the
      teacher<li class="MsoNormal">An enthusiasm for, and
      understanding of, your subject and teaching in general and clear and
      accurate spoken English<li class="MsoNormal">Evidence of school
      experience<li class="MsoNormal">Relevant subject
      experience<li class="MsoNormal">The ability to approach
      a subject from different angles<li class="MsoNormal">Awareness of what
      the job of teaching is really like<li class="MsoNormal">A lively and
      engaging personality<li class="MsoNormal">To have an opinion,
      but to be open minded<li class="MsoNormal">Sensitivity to
      equal opportunities<li class="MsoNormal">Ability to work
      collaboratively<li class="MsoNormal">Ability to communicate
      effectively<li class="MsoNormal">That you recognise that working with
      children is fun

    As with any interview, the key to success is preparation. Make sure you
    research the course and institution you're interviewing for thoroughly, as well
    as the issues surrounding education and teaching in general policies and
    practices change quickly, so your knowledge needs to be up to date.


    Think carefully about your reasons for
    applying for the course and your interest in becoming a teacher.


    For additional information on your interview
    please have a look at our interactive interviews at: http://www.tda.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/apply-for-teacher-training/help-with-your-interview/interactive-interview.aspx
    and some further tips at http://www.tda.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/apply-for-teacher-training/help-with-your-interview/interactive-interview-hints-and-tips.aspx


    Good luck!





    Stephen Hillier
     

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