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!