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General teaching questions for a medical student.

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by pumpkin_head, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Hey guys,

    I am a 4th year medical student, and essentially after all this time, but only one year of actual clinical practice, I have decided that being a doctor is not for me and that I want to pursue what I always wanted to do and become a teacher. During my time at university I have done an intercalated degree in Medical Sciences in which I got a 2:1. I did very well at school among my A levels are A's in Biology and Chemistry to A2, and an A in AS Physics. During A level I won awards for my performance in Biology, Chemistry and Geography. Given my qualifications I have a few questions regarding taking the plunge into the wolrd of teaching.

    1. My passion is Chemistry, and I understand that there are less chemistry teachers around so employment prospects would be better. However I am worried that my degree isn't relavent enough to gain a place on a PGCE Chemistry course... does anyone have any thoughts on that?

    2. My current university offers a PGCE in Science. Is there a benefit in doing a broader subject like this or is it better to stick to something specific like Chemsitry or Biology?

    3. Finally, it would be much easier for me to transition into a course at my current Univeristy, however, I am orginally from Birmingham and would very much like to return there after I have finished my training. I have read that it can be quite difficult to move away from the area that you train in when getting your first job. Is this true.

    Thanks so much for any advice that people can offer
  2. Your degree is fine just be prepared to provide a transcript of your modules. Trust me there are far less qualified people than you teaching chemistry!
    Makes no odds really, we don't even look at what kind of PGCE it is when we look for NQTs, we just want a decent degree and QTS. You may get more training outside of your specialism on a general course but I'm not sure.
    Personally I'd be tempted to go to Birmingham for your training if that is where you hope to teach. You can begin to build a reputation and network amongst schools whilst on placement and also get an idea of the kinds of schools in the area you would like to work.
    Good luck!
  3. Being able to teach chemistry or physics will make you a very employable in any part of the country!
  4. Hi Alex, You are right to say that we are actively looking to employ more Chemistry teachers, and there are great employment opportunities for this subject. As far as the eligibility of your degree is concerned, the decision would ultimately be down to the course provider(s) you apply to. They will look at your qualifications to access your suitability for training to teach Chemistry.
    You certainly do not have to specifically hold a Chemistry degree in order to be eligible. Many people have been accepted onto Chemistry teacher training courses from a variety of educational backgrounds. I would say that your particular qualifications would give you a great chance of being seen as suitable.
    As far as the question of whether there are benefits to teach a broader subject such as general Science, or whether you should specialise in Chemistry or Biology, this is really only something you could answer. There are currently plenty of job opportunities for General Science, Chemistry, and to a slightly lesser extent, Biology, so it really comes down to what subject you feel most comfortable with. I would suggest visiting the National Curriculum website so you can look at the current courses for these subjects:
    Your job prospects would not be limited to the area where you complete your teacher training. Obviously there is an increased likelihood of forming a positive relationship with a school in the area where you are training, as you will have two school placements as you work towards Qualified teacher Status (QTS). However this will not make any difference to your chances of successfully applying for a teaching position in another part of the country.
    I hope that this information will prove useful, and I wish you the very best in your teacher training, and hope you enjoy a great career as a Chemistry teacher.
    Stephen Hillier, TDA
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I think it only fair to warn you that the "shortage of Science teachers" is not uniform around the country. Some regions have too many teachers for too few posts.
    Physics is by far the best option to specialse in, Chemistry less so and Biology fairly well catered for.
    But your final decision must be based on the question "Do I really want to teach?". If your answer is "yes" then apply for a place on a course. If on the other hand you are considering teaching as one of a few possible options for a career in Science then take your time and fully research other careers before making your mind up.
    Hope this helps in a very difficult decision.

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