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Geography Teacher - Job Prospects

Discussion in 'Geography' started by Twinkle1234, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Hello - I would be grateful of some advice...
    I am about to take a life changing step and leave my job of seven years as a Chartered Surveyor/Town Planner, to train to be a Geog teacher at IOE in London.
    However, I have got myself worried now, as I have been looking at a few forums on here that talk about how hard it is to find a job. They talk about job shortages across all subject areas and how they now feel that it was a waste of time to undertake a PGCE. I was just wondering what people's experiences have been and am I making a massive mistake?
    Any views/advice would be great.
  2. I'm one of those who is finding it really hard to find a job teaching geography, even in London. So far I've had 7 interviews, and the feedback has all been that I am a very strong candidate and a good teacher, but that the competition is much tougher this year than it has been previously. I'm also looking for jobs teaching citizenship or humanities, but so far no luck there either and only a few weeks of term left. I'm looking into moving into primary instead, but otherwise I may well be trying to find supply work in September. I do know of people who've been appointed on their first or second interview though, so it's really hard to know if this is an unusually bad year or if I'm not quite as good as people have told me!
    I would still go ahead and do the course, but be prepared to be flexible about what you might end up teaching afterwards, and possibly a backup plan for doing something out of teaching if things get worse instead of better - 25% cuts could look very scary for prospects next year :-(
  3. gud4age

    gud4age New commenter

    It is hard as Geography has been squeezed but the last poster is right if you are flexible and offer a second subject like citizenship, History then you have every chance of securing a post. Good luck.
  4. I just finished my Geography PGCE at the IOE a couple of weeks ago so I just went through all the things you are worried about. From my experience, I believe it you have an open mind and are not too picky about the schools you apply for then you will have a much better chance of finding a post. Geography positions became available as early as February (which is when I had my first interview) and there were at least 24 advertisements in the London area online at one given time, so there certainly are plenty of jobs out there. Only 2 people I knew of on my course (out of 60+) did not get jobs. One did not because they didn't really apply for anything until late May when the options are more limited, and the other was restricted in a very small area in outer London because of her home/family. If you make sure to start applying for anything and everything you have a little bit of interest in very early (if for nothing else than just to get experience/practice interviewing early on!) then you should not have any problems when the right school becomes available. If you sit back and wait for the perfect school to come along you will most likely be waiting around until it is too late!

    Hope this helps!
  5. I have just finished my PGCE year and I am about to start my NQT year in September. It is tough finding a job where you specialise in one subject. I am therefore teaching humanities. It is not taught as one subject in my school but I will be teaching Geography, History and RE. It may not be what you want to do but I feel, offering myself as a flexible teacher who is willing to teach related subjects seems to help at interview. Also, remember you are coming from a great training provider, as did I and our training sets us out from other candidates. Good luck for your PGCE year - its tough but take it from me - its worth it in the end!
  6. Hi, i have just finished a GTP programme and am entering my NQT year, I had the same concerns when applying for jobs, added to that was the historical stigma of going down the GTP route, which has not proved an issue at all. My advice is below, and good luck.

    1. It matters not who you train with, most schools don't look into the back ground of your training provider.
    2. Get involved in a local youth club over the summer or something like that, it will help you in Sept and also on your applications.
    3. Apply early, I started in February and had 4 job offers from my first 4 interviews, be early in market.
    4. Do something extra curricular like a sport or arts club at your A and B placements, show a willingness to support the kids outside the classroom.
    5. When asked in an interview where do you see yourself in 5 years say ' as a consistently excellent classroom practitioner and a dedicated form tutor supporting students in their school life', there is a big emphasis on the pastoral side that many applicants ignore.
    6. And as the others say, dont be picky in applying to schools, go in there meet the staff and see the kids/school, then decide you dont like it. I accepted a job in a school I was not considering as my 'top choice'
    7. There is plenty of work out there, but realise you are a product in a market place, so what makes you different, why should a school 'buy you'.

  7. Thank-you ever so much everyone.
    That all sounds really promising and I will certainly take your advice. I had an open afternoon at IOE last week and they too were positive about the prospect of us finding jobs. I note the need to be flexible and how to 'differentiate' myself.
    Thank-you again and good luck to those that are just embarking on their careers.
  8. I have just finished my NQT year as a geography teacher and was promoted to KS3 Co-ordinator but again I do not teach just geography. I have had to teach RE and Travel and Tourism which has been a learning curve on top of my NQT. My advice would be do not limit yourself in terms of where you are going to teach. You will find it difficult if you are only willing to work in one town/city. Read up on current issues in education- I was asked about diplomas at my interview but I imagine Academies and pay cuts will be the main topics next year. We are also just starting Assessing Pupil Progress in humanities in my school so again read up on things such as this so your school can see you know what you are talking about. Make sure you are confident and know how to deal with certain situations (a lot will come clear during your PGCE!!) as you will be asked how you would deal with behaviour especially in inner city schools where it is in issue.
    Good luck- I had the same fears but they turned out to be unnecessary!!!
  9. Hello, I have just stumbled across this tread, and am going through exactly the same dilemmas. I am thinking of leaving my planning/surveying career to go into teaching, and have an interview at IOE next week, however, reseacrhing Geography teaching, I am scraed job propsepcts are going to be difficult.
    I want to teach in London and did at first ant to do the TeachFirst programme, howver, I didnt get in this year, and thought the PGCE route woudl be for me, howver, i am now scared of doing the pGCE and not finding a job after ? I wante to work in inner city schools and am attracted to teaching, due to the widening attainment gap between children from differing incoime groups, will a normal PGCE train me into dealing with this issue or is it best to do TeachFirst, to have that sort of training ?Thanks

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