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Grammar or academy? Where best to train?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Kentishman66, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Kentishman66

    Kentishman66 New commenter

    I've been offered School direct places at a (Kent) grammar and a good academy to do secondary Spanish. I'm totally torn between which to accept. Grammar would probably mean fewer behaviour issues to deal with, but I'm not sure that's a good idea for a trainee - I want to complete the year feeling I could cope with most situations but at the same time I want to be able to really teach and learn while I train. Any advice?
     
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I did School Direct. My first PGCE placement was at a selective grammar; the second at a massive comprehensive in a deprived semi-rural area.

    Don't make assumptions - there are still behaviour problems at grammars, and behaviour in academies will depend on that academy's behaviour policy, the social-economic situation of the cohort, and the level of support in the school from individual departments and management.

    It depends what sort of school you want to end up working in, or you think is most likely you'll end up working in, as to which school will provide better preparation for your career.

    The grammar was quite similar to the state school I work at now, which is great - I love my current school. There were problems with low level disruption. It was a boys' school, so some colleagues felt that some students exhibited arrogance and rudeness towards younger female members of staff, but I did not experience this myself (I was 35 though). Parents were very engaged.

    The massive comp was not a good fit for me, and I do not want to work in a school like that ever again. I did not enjoy a single second I spent there, and I don't think it benefited me as I did not see good examples of how to deal with poor behaviour or build rapport with troubled students.

    Do some research on the two schools, find out where your other placements might be, what sort of support they offer, if they are through a uni which one will it be, etc.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    That is good advice. Each school is unique. School type is often a misnomer. For training you want a good department with innovative approaches to teaching your subject.
     
    wanet likes this.
  4. Kentishman66

    Kentishman66 New commenter

    Thanks for your advice - it makes a lot of sense.
     
  5. mrmatt73

    mrmatt73 Occasional commenter

    Additionally, if you train at a school that has 'good behaviour' what happens if you get employment in a school that has got 'poor behaviour' ? Part of teacher training is to build up your teacher's toolkit which includes managing poor behaviour.
     
    wanet likes this.
  6. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    I agree that all schools have problems and that teaching in a grammar school is not always a bed of roses but for your training I would advise working in an ordinary school, comp or academy at first. I think you will find it harder to get that first job if you have only grammar experience on your CV. Good luck! I
     
  7. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    Depend on where you want to work really. All great advices from other posters. But also consider if you just want to teach in grammar, a good reference from another grammar will be a big advantage. After my first post in a grammar, all the subsequent interviews and jobs in grammar schools came easily to me.
     
  8. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    A colleague of mine is a Cover Supervisor in a grammar and she finds behaviour management worse than the 'rough' school we were both at.
    The reason: Difficult schools have to develop robust behaviour policies as the kids take apart anything that isn't top-notch and the staff all sign up to it or get taken apart. At the grammar they can wing it and so the kids can take liberties with any newbie. So as a supply I prefer the rough schools as long as I can memorise the behaviour policy within seconds.
     

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