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How to train to teach a second subject?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by sarahspot, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. sarahspot

    sarahspot New commenter

    How and where do I start to train to teach a second subject - so I can change my subject at school. Any ideas? Thanks

  2. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    You don't.
    You are already trained to teach.
    If you want to change subject then you may require additional subject knowledge, which could probably be gained through an external course, such as an OU module or degree, or in some cases subject-enhancement courses provided by the TDA.
    Once you have the subject knowledge (or if you already do), then you just need to persuade a school to take you on in that role. You may be able to approach your current school and ask for a mixed timetable next year, combining your current and your proposed subject. Of course, how willing they are to support such a move will rightly depend on the needs of the school.
  3. You could take the 'throw yourself in at the deep end approach' and just offer to teach it at your school. I teach maths as a second subject, I have no maths training and only GCSE at A* in terms of subject knowledge. I am a chemistry teacher though so use a lot of maths in my own subject and general science teaching. The school had a few periods of maths going spare and I said I'd teach them. I got a bit of help with planning from the Head of Maths and an AST and off I went! This does depend on the needs of your school though. Otherwise OU modules as a top up, observing teaching of the subject you want to teach eg, during frees or gained time.
  4. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    You really think having an A* at GCSE qualifies you enough to be a maths teacher? Without wishing to malign you, your school must have serious issues with staff recruitment if they are happy allowing such a situation to come to pass.
    Perhaps your school feels that a non-specialist is fine for teaching lower down in the school. If only they were around to see how those kids fare in a few years time when they are starting their GCSE's and they realise that their understanding is not quite there.
  5. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Ah, such naivety, Karvol.
    I have a first class degree in Mathematics & Teaching. And yet, I have not used the mathematics in any real context since university.
    I would much rather KS3 and even KS4 students be taught by someone with GCSE Maths, three Science A-levels (which the poster may well have) and considerable use of mathematics at degree level (albeit not in a specific mathematics degree) than by someone like me who - on paper at least - is qualified, but far less competent.
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Well that is you Tafkam. Personally I would rather they were taught by someone with a passion for the subject AND a maths background. I understand that this at times is not possible, but I do think it is something we should strive for.
  7. My school does have serious recruitment issues with maths and I do have maths GCSE, 3 science A-levels and a degree and PhD, all of which used a good volume of maths. I teach GCSE maths to girls with C target grades and have received very good feedback. They like being taught by a female who's good at maths and although I won't claim I'm teaching them as well as a maths specialist, they're getting their target grades and above and are learning to love maths. I teach a number of them for chemistry as well and they like having me for more than one subject and their confidence has increased. I don't think a school like mine can ask for much more unless the shortage of maths teachers suddenly rights itself.
  8. I trained as an English and Drama teacher and asked to do a further subject in my second year. I did maths! I have taught maths (only to KS3 level) in mainstream. I love the contrast between the yes/no answer approach in maths to the analytical and creative approach in English. I taught these for 20 years and then decided I needed a change - I asked to teach A level media studies and loved it. I took a huge text book away with me over my summer holiday ( I went around the world!) and then started teaching in the September. I had three students who received 100% in their coursework and the grades were excellent overall.
    I think it is the attitude you bring to the subject and your willingness to work hard and learn as you go is crucial - formal training may not be necessary as your teaching skills are transferrable, it is your confidence with the subject matter that counts.
  9. Hi, do you know which subject you would like to teach? I trained to teach History, but I'm now also Head of Government and Politics, despite having no formal qualifications in the subject. I will also being teach Law soon - although I do hold the relevant qualifications in that field. I've been at my school for over 3 years now and the Law post is being created and I've been asked to teach it. My advice would be speak to the relevant body in your school, tell them about your subject interest and see if you can do some shadowing/assisting etc. Good luck.
  10. Ohhh this thread is perfect! (sorry if I'm hijacking it!)
    I currently teach R.E. I love it but the lack of jobs at the moment is killing me and my bank balance, so I considered training in a different subject. Unfortunately being on supply means I haven't got the opportunies that working in a school would provide me. I love maths and history so I'm thinking about taking extra classes in them (I have a C in maths GCSE and a B in history), but I don't suppose that will help me in actually applying for jobs...... Doh!
  11. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I'm sure that elsewhere on TES someone was bemoaning the shortage of RE teachers in their area (which meant that their school wasn't keen to let them go part-time).
    We've had several debates on here about the qualifications necessary to teach maths, but I don't think GCSE grade C is going to be enough. The maths enhancement courses offered pre-PGCE for prospective maths teachers without maths degrees usually assume that you have A-level or a similar level of maths.
    Have you talked to whoever you do supply for about covering a wider range of subjects? Some people find their way into a subject change by doing supply in that subject to start with.
  12. Can I hijack this thread too?
    I'm currently studying at uni still for my masters, but am teaching Maths and Physics part time at a local FE college.
    Next year I'll be doing a GTP in Physics at state grammar school.
    Now, I didn't go to school in the UK, so although I'm reading up on it all, I am still slightly confused about a few issues, this being one of them.
    The secondary school I'll be doing my GTP at said that I would have to chose either Maths or Physics, so I chose Physics. They might let me teach a bit of Maths though.
    What I would really like to teach as my second subject, though, is Ancient Greek. How likely is it that a school would let me teach something totally unrelated as my second subject? I didn't go to school in the UK, so my qualifications aren't quite so simple to categorise. I have the Graecum and extended Latinum, but I don't know what they would class as in the UK at all. All I know is that I know more about the ancient Greek language than any classic graduate from UCL :p
  13. I would stick to what you know for the first couple of years and embed your pedagogy and practice in what will be your main teaching subject(s). There isn't a lot of call for ancient greek in the state school curriculum (you'd have more success in private schools) although many grammar schools do teach latin (certainly the one I attended did). I think your school will be very keen to train you up as a good physics teacher as physics teachers are like gold dust at the moment. You will never want for a job and will get a great range of challenges just teaching physics. You can get your qualifications accredited and verified against UK qualifications, can't remember the link though!
  14. Thanks for the reply, kritur! Much appreciated!
    I was planning on starting properly with Physics, of course. It's just that I always had a huge passion for Ancient Greek and would love to teach it, just as much as Physics. So I was just wondering whether it would be possible or not, as that's something I could get quite excited about.
    I know that even if it were possible, it might be quite far off, though. First I need to get through my GTP year, which will probably be pretty hard.
  15. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Most schools don't offer ancient Greek.
    Those that already do probably already have a Greek teacher, and probably don't need another. If you were working in one of those, and that teacher left, you might get to pick up some Greek teaching. It's likely to depend on whether they're running enough Greek teaching to warrant a full-time teacher, or a full-timer to teach both Latin and Greek, or just have one option group. The latter case is where you stand the best chance, of course.
    Another option, once you've been teaching a while, would be to keep your eyes peeled for the job ads, especially any for very small amounts of Greek teaching. They may or may not say that you need to be able to offer another subject. Obviously if they have an experienced teacher of Greek applying, they might prefer them, but you might be better than someone with no school teaching experience - especially if they're about to advertise for a physicist as well.
    Or, you get a job in a school that doesn't currently offer Greek, but where there might be some interest (probably means a fair number of able and academically-minded pupils). You suggest to SMT that it might be worth offering, perhaps as a twilight class for G&T pupils. Get that working successfully, and they might add it into the option blocks, or you might get some interest in A-level.
    Getting yourself some experience teaching ancient Greek outside school might help with convincing a school that you can set up the subject. Evening classes, maybe? I went to a Biblical Greek course organised by my church, so something like that might not be impossible.
  16. Hi,
    Does this also apply to teaching in Scotland? I have 80 credits and above in Sociology and Drama and currently doing PGDE in Secondary History teaching. How can i qualify to teach all 3 subjects? Thanks
  17. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    This could almost be me! I'm a science specialist and I taught maths to KS3 and GCSE foundation level last year. Absolutely loved it. I have an A at GCSE (A*s didn't exist when I took my GCSEs), science A levels and a PhD. Science, especially chemistry and physics, has a lot of maths in it, manipulating formulas and the like, and I've always enjoyed maths. Not sure I would feel comfortable teaching top set KS4 but I'd have a go if someone asked me to.

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