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Is teaching experience necessary for a PGCE? And work life balance with a toddler?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by jenboydy44, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Hi all
    I wondered if you could help me at all please?
    I am currently a Footwear Designer (ten years experience) , thinking of a career change in my mid 30's and becoming a textiles secondary school teacher, I am looking to apply to do a PGCE in September. I had enquired at a few local schools about coming into school to gain some work experience, however now with the corona virus situation it is not possible.
    I did Camp America 15 years ago and taught Art for three months and I currently teach a beginners sewing class at a local cafe- to all age ranges, however I don't have any formal classroom experience.
    So my questions really are:
    Will my ten years + work experience as a designer be desirable?
    Will my very old Camp America teaching experience even count?
    Will my small beginners sewing class I teach at the local cafe hold any sort of merit?

    Also on a personal level I have a young son ( 2 years old) I hear horror stories of teaching and literally never seeing your own children is this true? I do want to have another child in a few years time- any parents out there, would you start your teaching training and at least do your PGCE and NQT year before thinking about another child? Or have your children and then move into teaching?

    I have a strong desire to teach and actually make a difference to students lives, I feel that I relate well to teenagers and want to share some of my experience in the design world with the youth of today and don't want to keep putting it off- I feel I may already be the oldest person on the course!!

    Any help you can give me would be much appreciated!! Thanks so much :)
  2. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Teaching textiles will limit your job opportunities, not all schools teach it.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. 43Meadows

    43Meadows New commenter

    Firstly, you won’t be anywhere near the top end of the age range in the course, there are plenty on mine in 40’s and some in their 50’s and what does it matter anyway?

    second, your work experience is better than none but providers want to see you have been in and experience working in a school so you have an idea what it’s like. You need to contact a provider as the current COVID situation may allow them to relax that a bit.

    Finally - work/life balance, there isn’t a good one in your pgce year. There are TT who do complete the year with young children but it is harder than anyone could imagine and only possible with a very strong support network to help. You won’t be able to go to events in school hours such as nativity plays, you can’t skip days if your child is ill and you will miss out on a lot your child does such as nursery run, etc. Only you know if you have the energy to see to your child in an evening then do 2 hours work when they have gone to bed. Weekends are taken up with planning and other placement work as well as assignments for uni. In my experience I would say enjoy your child in these early years and do your TT when he/she is in school full time. Your child is too young to understand why mummy is not around and can’t give undivided attention.

    Having said that it is possible, it is only for 9 months then you have career options. It’s not something to undertake if you just fancy it, you need to have your heart set on it. No one can tell you just how hard, draining and time consuming TT is and quite a few trainees underestimate the commitment required hence a high drop out rate.
    VeronicAmb and agathamorse like this.
  4. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    It won’t do you any harm but don’t expect it to give you an advantage

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