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I've done classroom observations, what's the next step?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Lakers93, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Lakers93

    Lakers93 New commenter

    Hi, hopefully this doesn't sound too stressed, I'm just confused about what to do. I'm a degree student in my second year and I'm thinking of going into teaching. I started classroom observations in late November until we broke up for the Christmas holidays - so far I've racked up 40 hours of classroom experience. What's the next step? Do I become a TA? No-one seems to give me a clear answer when I ask this, a receptionist told me I need 60 hours of classroom experience to become a TA, but I don't know if that's true.

    As my degree isn't at a main university campus, it's at a college campus that has a university provision in the form of a university building, the college offers teacher training courses, but every year it becomes delayed for a year because of a lack of applicants. On the application page of some of those they say you need to have a placement already anyway - it's so confusing.

    Whenever I've looked at TA job listings, they all have requirements that I don't have - they seem to be aimed at people who have been teaching assistants for some time.

    I just want to know what the next step is for me to go into teaching, do I go through a company or agency to become a teaching assistant, do you have to go through a teacher training program before that, and if so, where?

  2. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    There are several routes. You've already done far more than I did before I started my PGCE. This site should help.

    If you haven't had it from any teacher yet - don't do it. Finish your degree and do something else for a bit first. You can go into teaching at any time.
    border_walker likes this.
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    you have zero hours classroom experience if you are just watching the tiny public percent of the job.

    TA are normally career TAs or exteachers, wy are you looking at TA jobs f you want to be a teacher?

    If you want to be a teacher, apply for a PGCE,

    (or save yourself a life time of misery and an early death and do something else entirely!)
  4. Lakers93

    Lakers93 New commenter

    Thanks for the link.

    Why do you say that? I was considering, when I graduate, doing a Master's that's quite unrelated to my BA - history and English lit doesn't offer a great deal in graduate careers. I just don't know if you can do a Master's that's not related to what your undergrad was, though. Bit unrealistic, do you think?

    Also put in a bit about lesson prep etc in my reply below to Corvuscorax. Would you have any thoughts on that?

    Forty hours of being a classroom helper is better than nothing when it comes to teacher training. But I take your point. I don't know about the lesson prep - one thing I've noticed since I've done my observations is that I don't feel like I have anywhere near the knowledge base that the teacher has (primary school teacher, so wide ranging) - that's why I'd feel like I'd be better suited to being a TA. Not that TAs don't have a good base of knowledge, it's just that maybe I'd be a better fit for assisting with a lesson that the main teacher has planned and and being in more of a supporting teacher role rather than planning it myself - I'd have a hell of alot to study in depth before I'd be ready to plan lessons.

    Why do you warn me against teaching though? Quite a few people say that. Are teachers taken for granted by their superiors or something like that? Or is it just too stressful of a job?
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    you haven't really grasped the basics . Lessons, subject knowledge, preparation - none of that is particularly relevant. Most of the job is stupid meetings and pointless paperwork
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  6. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    because the hours will shorten your life. The pressure is unrelenting. There is no possibility of ever being good enough at anything, or even improving, because the goal posts will never be the same twice running, and will in fact be diametrically opposing quite regularly. No matter how hard you work, you will always be in trouble for not finishing. Verbal and even physical abuse will be come your normal expectation from day to day life in many schools.

    Maybe you should be listening to the "quite a few".Most teachers quit before 5 years.

    I've heard people starting teacher training compared to people strolling into a burning building muttering "surely it can't be all that hot" while everyone else is running out screaming.

    I started teaching before there were internet forums to warn me. Whats your excuse?
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Doing a masters is a great idea. If you do go into teaching, private and international schools in particular will like that you have a masters in your subject. As for something completely different, it depends. Some will just have a general requirement for a BA.
    Because - in the UK state system particularly - it's stressful, hard work that is badly paid and looked down on by the rest of society. Don't do it to yourself.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Why do you want to be a teacher? Some might object to this, but TAs are not really teachers and badly paid.
    agathamorse and install like this.
  9. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Hi Lakers
    Continue to spend time in classrooms, try to get experience in different key stages and in different schools. A reference from an HT will support your application when you come to submit. Keep talking to teachers so you are aware of the realities of the career you have chosen. Research routes into teaching - University or school based, PGCE or QTS only (its complicated!). Most providers will hold open events for prospective applicants so go along to those.
  10. 43Meadows

    43Meadows New commenter

    I started my pgce in sept last year. The get into teaching website is a great starting point. If you’ve been in school and like the feel of working in class that’s a start. Teacher training is hard - you have to be really committed and know that teaching is for you despite what people say and how many try to put you off. I ‘work’ on average 60 hours pw term time to get planning, reflection, uni paperwork etc done as well as the pgce assignments.

    I think it’s too early to start your application for pgce. Wait until you have made inroads into your final degree year and know/have an idea of your predicted grade.

    Then do your research. Do you want to do your pgce through a university or through a training provider? What is offered in your area? How will you fund living if you can’t access one of the very few paid school direct programmes?

    You need to decide and be sure what you want to do. If you finish your degree then do your pgce that will give you 60 credits to a masters.
  11. angrypixie

    angrypixie New commenter

    My degree was similar - English Lit and Religious Studies. Wish I could have gone to uni and done something different because I kind of felt few jobs were available to me except teaching. I did want to be a teacher at the time. However, if I had my time again I wouldn't do it. Friends of mine who didn't even go to uni worked their way up in different employment whilst I got into student debt with my degree and now they are earning far more than me. Sorory, but I'd look for something else whilst you still can. I feel too old to get out and can't afford to retrain.
    agathamorse likes this.

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