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PGCE frustration

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by cappuccinomonkey, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. I often find that the first experience you have of a business or sector is indicative of future experiences. If this is the case with teaching, then I'm beginning to think it's a profession I should stay well away from.

    In Sept/Oct this year, I will finish a psychology degree through the Open University. Despite having the equivalent of a non-honours degree in modules I've already completed, all of which were passed at distinction level, no PGCE provider will consider an application for this Sept because I don't have a degree. Between the degree, a separate foundation degree, and a certificate, I have a total of 660 CATS points. Add to that 15 odd years of training/teaching experience and FE teaching qualifications, and oodles of experience of working with children & young people. All totally disregarded, because I don't have a degree.

    A friend recommended I contact the 'Teach First' programme, which makes great claims about recruiting educational 'leaders' of the future'. But again, they're not interested until I get a degree. And even then, psychology isn't a curriculum subject and in order to teach business studies I would need to have a business degree. I pointed out that many of the best business minds don't have a business degree, and the drone just cited TDA regulations. So you want the sort of leaders who've faithfully followed an established path? Ah, you mean the sort of leaders the world is full of already...

    My conclusion is that the teaching profession is more concerned with academic qualifications, however mediocre, than genuine excellence. It pains me that someone who graduated with a 2:2 in business and has never set foot in a boardroom gets to teach business studies to kids, while my 15+ years experience (inc CPD training in management, marketing and so on) is apparently insufficient. I want to make my skills and experience available to young people, but it looks like I'd have to spend the rest of my life doing degrees to prove myself before this can happen.

    Does anyone else share my frustration?
  2. I have no sympathy with you whatsoever. It is important that teachers demonstrably have academic ability if they are encourage academic attainment in young people. The degree is the currency of academia, and for my course at least you would get nowhere near it without at least a 2:1. In fact most of my recruits have such a degree, often an MA as well, and additionally have experiences in what you would no doubt call 'the real world'. This year, for example, I have a fully qualified Solicitor and a Barrister on my course. Last year I had an accountant. If you are serious about teaching, go and get yourself properly qualified first. If you're not, go and do something else where your own high opinion of your indispensability might be shared.
  3. Thanks bobdog :)

    That's actually exactly what I needed to hear!
  4. fluffysparkles

    fluffysparkles New commenter

    The previous reply is quite negative, don't take it to heart. I also have gained my degree through the o.u, it has taken 5 years whilst I have worked as a cover supervisor in a secondary school to get the experience needed.
    Surely all your credits can combine into a Ba/Bsc (open) ? Ring the O.U and see, they also have PGCE course you can do.
    If teaching is really what you want to do you will do it. My degree has been hard to complete whilst working full time, but I graduate in June and have a PGCE place for September this year. :)
    Best of luck!
  5. I wasn't interviewed for the 2010 cohort because I had an unfinished Open University degree, at the point of applying I was completing my final 2 courses.
    I phoned the provider and asked why I had not been considered and he told me that it was because with OU I could decide not to accept my degree if my course results weren't what I wanted, and that I might choose to do another course. It was frustrating as I knew that unless my final few assignments were less than 70% I would come away with a First Class Hons, the worst I could have got was a 2:1 as like you I had enough distinctions to carry me through my final courses!
    I was absolutely gutted but to be honest it was nice to have a year rest from studying, I reapplied for the 2011 cohort, with the same provider, and just a few days after submitting my application I had a phone call inviting me to interview, I went to interview fully prepared as I wasn't trying to juggle assignments or exam prep like some others are in January, and a few days after interview I had a letter offering me a place (subject to funding - which has now been confirmed!).
    Moral of the story; patience is a virtue!

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