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Poor A level results

Discussion in 'Science' started by anon2406, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. It has now
    come to the time when I should start applying for jobs. I've seen quite a
    few out there that I'd really like to apply for but have been put off
    as they request an 'Excellent academic background' or 'Bio or Chem grade
    A or B at A Level'. I have neither of them.I did OK at GCSE but
    at A level (7 years ago), I really didn't care much and was more
    interested in VERY important teenager stuff! I even changed colleges
    between my As and A level and left with two E's in Chem and Bio at A
    level, C in Sociology and then a B in As Psychology.
    I managed to
    get into Uni as I had enough UCAS points to do a Forensic degree
    (awarded 2:1) and after that went on to work as a Forensic Scientist for
    2.5 years.
    I'm really worried that the A Level grades are going
    to work against me as Science teaching roles are so competitive now.
    Will they? How do I approach this? I was thinking of leaving them out of
    my application but it will probably cause more embarrasement if they
    then ask for them at the interview stage.
    Has anyone else ever been through a similar situation?
  2. Don't worry about it. If you you do then you will never get round to applying for a job!
    Just put your details on your CV, explain in an interview (as you have above) what was going on in your life at the time & show, by doing a great interview lesson & knowing your subject NOW, that you are actually a good teacher & that the school would be missing a trick if they let you slip through their fingers!
    Make sure you really do know your subject - you don't say what you are up to now: PGCE?, moving between jobs / careers? whatever it is, all you have to demonstrate is that you would be an asset to the school & its pupils. The fact that you had other priorites when you were a teenager should come as no surprise to a school!
  3. To be honest they would affect how I read your CV if you were applying to my faculty. Do you have teaching experience? If you do then that would go some way to mitigate the lower A level grades. I wouldn't leave them out as it would make me suspicious as to why they weren't on the application.
    I know it's not what you want to hear but it is the truth and you're correct in saying that the job market is so competitive and this would put you at a disadvantage.
    You need to use your letter of application to sell yourself and the skills and knoweldge you have to make the person reading it want to interview you.
  4. I'm a PGCE student taking the Science (specialising in Chemistry) route. I finished my first placement last term and I start the second placement next week.
    My Subject knowledge up to GCSE in Bio and Chem are OK (rubbish in Physics but I'm working on it). It's OK in Chemistry too but I'm trying to improve before the second placement. Revision was sidelined as I only taught KS3-4 in my last placement.
    I know what I have to do and I know that I can do it otherwise I wouldn't have survived my degree but I'm not sure HOD's care when they have 100 applications to go through. I know it's very defeatest but I've even thought about leabing and going back to Forensics as the candidate specs have put me off so much.
  5. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Hi there,
    As a Head of Science, I am less concerned about the A-Level grades of my teachers and more concerned about ability in front of 30 kids. If you have the ability to get a degree, then your subject knowledge can easily be developed in areas where there might be issues.
    On the other hand, there are some teachers out there with great A-Levels and degrees, but who lack that 'spark' in dealing with kids...we've all worked with them, and it is very difficult to change these qualities in a person.
    Go for it, be confident and show that you have all the skills needed - you'll be fine!
  6. I would have thought you'd stand a chance in an 11-16 school but not for teaching A-level. You need to sell your other qualities like industry experience etc then once you get an interview the grades won't matter,
  7. naggin the nag

    naggin the nag New commenter

    I really think your 2:1 more than makes up for your A-levels. The fact that you have overcome whatever your difficulties were in school to achieve what you have, is to your credit. This will help you identify more with students you teach who are also struggling in school for whatever reason. You can give them the benefit of your experience.
    You have also worked as a scientist which is another plus. Most of the Specs have a huge element of skills and HSW and you will have these to a high degree. In your application you must point out how you will use your experience to the benefit of the students, e.g. 'If appointed, I will ....'.
    You don't say what A-level subject you would offer. Make clear how relevant your degree is to the spec. Find out the exam board for the school and check the spec online. I came into teaching donkey's years after my degree and had a lot of on-the-job content learning to do. Even more recent grads haven't covered everything in their degrees.
    It will be about how you relate to the class, how you engage the students and how effective your lesson is.
    Best of luck
  8. I wouldn't worry, even the hardest working former former pupil will have things they have forgoton or never studied. Some of the best A-Level teachers I've known barely scrapped passes at A-Level, the fact is having done a degree puts you well above A-Level standard, you only need to re-read chapters, read around the subject a bit and make sure lessons are well planned.

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