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Realistic or Defeatist

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by BurlyGal, May 7, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,
    First post on here so apologies if I'm getting it wrong!

    I'm sure you've probably all heard a lot of talk in this vein so please forgive me if I'm just tooting the same old notes. I wondered if anyone might be able to give me a little advice on my situation? I'm a 28 year old Psychology graduate, for the last three years I have been working in the Library Service and for the last five years I have been working (alongside the day job) part time as a professional cabaret performer, creating theatrical, character based performances.

    I am desparately keen to go into teaching performing arts/theatre studies/drama at a post compulsory level but I wanted a little advice. Firstly - am I crazy to think I could be accepted to teach performing arts with it not being my degree? I'd be perfectly happy to do psychology as well, but performing arts is where my real passion lies. I contacted someone at University and they said to put down both on my application and didn't discourage me outright but I'm just worried that my 'professional experience' won't be viewed as anything special.

    Secondly, I KNOW I want to teach post compulsory education but a teacher friend of mine has said that I would be silly not to do my PGCE in Secondary so that I could do both. To be honest, in an ideal world I'd only do FE but am I fooling myself that there'll be work available. I have been scouring the forums on here and by the sounds of things jobs in FE are scarce. Would I just be plowing my heart into something and then end up having to go work in a Call Centre or something after I'd finished? And if so, are prospects really that much better in Secondary? Am I better to stick with what I know I want to do, or cover my back but risk ending up further away from what I want?

    I feel like I would have so much to offer my subject and FE in general but I'm not under any delusions that I'm special or that others wouldn't have just as much/more to offer - I know it's competitive out there! Any advice would be warmly welcomed.

    Thanks Everyone!
    x
     
  2. There is definitely a lot of competition at the moment but I've had a really positive experience. I guess it depends how flexible you're prepared/able to be about working in FE. Could you, for instance, take sessional work for a couple of months while working at Cafe Nero for a 21 year old idiot of a supervisor until something permanent arises? Would you be prepared to move to another city? Would you send out tens of speculative letters to colleges? Could you take training courses independently to make yourself a more attractive prospect? Would you do the very boring QTLS induction by yourself without funding? I did all of these things and am now working for an amazing college on good money and a full time, permanent basis teaching a subject I love. I also secured the very first job I applied to because I had made myself stand out. To be honest, although I am a hard worker and consider myself 'good', I'm definitely not a 'natural' or 'gfted' teacher, I just used my initiative to give myself advantages. I don't think many people do this, for whatever reasons. However, I so recognise I was fortunate in that I don't have anyone other than myself to support financially and was able to be selfish in my decisions.

    If I were you I'd hold out for a view from someone with a performing arts/psychology background to best advise you about the current supply of teachers in your area though.Good luck!
     
  3. P.s....
    I did a secondary PGCE and found it both useful and not useful.
    It's useful in that you can teach in secondary schools if you're broke and need supply work! (although QTLS now apparently might allow FE lecturers to teach in the secondary sector anyway. I'd check other threads for more info about this. It seems complicated!) However, colleges might find FE PGCE holders slightly easier to employ in their first year of teaching in that they don't need to give them a 10% timetable induction for being NQTs. This might be an issue if things are very complicated. You could get around this by doing your 'professional formation' alongside or before your NQT year though. I did mine during the second term of my NQT year in a 6th form college.
    Sorry if I am making this sound ridiculously complicated and long winded. We work within such a confusing system!
     
  4. Thanks for the help! Your information has reallygiven me something to think on!
    I have no kids, no real ties to my city, would gladly move for the right opportunity and have worked crappy jobs most of my life so even doing ten hours a week teaching alongside a stop gap job would be a step up for me! I'd like to believe that if I were qualified, even if it were hard to find work at first, you keep plugging away until someone says yes.

    With regards to the teaching in secondary thing I have been doing a little research (I have even begun wading through the Wolf Report!) and from what I can see, it looks hopeful. That having been said I don't know very much about what the situation was before, how long these things take to come into effect, or even if they ever do end up reaching ground level, as this is a world I am only just dipping my first toe into.

    Either way, I have made the decision and sent off my application yesterday. Now I just have to keep everything crossed that they might give me a chance.

    Thanks for your advice, it has made me feel a little less scared about the whole thing. :)
     
  5. Well done you! My fingers are crossed!
     

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