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Returning after career break

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by suziesavage2010, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. suziesavage2010

    suziesavage2010 New commenter

    Hello everyone,

    I am returning to teaching after a 6 year break from full-time MFL teaching to have my family. Now my youngest is off to school in September, I have some potential long-term cover coming up in September which could turn into a more permanent position if I play my cards right. Of course, I am aware there have been a lot of changes and would like to read up and get clued up again. I have been doing exam marking each year to keep myself in the loop with GCSE requirements, and I have done some supply work, as well as freelance translation work to keep my language level up. But I don't have much of an idea about where KS3 languages are at. I wondered if anyone could recommend a website or resource that would be helpful in up-skilling myself and helping to build my confidence. It's very strange but it's also very exciting and I just want to make sure I am as ready as possible and can show potential employers that I am worth having, despite a lack of recent experience.

    Also, if anyone has been in this situation and has any wise words for me for transitioning from Mm back to teacher again (whilst keeping the mum thing going of course), it would be very much appreciated. I know I CAN do it. I just feels very weird and my confidence isn't what it could be.

    Huge thanks

  2. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Memorisation is in fashion. Along with testing, often low stakes and as part of the learning process. You may see increased use of recombinable chunks rather than just words in vocab lists. You may find literal translations so pupils understand all the words eg I have 12 years. Syllabuses may have gone back to the old spiral style to make sure things are constantly picked up on again and not discarded. You may be cramming in less but wanting pupils to be better at it. You will have to work hard in y7 to deal with different amounts of language in ks2. Phonics is still important. Listening is still problematic and people are trying to shift emphasis from testing to actually developing strategies other than trying to predict from the question. No-one knows what the grades given in ks3 mean. Marking is out of fashion, but you shoukd read pupils' work to inform your planning but not necessarily to then give dirt tasks. You may have missed dirt tasks. Don't worry, it was about being seen to do something. Translation tasks are now common, not to catch pupils out but so the teacher can pitch something at their level and the pupil can concentrate on the language not on thinking up what to say. And if you've been away for 6 years everyone has moved from the tes forum to Facebook and Twitter. Follow the mfltwitterati hash tag.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    agathamorse likes this.
  4. lentils22

    lentils22 New commenter

    That's a great summary from Vincent! As someone who had a much longer career break (almost 14 years), I'd like to encourage you that you seem to have been doing lots of very helpful things already and I'm sure the work side of it will be fine. I volunteered / observed in an MFL department initially and it was through that that I got my current position. The teaching side of things fell into place very quickly and I soon got my confidence back. It doesn't take long to adjust to the methods / approaches that have changed, and in any case you'll need to fit in with the culture of the department / school you're in, as they do seem to vary quite a bit. As you say, the other side of it is juggling your family responsibilities which is more of a challenge - make the most of any support systems you have in place, think through in advance what will happen if one of your kids is off sick or needs to come home from school at short notice, be organised in advance with regard to INSET days, evenings when you have to work late etc., but above all be very clear about your priorities and boundaries eg. not working on both days of the weekend, leaving work at a certain time - as you know, teaching will very quickly expand to fill your every waking moment if you let it! All the very best for the next few months and keep us posted! x

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