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Returning to science teaching after 20 years - will anyone emply me?

Discussion in 'Science' started by DBTeacherTime, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. I have an Engineering degree and a PGCE in Physics and Science from Cambridge in the early 90s. At that time a QTS was awarded without a probationary year.
    Since then I've trained and worked as a chartered engineer and also taught Maths & Science GCSE as a private tutor (mainly to borderline students).
    I'd like to work as a teacher in a school (I have a young family now) and wonder if this is practical based on my limited experience.
    I've spent time training younger trainees and also given presentations to schools so enjoy working with young people.
    My only classroom experience was teaching 80% of the timetable for a term during my PGCE year, which I really enjoyed.
    I am thinking of volunteering in a local secondary school, and could also get a reference from the tutoring agency.
    What is the job market like in teaching at the moment? I am based in London but planning to move to the south west of England.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    The job market is probably in favour of employers at the moment - it doesn't mean no jobs though. Being a physicist may be in your advantage.
    Education has changed somewhat in the last 20 years - going into a local school and getting a flavour for the current ways of organising schools will be essential. If you apply for jobs based on 20 years out of the classroom, life may be difficult.
    As a physicist you will have good observational, deductional and analytical skills. When you go into schools, use them to work out what is going on. Spend time reading about what is going on in schools (TES, good broadsheets..)
    Good luck with the applications, stay persistent.
  3. And be prepared to earn not much money. If you go into the independent sector, you could negotiate a higher salary - some independent schools pay more for shortage subjects, according to the laws of supply & demand.
    Once in the school and possibly as part of your sales pitch, use your engineering contacts & 'real world' work skills to ensure that Y11 & 6th formers get opportunites to make informed university & career decisions.
  4. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    1. There are a lot more jobs available in London - a few years back 50% of all jobs advertised were in London / South East and 20% of all jobs advertised were for secondary science
    2. I would also recommend the returning to teaching course as it goes through the most recent changes in education
    3. Volunteering in a local secondary school will help a lot; it may be worth trying to get experience in more than one school
    What you will need to be able to do in interview is provide evidence that you can carry out the job. Any recent experience of working with young people will be an advantage as will familiarity with exam board requirements / specifications

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