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Steps to become a teacher

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by dmurs, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. dmurs

    dmurs New commenter


    I am 43 and have worked in IT for the past 20+ years.

    I have always wanted to be a Maths teacher but after my degree BSc (Hons) Mathematics, Statistics & Computing I was offered a job, started work and never stopped to take the exams needed to become a teacher. Now I have a family/mortgage etc. so leaving work and going back to college to get the necessary exams is not really an easy option for me.

    Over the last few years I have helped quite a few people taking grinds up to A level in Mathematics which has always been successful in that anyone I have worked with have got the grades they needed to get into whatever course they wanted to get into.

    I enjoy teaching and feel I have an aptitude for it but I have no teacher training qualifications other than a Level 3 Award in Education and Training course which I took a couple of years ago. I am just wondering if anyone has any advice on how to get the qualifications I would need to become a Mathematics or IT related teacher. Ideally I would like to stay in my current job for the time being and teach in a technical college at night if I got the necessary qualifications if that was an option.

    Sorry for the long message.

    Any advice would be gratefully received.

  2. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    You could just apply for jobs in FE, I suspect they'll bite your hand off. You already have a L3 award and are keen. A decent employer should offer you the relevant professional development. It is possible to do a part time PGCE 1 day a week.

    A word of caution however, if you do a PGCE, make sure it includes QTS and don't be persuaded to do the PGCE in FE. This doesn't confer QTS or QTLS. This may not at first seem important but it is, QTS is for life, gives Qualified Teacher Status and allows you to be employed in schools on the Qualified Teacher scale. QTLS on the other hand, can only be started after you complete the PGCE in FE, takes another year, has to be paid for and has to be renewed (paid for) annually. It means you could complete the course and still only be employed on the Unqualified Teacher scale after all your hard work.

    Regrettably few course providers make this plain, many giving the impression that QTLS is part of the course - it isn't.
    agathamorse and Corvuscorax like this.
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    staying in education or training to 18 is compulsory. Retaking failed maths or English is compulsory. The effect of this is that instead of surly, aggressive disaffected teenagers hanging round on street corners doing nothing, and it being the government's fault, these days, surly aggresive disaffected teenagers hang around on street corners and it is FE teacher's fault. Specifically the maths teachers, who they are supposed to be with. My friend, a maths teacher in FE had nearly 80 students in one resit class, He needn't have worried about how to fit them all in though, as he had an attendance rate of barely 25%. Of course, he was held personally responsible for the eventual grade of every single one of them, including the ones he never met.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. dmurs

    dmurs New commenter

    Thanks for reply. I guess I should apply for some jobs in FE.

    What is the best place to find jobs in FE, is it just from looking at general job websites for vacant position? I am based in Belfast.
  5. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    Try your local FE college websites to look for jobs, or Indeed and Totaljobs. You could also send them your CV with a covering letter asking to observe some lessons with a view to working there. This will give you a real sense of the place/s, an overview of how they work and an insight into whether or not you really want to pursue it. Do the same with local 6th forms or schools with 6th forms and notice the difference.

    Hand on heart, if you really want to pursue teaching maths and can see a way forward, try a schools direct paid route and find a way into a good school with a 6th form. FE colleges can drain the life out of you; they don't have the same terms and conditions as school teachers. Regrettably, some of what Corvuscorax said is true, you won't be passing on your knowledge to willing students, but controlling people that don't really want to be there.
    Corvuscorax likes this.
  6. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Also, try the jobs advertised on TES
    phatsals likes this.

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