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Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by cw0, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. cw0

    cw0 New commenter

    I'm feeling a little lost and unsure what to do next.

    I graduated nearly 6 years ago and have been thinking about a career in teaching ever since. Other things got in the way - buying a house, renovating the house, getting married, etc.

    But I've left it too late. There is now no bursary for primary teaching. I have 9 GCSEs including C's in English, Maths and Science. 3 A-Levels and a 2:1 art degree. There wasn't any bursary last year for me either but thought the announcement this year might change. I've been on the student finance calculator and I would only be eligible for a £6k loan, this is a drop of £10k a year for me so it just isn't viable. £6k would only just cover my mortgage and bills/food. I have no idea what to do next.

    I've spent a couple of days in a school and absolutely loved it so would love to work in a school in some capacity. My local authority need at least a level 2 to be a teaching assistant, so thats out the window as well... what are my options? I don't think I can spend another year in retail. It's boring me to tears, I can do it with my eyes closed. I need a new challenge, something rewarding and not chasing profits... Any ideas please? :)
  2. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    You'll be looking for a school based route into teaching which is paid. School Direct or Teach First for example. Google is your friend, the government pops out a new pathway every 5 minutes - look at their website.

    Congratulations on your 6 year avoidance ;)
    bounceback and galerider123 like this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Two days in a school is not enough experience to help you make up your mind if you want to become a primary school teacher. You must do more research and observation. Could you adjust your current job so that you could volunteer in a school for one day a week for say six months? Becoming a primary teacher involves very, very long hours and a resilience to bounce back when things start to become difficult. Even people who have worked years as TAs decide it is not for them after starting their teacher training and many teachers leave after qualifying within five years.

    If you enjoy working with children you could become a social worker, or work for a children's charity.

    Don't give up the idea of a switch, but you are going to have to do some more thinking, planning and research. Things can change, but you have to prepare.
    Gsr25, rizzrazz and JohnJCazorla like this.
  4. cw0

    cw0 New commenter

    I know two days is no where near enough time to know I want to teach - but it gave me enough of a glimpse to see that I would like to work in the school environment in some way. I know this post is in the ‘thinking of teaching’ section, I would just like some alternative ideas :) I was thinking of trying to get a TA job and that way I would be getting the experience and knowledge of the primary school system to see if it’s a career for me but the lack of qualification is holding me back. Is there any other jobs that I maybe don’t know about within education that I could aim towards rather than teaching?
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. Gremlin78

    Gremlin78 New commenter

    There are some TA level 2 qualifications that you can do online and that don't take too long so that you can secure a job, although by volunteering you may be able to get a job through the experience.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    It's do-able.
    My course had no bursary and I also had a mortgage/bills to pay for.
    I had some savings for emergencies but relied on my loan. It was a tight year but I ended up breaking even.
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Do the teacher training. You can work part time around it and remember that a "year" at university is 30 weeks rather than 52.
    wanet likes this.
  8. cw0

    cw0 New commenter

    How did you manage it? I *could* do it if I still worked Saturdays in my retail job for some extra money each month but even then it’s ridiculously tight. I don’t want to rely on my husband for money. Will it be bad for my mental health to do a PGCE course, as well as working part time and not being able to socialise, as well as being skint?
  9. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    Is that a rhetorical question? You won't be able to meet the demands of the course effectively if you work part-time. You'll need your weekends for 'you' time, family time and planning/work. I thought about it too, but if you want to manage the workload of the course/career you can't be sharing your time with another company that will also be demanding your time.

    I started the year without about £2k in my account and budgeted the amount I could spend each month until the next payment. I didn't go out for dinners our or take-aways, however, if my partner wanted them, he would pay for us both and was aware of that. We didn't go on holiday last year and in general made financial sacrifices.
    On the side, I did market research surveys in exchange for Amazon giftcards that I used to buy textbooks and started to sell my resources on TES. I made about £800 from selling lessons I'd made.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I worked part time through my PGDE. 30 hours a week at some points and 8 when I was on placement. It was tough but not impossible.

    You might not want to rely on your husband but presumably the two of you married so that you could support each other. Have a conversation with him rather than just assume it's impossible - after all, you're investing in a career not just asking for help so you can splurge on something stupid.
    wanet likes this.
  11. topquark

    topquark New commenter

    My advice is to take out the loans, get yourself qualified, get QTS, move to the Middle East, SE Asia or China.Avoid the dodgy schools using ISR. Have your international school pay for your accommodation and your tenants pay your mortgage whilst saving at least 12k per year. Although you may have many ties to the UK and this wouldn't be an option.
  12. cw0

    cw0 New commenter

    Moving away isn't an option or something I'm interested in. I've read it's better abroad but it's just not for me.
  13. cw0

    cw0 New commenter

    I've had a bit of a think recently and think I'm going to apply next year, so I've got a year to build up experience and see if its for me, as well as saving up. I'm not sure whether to do primary or secondary art & design at the moment. I'm in the middle really. I love my subject and I'm passionate about it, but prefer working with the younger children and I prefer the primary environment. I obviously need to get experience in both to get a better idea.

    (There is actually no real point to this post, just wanted to write it down!)
  14. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I think that's very sensible. Before applying for my PGCE I taught EFL abroad to various age groups, from kindergarten to adult, and that helped me to determine that I preferred secondary. Also, I spent time in a variety of schools in the UK - primary, secondary, SEN and PRU, which reconfirmed by decision.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    I'm surprised that a lack of a level 2 TA qualification is holding you back, as there are now TA graduate jobs as a route into teaching in the Midlands. However, the pay would be low (level 2), and remember that TA job descriptions give you the top line, but your pay would be pro rata (so significantly lower). Teach First's lowest salaries are at least 2k more than a top of the scale level 2 top line a year (which you are unlikely to be paid).

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