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TA interested in progression..teaching Early Years- advice please

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Brentmeister15, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Brentmeister15

    Brentmeister15 New commenter

    Hi! I'm currently in my early 20s and I've been a ks1 teaching assistant for 2 years.

    I love my job, however money is **** when you're just starting out ( I couldnt afford to move out on my current wage ) and ever since childhood I have always wanted to teach..this itch hasn't gone away! However I do suffer from anxiety and I'm lacking in confidence.

    I love working in ks1 but I'm drawn to teaching in reception. I think I'd enjoy teaching in Reception/ Year 1. I've worked in a nursery previously and completed an NVQ level 3 in early years ( which I enjoyed ). I was fairly academic at school ( achieved GCSEs A*-C, and 3 a levels grades B-C) I'm also extremely artistic.

    Wondering about starting an Early Years OU degree, but just wanted some advice from reception teachers! How did you qualify to teach early years ( pgce or early years pgce or gtp? I don't understand all the options?!) are teacher training places very competitive? How do you secure a place on them? do you like teaching? Or am I mental making the leap ?? I also worry about my capability, doing some research on these forums there seems to be a lot of pressure with regards to data? The thought of spreadsheets and massive amounts of paperwork frightens me, as do maths Skills tests! basically any advice you could offer me would be invaluable! Thankyou so much all x
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I did a PGCE specialising in Early Years, which is classed as 3-7 (so covers Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2). It qualifies me to teach in any year group, but the university part focused on early learning and my time in schools was spent just in EYFS and KS1. I'd recommend it as you've already got an interest in Early Years, but it doesn't limit you in the future if you wanted or needed to teach older children.

    For the PGCE, you apply in the autumn and interviews take place during the winter and spring. You will need experience in schools that you can talk about during your interview - easy enough for you, but might be good if you could spend some time in EYFS as well (could you negotiate a TA swap for a couple of afternoons, perhaps?). Lots of people want to teach but if you're motivated and have the right experience, you should be able to get a place somewhere. Once you're offered a place, you will need to pass your skills tests before starting the course the following autumn (no need to worry about these too much - just brush up on your maths skills!).

    Obviously you earn better money as a teacher, but the level of responsibility and the workload is much higher. I'd recommend that you speak with teachers at your school about the realities of the job, the hours they work, etc - so you go into training with your eyes open. I also made the jump from TA to teacher and found it a much bigger difference than I'd anticipated, so I'm not saying this to be patronising or anything! There was definitely more time to love the job when I was a TA, although I enjoy the increased responsibility and wouldn't want to go back.
  3. Brentmeister15

    Brentmeister15 New commenter

    Hi kartoshska! Thankyou so much for your reply it was so helpful I really appreciate it! Just wondering, how did you apply for PGCE early years? Was it through UCAS? I have googled that pgce course and it's not coming up with much in my local area. Also (sorry to be nosey!) But did you by any chance do an open uni degree whilst you were a TA? Or did you already have a degree? And what age do you teach now? I'm so undecided at the moment, I love my job and I wouldn't want to go so far and then find teaching stressful and not enjoyable! Won't know until you try through I suppose.. Thankyou again for being so helpful, have a lovely evening! X
  4. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    Just to add you need the grade c or above in English, maths and a science.
    Some places may offer a part time PGCE so that you can still work, worth doing your research. But if you really want to, then go for it. JustGo in with your eyes open, which is what you are trying to do.
  5. Brentmeister15

    Brentmeister15 New commenter

    Thanks grumbleweed,I got As and Bs in GCSE Maths, English and Science so should be fine :)
    Yes I'm trying to research as much as possible before taking the plunge!
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    You would need to complete the Early Years OU degree first (about 6 years study, as a part time student), then you'd need to apply for the PGCE, in order to gain QTS (10 months study). It's going to be a long journey!

    I love the OU, but you do need to be a self-starter, as there is no one to poke you with a stick and make you do your reading and assignments; it's not for everyone.

    Alternatively, you could consider a full time 3 year degree instead. You could qualify for loans and so on. See: https://www.gov.uk/studentfinancesteps

    During your undergrad study you could brush up on numeracy in your 'spare' time, so you can complete the skills tests hassle free prior to starting the PGCE. There are resources on the internet, books to buy, and so on, but the skills tests may change a lot by the time you get around to applying for the PGCE.

    The PGCE is competitive, so while studying your degree make sure to take any opportunities available to enhance your application.
  7. sunny106

    sunny106 New commenter

    I am in my late 30's and an NQT in reception after doing the Early Years PGCE via School Direct. Before this I did an Early Years Leadership Degree and got a First. I loved all the training. I did my degree part time whilst working as a TA in a school nursery. I also worked as a Nursery Manager and Sure Start Worker before this.
    I knew exactly what I was going into, but I have struggled massively and if I am honest, your mention of anxiety rings alarm bells. I have never suffered with anxiety before I did this job but I definitely have now.
    I underestimated how I would feel about having sole responsibility for the progress and achievement of 30 children. I underestimated how I would feel about all the work to do at home and never feeling like I had done enough.
    I don't feel like I am very good at this job but in my other roles I always felt like I knew my stuff and was an outstanding practitioner.
    So just make sure you consider it fully. I didn't listen when people said I was mad! I'm listening now and looking at TA jobs for September x

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