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Thinking of teaching... Questions!

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by JamesandtheGiantTeach, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. JamesandtheGiantTeach

    JamesandtheGiantTeach New commenter


    I currently work in Sales but am considering a fresh challenge and have always liked the idea of becoming a teacher. I have a 2-2 degree in Business Studies. I can be a little shy at first but when comfortable I can be fun and engaging. I have 2 young children of my own and people often comment on how younger children often seem to warm to me.

    There seems to be a lot of info online and I’m a little confused by it all.

    1. Am I correct in saying that the starting salary for a primary teacher (outside of London) is £23,720?
    2. To become a teacher I need to get a QTS or PGCE?
    3. Can I get paid to achieve either accreditation? As I would struggle to finance the £9k fee otherwise and I’m not sure about the idea of taking out a loan to cover it.
    4. Once a fully fledged teacher am I able to choose which school I work out (assuming there are vacancies!) or am I ‘posted’ to less desirable/further away schools?
    5. Is there much chance for moving up the ladder or to earn more money?
    Thanks in advance
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    If I were you, I would wait to make the change if you decide to do it until your own children are older.

    The main problem you have to understand is that teachers work 50+ hours per week many sacrificing their own children's family time to complete all the tasks they have to do. It is of course doable, but you may enjoy the job far more when your children are self propelled to a greater extent and are not so reliant upon you.

    In the meantime, try to get some experience working in primary or secondary schools perhaps as a volunteer.

    It is a huge commitment and one you need to think about carefully.


    The above link may have some of the answers you raise in your post. There are people there who you can also speak to.
  3. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Hi James I would echo pepper's advice to get some experience as a volunteer, or even as a teaching assistant. Training to teach is a huge commitment and you need more than 'always liked the idea'. Yes, on a School Direct salaried programme you will be paid as an unqualified teacher during your training year. PGCEs are (usually) QTS + masters credits. Once you have QTS you apply where there are vacancies.
    Shedman, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  4. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I third the advice above.

    You need to have an understanding of how schools work before applying for a PGCE (which, to answer your question, is one of the available routes). You would be expected to have spent time in a school, such as volunteering once an afternoon or week for a term, or working as a TA, which would be detailed on your application, and discussed at interview.

    Additionally, you'd need to think about your qualifications. You mention liking young kids, but a business degree won't be appropriate to teach primary. The PGCE for primary is very competitive.
  5. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    I've trained a few people with business degrees (primary). Lots of transferable skills. Primary PGCEs are becoming less competitive and applicants now no longer have to have had recent experience in schools prior to application (not necessarily a good thing.....).
  6. Gremlin78

    Gremlin78 New commenter

    I'm currently training to be a primary school teacher. I worked in marketing for almost 15 years, then had children and decided to refocus on one of my earlier passions - so started working as a TA. I worked as a TA for 4 years and then applied to do SCITT (school centred initial teacher training). I was very lucky that my school sponsored me to do my SCITT year as a salaried employee which means my fees are paid and I'm paid a pretty good salary, given I'm training. It is full on, my kids are in breakfast and after school club, but right now, I'm loving it. I really am - yes it is a lot of work but if you know what is coming your way, it's not a shock, but a good introduction. I'm lucky that I have a fantastic mentor and a great school support system around me. I'm very aware that I'm being hand held at the moment and the minute I'm an NQT, the work load looks set to increase - but I take one day, one week, at a time and it's good.

    My course ends with a QTS but I chose not to take on the PGCE as well, though many of my cohort have done so. I know others who, like you are thinking of doing, have jumped straight from one career to teaching - and they are fine. However, if you can afford a year to work as a TA, I really recommend it. I lost my confidence after being a stay at home mum for 2 years, so it took a while to get back to being me - but, in that time,I had the opportunity to understand school life and what it means to work with children. I also saw trainees and how much of a step up it is from being a TA, it really prepared me for this year.
    Good luck - I have a friend who has gone from working in business to being a busy PS teacher and loves it, not phased by it at all. It can be done!
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Never mind the teaching adverts on the telly. Go to Catchup TV and watch a few episodes of "School" on BBC2.
    That's the reality.
    Primary will be the same, but much longer hours and a lot more marking.
    Shedman and agathamorse like this.
  8. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Good advice by schoolsout4rsummer. Read through a few of these forums and you will come face to face with the reality of teaching. Before you finally commit yourself, approach some local schools to ask if you can visit and observe lessons for a week or perhaps just a day. Keep your eyes and ears open and talk to the staff about life as a teacher.
    agathamorse likes this.

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