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Three offers, gutted and don't know what to do

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by peanut333, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. peanut333

    peanut333 New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    Today I received my 3rd and final offer for ITT, although it’s not quite been the celebration I was hoping for.

    I applied for these three courses

    1. PGCE (11-18) Modern Languages (French and Russian) 60 credits
    2. PGCE (11-16) (with post 16 enhancement) French 90 credits
    3. PGDE (11-18) French and Russian 120 credits

    At my interviews for one and two, I was honestly disappointed. It’s difficult to explain why without going into too much detail and this becoming a super long post, but it just seemed as though things weren’t taken seriously. The head of department wasn’t sure what school they were in being one example. Anyway, the point is my heart was set on option 3.

    • In terms of value for money, a PGDE is definitely worth it when it comes to having to pay for masters modules in the following years.
    • The course tutor was so nice! He’s been in regular contact with me before and after the interview. I get the feeling there’ll be lots of support.
    • This course has a strong emphasis on teaching A level which is something I’m keen to get into. I understand you can still teach A level with an 11-16 PGCE but have the experience during my training year will be great.
    • There are 2 weeks at the end of the course for an enhancement / enrichment experience which can be spent in a special school / hospital school etc.
    • And most importantly I’d be able to teach Russian. I know the chances are few and far between and me ever being able to teach Russian, but this university has a partnership with a private school which offers Russian and if there’s a chance for me to get into teaching Russian this is surely it!

    Turns out this private school only want native level speakers of Russian. I got a distinction in my final year Russian Oral exam last year, but I can't simply just native without living in the country for 5+ years.

    I’ve been offered a place on the course but just for French and I’m honestly heartbroken. Yesterday I cried so much my eyes are still hurting now. The course tutor told me I can look at offering a Russian club at my partner schools, but is that actually going to benefit me? I’m not sure. It’s really not what I had in mind when I applied (this is how Russian is offered at option one – which I sadly didn’t find out until the interview)

    So now I don’t know what to do. Do I go ahead with this offer which isn’t completely what I want? Forever wondering, what if I’d just tried harder with Russian and got the full offer. Or do I simply try again next year and spend the time until then working on my Russian and getting it to a standard so that I can do what I set out to?

    Everyone keeps telling me I’ll probably never teach Russian anyway because it’s a rare subject etc. I know that. But if I don’t even try, I’ll certainly never teach it.

    Thank you
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    When the private school says they want a native speaker of Russian I don't think they just mean in terms of language fluency - they'll also want someone who can fully understand the culture and history, and be able to impart it to students. If they have Russian students the Russian teacher may also have to communicate with parents, and be able to explain the UK education system to them (a private school in my neck of the woods employs someone to do this as they have a large number of Russian students). That particular school will never want a non-native, no matter how much you try to improve your Russian, so I think that waiting for an opportunity that you think may materialise later would be a mistake.

    I think it's incorrect to say that if you don't teach Russian during your PGCE you'll never teach it - it doesn't matter if you taught it on the PGCE: if you have the language, and there is a demand for it somewhere at some point, you could teach it.

    Until there is a demand (if ever!) you will have to make your own opportunities. Offer the Russian club at schools - the fact that you can offer that may make you more attractive to private schools, as their students want something to set them apart from state schools on their UCAS applications. Also, any students wanting to study languages at uni may appreciate your Russian classes. Doing your own class would mean you are free from the constraints of the GCSEs and AS/A levels as well.

    Alternatively, work your way up to HOD and talk your school into offering Russian at GCSE and A level :)
  3. FrauRussell

    FrauRussell New commenter

    Don't despair, never underestimate the power of being able to offer a unique, interesting, prestigious club in a school that will appreciate it. For Russian I guess that may be a grammar, independent or top non-selective, but there are plenty about. Yes, you'll have to do it in your own time, but you'll be doing something you love, and sharing your passion for it. You could look at a doing a trip to Russia. My guess is you'll have colleagues queueing up to accompany you, and eager parents and children. There are other opps as well like theatre, music, art and ballet, beloved of a certain kind of school, parent and child. Brilliant excuses to have a good time and get your feet under the table. Good luck.
    agathamorse and blueskydreaming like this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    We offer ML and I’ve got to tell you, I’m beginning to think we are not doing the right thing. You can have a French PG or an ML PG and you know what? Schools don’t care. Schools only care if you can teach. It matters not one jot to schools if you did a PG ML or a PGDE or whatever. So. My advice is to focus more on the area and languages you want to find work in. A uni led course will have better connections for sure. Focus on the quality of the course rather than those other things.
  5. peanut333

    peanut333 New commenter

    Thank you everyone for your kinds words and advice. I've decided to accept my offer for this year.

    I know if I can successfully get a Russian club up and running, I'll be very proud of it, and hopefully it'll be onward and upwards from there!
    agathamorse and blueskydreaming like this.

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