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To apply or not to apply?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by djaye14, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I'm glad that you are enjoying volunteering - def shows that this is the career for you!
    Experience isn't everything. Of course, you need some to get an interview/get on a PGCE course, but more importantly it's how you answer their questions that gets you the place. I have just been accepted onto a PGCE for this year. I am in my final year of my degree so as you can imagine, time is incredibly tight. With all my uni work/assignments I only really got time to go and volunteer for half day once a week, and that was only with one key stage (reception). By the time I went for interview I had 3 months experience, which as it was only half day aswell for once a week it would probably only equate to about 2 weeks experience. I felt like I didn't have as much experience as others. I went for my first interview (which I didnt get a place at) and a lot were TA's and had taken a year out to get loads of experience etc, and I started to feel like I should have done the same. However, I then went to my second and got a place, and didnt have any more experience for my first than I did for my second! So its basically about HOW you answer the questions and how you describe your experience, rather than HOW much experience you have. If they feel you are good enough for their course but feel you don't have enough experience, they are known to ask you to get more BEFORE the start of the course. That's what's happened to me - they've asked me to get more experience in KS2 before I start :)
    Obviously I'm not gonna sit here and say you should rule out getting more experience by taking a year out - part of me wishes I did that now and its always beneficial! But if I can get a place on about 2 weeks experience, I am sure you can too!
    Just sit back and think about it - see if you feel ready. There's no harm in applying this year, then if worst does come to worst and you don't get a place you can take a year out and gain more experience, then apply next year :)
    If you're going for primary though I'd hurry up with appllications - places are running out quickly!
    Just make sure you present what you are about and the experience you DO have... and you'll be fine!
  2. Thank you for your wisdom. As you said I don't really have anything to lose by applying, I really appreciate you being honest with your advice and taking the time to reply.
    I might try and chat to some of the teachers when I am next at the school just to get their opinions as well. Hopefully I could ask one of them to be my referee. Thanks again xx

    P.s any other people's thoughts are most welcome.
  3. The only thing I would add to the wise words that have already been said, is that you may want to ring the unis you'd like to apply to, to double check that they will consider your application. Some unis state a required 10 days work experience by the time of application, whilst others will be willing to consider you with ongoing experience. It just means you won't potentially end up wasting a choice and time :) Definitely apply though! There's nothing to lose!

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