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Training and choices after long career in media

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by QueenBinky, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. QueenBinky

    QueenBinky New commenter

    I've had/have a long and successful career in media and a English degree from a top uni and am thinking about retraining as a teacher. I'm really at the beginning of my research so am pretty ill informed at the mo. It would be great if you could put me straight on a few basics.

    Ideally I'd like to use the school direct salaried option as obviously this would be easier financially and I have a lot of life and work experience to bring. I'd like to teach Media and English at secondary or higher level - is this normal /standard in schools or should I choose one? Can one even train to do both at the same time? Armed with my shiny new QTS, could I swap between secondary and higher ed if I wanted?

    Sorry, that is a lot of questions but I'm finding it hard to find this kind of big picture stuff elsewhere.
    Thanks so much
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo @QueenBinky .

    I am not going to be much help to you here as I deal more with people who are already teachers and wish to develop their career.

    So for the Becoming-A-Teacher advice, I suggest that you register for the Getting Into Teaching scheme.


    Sign up, and there you will get all the specialised advice you need.

    However, there is one question that I can answer, although not with the answer that you want:

    QTS is not valid for Higher Education. Or rather, no-one is the slightest bit interested in a teaching qualification for University lecturing. They look for research degrees and publications. I used to teach at a University myself, believe me, not one of my colleagues had done a PGCE, except those with me in the Department of Education.

    So Sorry! Not what you hoped that I would say, I know. Now go and sign up for Get Into Teaching.

    Best wishes
    QueenBinky likes this.
  3. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Do yourself a favour and start your research on Workplace Dilemmas, paying particular attention to the title of the sticky at the top of the list which also appears at the top of Career Clinic, the forum you've come to for advice. There's a reason why Workplace Dilemmas it's the third forum of sixty-three on the TES Community home page (my favourite discussion there right now is I don't hate teaching, but...).

    The only circumstance under which I would recommend a career change into teaching is as a cover in a witness protection programme. Compared to teaching, all other options are better.

    Run, Binky. Run like the wind and don't look back.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  4. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Vince, if I could have clicked the 'like' button a million times I would have.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi QueenBinky

    To fin out whether secondary teaching is for you is to work in a secondary school for a few months to observe what teachers do and whether you have the stamina, temperament, and desire to train to teach.

    Have you ever worked with students aged 11 to 16 ? Ideally you need experience in more than one school since all schools are not the same.

    Try to get some experience either paid or unpaid to observe school life for at least six months tomhelp you decide if teaching secondary is for you.
    QueenBinky likes this.
  6. TonyGT

    TonyGT Established commenter

    I worked in television before retraining to become a teacher. One piece of advice I would give is to not focus on teaching Media Studies simply because you worked in the media. Media Studies isn't a qualification taken seriously by anyone and a lot of the best schools to work in won't even offer it as an option. Those who do may see it as an 'alternative' to a more academic subject and so you'll have class after class of kids "we just couldn't put in history".

    I don't teach in the UK thought because I'm not insane. If you're thinking of packing any job in to work in a state school in the UK then you are seriously deluded. Either stay put or retrain in something else.
    QueenBinky and Vince_Ulam like this.
  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Sad but true.

    I am glad someone addressed the question of sanity. I thought it might have been a bit much right out of the gate but here is appropriate.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    snowyhead likes this.
  8. MrTeacher100

    MrTeacher100 New commenter

    You've being given lots of great advice so far!

    I'd just like to add that I'd advice you to complete a PGCE (commonly ran alongside the teach first programme) in English if you want to teach in a Secondary school and then apply for English with Media posts. A lot of teachers I know who teach media got in through offering to teach it alongside English at the school they were employed at. They are very few media only posts around now. However, if your passion is Media then I'd recommend looking at lecturing in further education. Further education would be your only chance of a media only role, unless you get very lucky with a secondary school.
    Hope I've being of some help.
  9. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Good advice from @MrTeacher100 there. Media is seen as a soft option in many schools - in one of mine, the top set in English were doing Media GCSE's in Yr9 ..... the ones who took it as an option in Years 10/11 tended to be the ones who would also be doing catering and child-care (rather than triple science or latin)...
  10. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Primary is great if you aren't passionate about a subject, but enjoy teaching & variety. I focused on upper primary, and loved that the children were still curious but already had the basics in place (reading, writing), so you could do some great stuff. Then SATs came in and ruined it all.

    I never taught the tinies - would rather poke out my eyes with sharp sticks - but if you work in primary you COULD be put in any year group from Reception to Y6. No head ever dared risk that with me (mutiny!!), but it does happen frequently. And the difference between 4 year olds just out of nappies and 11 year olds entering puberty is enormous.

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