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Unqualified teachers in the classroom, a real worry

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by SarahB101, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Ever thought about studying for four years at uni and getting qualified? You are obviously wasted doing what you're doing!!
  2. I agree that the PGCE is important otherwise I wouldn't have bothered.
    It's not that, it's just the assumption that qualified teachers are going to get students through exams better than an unqualified one. Infact My son got an A* for English with an unqualified teacher I paid for extra tuition because I had no faith in the English teachers at his school.
  3. Again, I feel that some people have missed the point when talking about the differences between qualified and non-qualified teachers for the following reasons:

    1. A teacher training certificate does not give you 'subject knowledge' or 'exam savviness', as some people on here have already pointed out. However, what it does (or should) give you is the basic grounding in theories of learning, useful teaching methods, an appreciation of issues in education blah blah. I.e. the tools needed to teach properly. Subject knowledge comes from your degree or experience of teaching a subject without a degree (as in the case of hairdressing for example) and exam savviness comes from examiner training. I therefore urge all teachers who haven't already done so to work as an examiner or work with someone who is an experienced examiner, in order to pick up this training (and much needed cash during the holidays). Thus, the posters on here who argue that unqualified teachers in the classroom are a real worry because they don't have good subject knowledge or aren't exam savvy are missing the point because teacher training courses only cover these issues in brief detail and more importantly, the fact that a requirement for PGCEs is a good first degree, shows that teacher training providers expect you to have this knowledge before you do the course.

    2. In my experience, I've found that the difference between people with teacher training/experience and people without teacher training/experience is that the former have their 'heads screwed on more'. I.e. They generally have a better understanding of what they need to do to help students pass their courses and a greater awareness of wider issues affecting their classroom practice AND have the ability to use a wider range of teaching methods to get results. E.g. During my NQT, one of my colleagues (who had a PhD but no teaching qualifications) once asked me if when teaching students I read notes to them from the book or gave them dictation. When I replied that I use more student-centred methods (games, presentations, reading comprehension etc), she looked at me as if I were from another planet and replied that she didn't teach that way. It was on the tip of my tongue to say that perhaps you should, but knew my place in those days. Had I not done my PGCE course, I probably would have thought about teachign in the same way that she did because I wouldn't have known any differenty.

    Btw, I obtained my PGCE (post-compulsory) fairly recently, but even my Sociology teacher (he's 63 and has a PGCE secondary without QTS) showed that he was capable of doing similar things to me (if not better than me) if he chose, but prefers to use a more teacher-centred style and clearly knew what he wanted to do int he class and what we needed to do to get good grades in the exams.

    Granted, I agree that you don't have to be qualified to show that you can teach, as I'm technically unqualified to teach in a school, but I have done teacher training and in my opinion, it shows, even though I'm still new to the profession. As for HTLAs, I thought that they were only allowed to teach if supervised by a teacher, or have things changed recently? I therefore suggest that if you haveno teacher training and you're good that you get some, as you'll be even better, as this is what I've found (I worked as an academic tutor in Psycholgoy for 2 years before becoming an FE teacher).

  4. Exactly post 84. Soooo... Why don't they get qualified? Because it means earning nothing or very little for a long time, but that is the sacrifice, I'm afraid, otherwise we'd all be doing it.

    I did my PGCE at the age of 35, married, with two children and travelled very early every morning to get to uni, whilst my mum fed my children before they went off to school. Both my main teaching practices were nowhere near where I lived. I'm still glad I came through the PGCE 10 years ago, when others, much younger than me, were thrown off the course because they lacked what was needed. So if I sound bitter about unqualifieds, then that's because I am!!
  5. I understand, as I too worked hard for my PGCE, as did my fellow students who had children and other family commitments like yourself. I therefore hope that you and other posters on here understand why I resent the implication by certain posters on the TES forum that my teaching qualification and experience is worthless and that I'm not qualified because I don't have QTS and therefore that my qualification is not recognised in a school. As I've said before on the TES forum, I dislike this grey area but knew that this would occur when I chose to a PGCE (post-compulsory) and it didn't bother me because I was certain that I wanted to teach in a school, not a college. I was also aware that I would have to do another course if I did decide to switch, so I'm not complaining about this situation or my status within a school per se, just the implication that because I chose to specialise in FE rather than secondary school teaching, I'm inferior to secondary school teachers when I choose to teach courses in my specialist subject to an age group that I specialise in. The only difference is the building! Why doesn't the government and other teachers recognise this?
  6. I have every sympathy and I would certainly not deem you as unqualified and struggle to believe that others do. I'm talking about those who want something for nothing; those who can't be bothered to go through the whole process, but as I sort of mentioned before, teachers can't moan about not being treated as professional and yet be accepting of unqualifieds when it wouldn't happen in any other profession. Think about police, nurses, firefighters, dentists, doctors, pilots......
  7. As I said earlier, I totally agree with posters who make this point! As I said, the ones I disagree with are those who fail to recognise the difference between those who are regarded as unqualifed because their teacher training/experience isn't recognised in a school and those who haven't done any teacher training but think that they know better than those who have.

    I agree that the latter is a real worry!

  8. Having read most of the messages on "unqualified teachers in the classroom" I have come to the conclusion that if all you unqualified TA's and LSA's
    can teach any level without a degree or QTS then you should in affect be able to tell your students to go home as they don't need educating. I mean, what would the point be of gaining any qualifications if you can do a job without them.
    Perhaps I should burn my CV and start again and may be I will get a job as a TA or LSA and Teach.


    One highly qualified Teacher/ lecturer / Engineer / Design Technologist / Previously Director / Instructor.

    Now working as a supply teacher because I cannot get a teaching post. To many TA's and LSA's doing the job.

    And believe me they are.

  9. Well said Pirates. This is about LSAs and TAs who most of the time do not have a degree at the very least, and in my experience, work in schools to check up on their own kids/s! Not about graduates who haven't done a post grad teaching certificate of some type.
  10. I am in a similar position as lynsita i.e. with a post compulsory qualification and previously teaching in FE college, now in secondary. Am employed as unqualified (until I complete route for QTS)because nobody 'qualified' wants to teach the kids that I teach!(disengaged, disaffected etc.) Most of the qualified teachers in school treat me as equal until they want to 'pull rank'. In a recent inspection I was observed and rated as 'good' whilst some qulaified were judged as 'inadequate'(and they had the 'nice, good kids in the classroom) So what's the answer? Get supply in day after day after day,no planning,no structure, no knowledge of the kids, no responsibility..... at the end of the day when the bell goes, so do they!
  11. p.s. before you all point out the obvious..... qualified is the correct spelling of course... typing error.. apologies!!
  12. I am getting pretty fed up with the ammount of TA's / LSA's stating how better they are than qualified teachers.

    Am I correct in saying that to become a teacher, you need to :

    1. work very hard to get into university

    2. work even harder when you are there for several years.

    3. be observed on many occassions in the classroom

    4. reach the standards required to teach

    5. get through interviews being observed carrying out a (mini or full} lesson

    6. be observed throughout your employment as a teacher

    I mean, if we are that bad, I think we better close the faculty of education in every university and. close down all schools.

    Or! Let the TA's / LSA's take over. They don't need tobe qualified to teach.

    Come to think of it, I should never have wasted my time and effort. As a QT with QTS I can only get supply work, and would you believe it,I was asked by an LSA for me to act as LSA whilst the LSA took the Lesson.

    The anwer to her question was 'NO'.

  13. Had this LSA gone mad????????!!!!!!!
  14. But doesnt JOCALL have a point? Isnt the system silly when those teaching in FE are classed as unqualified when some hold higher quals in their subject specialism than some teachers in primary? I would prefer an unqualified maths/science/languages instrutor in this instance than the qts whose subject specialism is drama.No one is saying that those with QTS dont work hard but there are cases where adults with good academic backgrounds are excellent teachers without the QTS. The GTP is already highlighting how good TAs can be fast tracked to obtain QTS. A colleague completed her in just 6months having worked as a HLTA for many years.Good relevant degree AND lots of practical experience,loads of opportunities to observe teachers/TAs not just the odd few weeks placement. Lets be honest how MANY weeks of actual teaching practice did you have when training? PGCE How many??
  15. Thanks for your support messyhouse!

    Good on your colleague, btw!
  16. Just to say this really worries me too, my LSA tells me what to do and does not realise that sometimes she is not correct at all. The Head teacher has supported her when she is clearly completely incorrect, and as a teacher I am reflective, it takes a lot for me to be 100 per cent sure I am completely correct.

    Britain will have a poorly educated people before they realise that teachers should be qualified to keep up standards. We should not put people in playing at the job, I feel very stressed at the whole thing. It has to be to save money, they have closed down SO many teacher training schools and it looks like teachers have to train any old bod, to put them infront of a class to feed their ego. Poor kids!
  17. Having just finished a PGCE, I am well aware looking back that my first lump of lessons were pretty poor. Training helped (although some of the academic stuff you are made to do is utterly irrelevant) and now my lessons are so much better. I know what I am doing now. People think they can teach when they aren't doing it - I thought it was easy before my first lesson. LSAs are invaluable in their role, but they are not teachers - they have their own specialism and teachers have theirs. If they both work together in their separate roles the children will do well, just like having a good doctor and a good nurse - both equally important in their different areas. I'm shocked that there are this many unqualified teachers around. Just do a GTP or a PGCE!!! You may already be a good teacher as an unqualified - therefore it stands to reason that you will only get better after doing a course! Bottom line is the only reason schools employ unqualified teachers is because they are cheaper than NQTs / experienced teachers.

    But, I must say for those who have a post-compulsory PGCE and aren't seen as qualified then none of this applies to you. That is pretty unfair if you ask me - didn't realise that was going on.
  18. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    Haven't read the whole thread, but feel that I have read enough.

    Question: What would pupils parents feel, if they knew their children were being taught by unqualified people? Do most of them know if schools where this happens alot?

    Yes, this does not count for post-compulsory PGCEs (like above poster, I did not know that you did not have QTS), and I know some excellent TAs, who have degrees, and are TA-ing for a year or two to gain experience in schools, before applying for PGCEs (I was going to do this myself this September if I did not get a place on a course). They have the subject knowledge and are excellent with the children, and an odd lesson, for cover, can be excused, but not full-time!

    I do not have any children of my own (yet :p), but I o have a wonderful little nephew, who I love dearly, and whose education I take a keen interest in. Both myself and my sister (his mother) would be absolutely livid if we were told that he was being taught by an unqualified person everyday! The education of these children should NEVER be sacrified for the sake of saving a little bit of money. How would the SMT of these feel if it was their own children? Read a few pages back about an unqualified person teaching an AS class, and all the pupils failing. How can anyone ever justify this?

    Sometimes I wonder if there really is much point in me doing my PGCE this September - It is expensive and requires a lot of work. Yes, some TAs etc may have degrees, and worked hard for them etc, but ITT is no joke, although maybe there will be no use for it in a few years ... ...
  19. Having just read the topic G.C.S.E in maths/english on the TA forum:

    "There were 25 Ta's in my last school and only 3 have their GCSE's in literacy and numeracy"

    So not all TAs have degrees then, as we are lead to beleive from some on this thread?
  20. My husband is a computer whizz kid! He has worked in industry for 30 years and earns a lot of money because he is good at what he does, manages people very well, works long hours...... However, he would make a lousy teacher, believe me, I have been at the end of trying to learn from him He is intolerant of those who don't get it (me) and quickly takes over the task.

    The point I am trying to make here is that teacher training courses teach so much more than how to plan a lesson and how to teach our subject specialisms. Those, and there may not be many, who can't cope are thrown off the course, some who get through fail their NQT year. What happens to unqualifieds in post if they are tosh? Not a lot it seems.

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