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What should I do?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Nicolettehh, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. I want to teach English in a secondary school, but feel stuck in a no-man's land!
    I used to teach GCSE English at a FE college and have my PTLLS and CTLLS qualification. I also have 180 credits with the Open University as I am doing my English degree with them and won't be able to finish until 2013, due to the nature of the modules I have left to do, only starting each October.
    I have Adult Literacy Level 1 and 2 and have two years teaching experience at an FE level. Lesson observations of me were rated 'Good, with some outstanding features', which I'm quite proud of.
    How can I get a secondary school to take me on? I'm a good teacher. I know all the theories behind teaching and learning, writing lesson plans, APP, controlled assessments, GCSE specs, etc. But whenever I apply, I get 'we don't take on unqualified teachers' or 'wait until you've finished your degree, then do a PGCE.'
    Ther are no RTP routes in my area, I've looked. As far as I know, the GTP won't take me on until my degree is nearly complete.
    I'm feeling lost! I'm still applying for jobs, but not even getting to the short-lists because of my lack of QTS. Can I take the QTS tests before finishing my degree?
    Sorry for all the questions!
  2. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    I think you need to resign yourself to finishing your degree before applying for jobs, Nicolettehh. Unfortunately however good a teacher you think you are if you look on the forums here you will see how many of us are unemployed and desperate for jobs. There are many, many qualified teachers who cannot get work - both NQTs frantically searching for their first job and also teacher like myself with 20 odd years experience who are now too expensive to be afforded by schools.

    Despite knowing all the theories behind teaching and learning, etc the fact remains that you are not qualified to teach. You do not have a degree and you have not done a PGCE or a GTP. It is illegal to employ someone unqualified as a classroom teacher, unless no qualified teacher is available. And unfortunately way too many qualified teachers ARE available. This is why you are not even getting shortlisted. Many jobs vacancies receive anywhere between 50 - 250 applications for the position. However enthusiastic and competent you feel, you are not a teacher, just someone who feels they could do the job, without the qualifications, training, experience. Particularly as you are looking for jobs in secondary education and in English, which is a core subject. I know you have taught FE and have various FE qualifications but teaching in a school is different. If you had children of your own in Y10/Y11 would you honestly want them being taught by someone who didn't have a degree, or the teacher training to do so? I would be most unhappy as a parent if my children were being taught by unqualified staff. Sorry to be brutal.

    At the moment you are wasting your time applying for jobs in teaching. Schools have told you the answer - they don't employ unqualified teachers. You need a degree and a PGCE. If you are really keen to work in secondary education I believe your best bet would be to apply for TA jobs whilst finishing your degree and then try and do either a year's PGCE or a GTP before looking for jobs as an NQT. Best of luck for the future!
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Unfortunately you cannot teach in a state school without QTS. There is no point fussing about it, that is the way it is.

    Your GCSE classes might well have passed their exams, but how would you manage a class of 13 year olds who don't want to be there and don't want to learn? A whole different ball game for which you are neither qualified nor experienced.

    If you are desperate to teach in a school and believe you can convince an interview panel, given the chance, then maybe try applying to independent schools. While very many prefer you to have QTS, it isn't a legal requirement, so you might be able to get a foot in the door there.

    Otherwise you will have to do what everyone else does and get the qualification.
  4. I don't want this to sound rude, but why do you say I'm 'unqualified' and 'inexperienced'?
    I AM qualified to teach. I have two years experience of teaching GCSE English to kids who'd failed the subject at secondary and were taking a one year resit course. I had to cram a lot of work into that one year and believe you me, those students did not want to be there! English wasn't what they were at college for, it wasn't their choice to do it, they HAD TO, if they wanted to get onto the vocational course they wanted to pursue!
    The 16 yr olds at college (and some older) did not want to be there, nor did they want to learn and I DID engage them, I DID get them on track and they PASSED. Please don't say I'm inexperienced or unqualified in that regard, as I do not believe I am.
    Prior to teaching FE, I taught EFL/TESOL at a summer school for kids aged 13 and upwards. They could barely speak English, but I managed to engage them.
    I will look at independent schools, that's a good idea, so thank you for that, MinnieMinx. Good luck in your jobhunting if you are also searching for a new posting.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Because, also hopefully without sounding rude, in the eyes of the law you are. You do not have QTS and are therefore unqualified, end of story.

    Granted the 16 yos you were teaching may not like doing English, but they could see the point of it and had chosen to be there to get where they wanted to be. Those at college HAD chosen to do your course and had the motivation to work and to pass. What about all those children who failed at 16 and didn't bother with college either. Those are the real unmotivated children, that you will need to get to grips with.

    I do understand your frustrations (I have my own jobseeking frustrations right now, totally different to yours, but still a flippin nuisance) but there is nothing you can do except find a way to get QTS if you want to teach in a state secondary.
  6. Thank you, Minnie. Good luck with your search.
  7. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    Hi Nicolettehh - yep, I'm looking for work, like so many, I'm afraid. I'm in the position of being too darned old and expensive to get a job. I'm sorry to say that having a degree, PGCE, plus a great many years teaching experience does not guarantee you a job. Unfortunately, for someone in your position, NOT having a degree or QTS guarantees you definitely WON'T get one in a school.

    I understand what you are saying about the fact that you were considered suitable to teach the same subject in an FE college, so how come you are not considered suitable to teach in a school. I agree it does seem illogical, but unfortunately that is how it works. May I ask if you are still working in FE? And if so, why would you want to switch to a secondary school? Do you have a burning desire to teach stroppy 13 and 14 year olds, lol? I would happily teach FE instead.

    Keep applying for FE jobs (assuming you are not still working) and complete your degree and teacher training if you desperately want to switch. Best of luck!

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