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When is the best time to take a gap year?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Emma_2507, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. This september will be the final year of my teacher training course at university and my idea is to take a gap year and do some travelling before settling down and becoming a teacher - I am doing a BEd course so will be just turned 21 years old when I qualify. My university hasn't told us a lot about what happens this year or what next year (NQT year) involves.
    Is it best to do your NQT year straight away once qualified, or would I be able to take my gap year before doing my NQT year? Is this likely to hinder my chances of getting a job?
    OR
    Would it be better to do my NQT year and then look into taking a year out to go travelling?
    I'm really unsure of what to do, because as much as I am looking forward to qualifying and getting my own class, I have also always imagined going travelling for a year and if I don't do this in the next 1/2 years I don't see when it would be possible!
    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. This september will be the final year of my teacher training course at university and my idea is to take a gap year and do some travelling before settling down and becoming a teacher - I am doing a BEd course so will be just turned 21 years old when I qualify. My university hasn't told us a lot about what happens this year or what next year (NQT year) involves.
    Is it best to do your NQT year straight away once qualified, or would I be able to take my gap year before doing my NQT year? Is this likely to hinder my chances of getting a job?
    OR
    Would it be better to do my NQT year and then look into taking a year out to go travelling?
    I'm really unsure of what to do, because as much as I am looking forward to qualifying and getting my own class, I have also always imagined going travelling for a year and if I don't do this in the next 1/2 years I don't see when it would be possible!
    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!
     
  3. Personally I would do the travelling first. Getting a job is really really difficult at the moment so it could be a good idea to go away and broaden your horizons before knuckling down to the hard work of finding and securing a job. You neve know, your travels could add that extra spark to make you stand out during the application process.
    The last thing you want to do is secure a job, spend a year completing your NQT then disappear off travelling only to return to the job search all over again.
     
  4. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    To some extent it depends on how flexible you are about where you want to go and work afterwards, assuming you do the gap year first. As a B Ed, I presume you're primary; I know some primary heads who take a jaundiced view of NQTs who are not applying fresh out of college ('their training's a year out of date', they cry), and the jobs market was particularly tough for primary this year anyway. So if you were looking at one of the areas where it's difficult to find work anyway (e.g. most of the north or anywhere in the south west), you might be putting yourself at even more of a disadvantage, though it might not matter so much in London and the south east (e.g. Luton) where there are fewer applicants per job. On the other hand, no-one's quite sure what the job situation is going to be like next year and the year after, not least because no-one knows quite where they stand on fees and bursaries, and how easy it's going to be to fill PGCE training places. Which will impact on the amount of competition for jobs.
    As a general rule, I'd advocate doing the NQT year and then doing the travelling, though I've employed people who've done it the other way round. But, if you do go travelling first, remember that most of the jobs will come up between March and May (especially if you apply through a pool, the Luton one is highly recommended for example) and schools will want to see you in the school, teaching a demo lesson, before they'll be willing to appoint. Which would make it tricky if you were stuck in a traffic jam in the middle of Bangkok for the whole of March, for example!
     
  5. Hi Emma,
    My vote would be for travelling first and then coming back to work. As you say it is a good opportunity now before you commit yourself to anything and you will also gain some useful new skills and experience while you are away. If you're worried about how it will look then maybe do some volunteering while you're away; teach English, work with communities, care for wildlife etc. It will be a fantastic way to get to know the locals and to really experience the cutlure too!
    This website might be worth a look for a few ideas http://www.realgap.co.uk/volunteering, they've also got lots of adventures and tours if you would rather do that [​IMG]. Good luck!
     
  6. http://independentvolunteer.org/index.php
    http://www.truetravellers.org/
    http://www.idealist.org/

    has many volunteering oppurtunities and best of all you with most don't have to pay thousands of pounds like some companies charge to take part in them. Usually you just pay for accomodation and food (v. cheap)
     

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