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Becoming a primary teacher - advice needed

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    Hi all,

    I have just found this site and thinks it's great! So good to see so many mature students and people sharing ideas and helping each other.

    I am having trouble finding advice and guidance (Jobcentre, CIB and a career helpline were generally useless). I would like to share my journey so far.

    I am a 26yr old male and I recently left my job in financial services. I have worked in this industry since 19.

    After doing a self assessment, personality testing, reading numerous websites and much soul searching I am very interested in teaching at primary level. I was interested in this in my teenage years but have after many years decided to pursue this now.

    On the academic side I have 10 GSCEs. All grade C or above. I have two A levels. Grade D in General Studies and E in Business & Economics combined. I also have 2 AS levels, one grade E in ICT and communications and a C in German.

    With regards to experience in a school setting I have arranged a one day observation in a primary school next week. I am also trying to arrange a one day observation in a disabled school. I have also been accepted into a local primary school to do some work exp (hopefully 2 weeks worth) and maybe some ongoing voluntary work. I am waiting for the CRB check to come through.

    On the financial side I have no credit cards, no debts, no mortgage and I live at home and will do so throughout nost / all of uni so the overheads are not very expensive. I also should have enough savings to put myself through University although I am looking into seeing if I will be eligible for a bursary or any types of grant as I am jobless. If not I can get a part time job to top things up.

    I have looked at two Unis closeby and read through their websites. I am impressed by both and have downloaded each prospectus to read through and I will attend open days in October to have a good look at them.

    I have evidence of recent study if the Uni enquires about that. CF1 (Financial qualification on financial regulation, conduct and ethics). This is endorsed by the Chartered Insurance Institute.

    I am also hoping to draft my Ucas form and common interview questions to make sure I am upto speed on these for when an interview may happen.

    I am concerned my poor grades will hinder me but am hopeful that as a male wishing to be a primary school teacher and also combining that with my life / employment experience I was hoping this may count for something.

    Is there anything else anyone can think of that I have missed? Should be aware of? Need to be doing now whilst I have this time to plan effectively and properly?

    Thanks for reading.

    Look forward to any helpful ideas, thoughts or comments.
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    sounds like you're getting sorted, i think it would be a really good idea to get work experience though - not just observations. I tutor, some of my friends worked in afterschool clubs, or there's volunteering at playschemes etc if you can't get anywhere paid.
    teaching assistant work would be the best thing you could do, or anything academic related with children - what about the library if nothing else?
    guys tend to have more success on pgce courses tho, being accepted that is, as they have less applications!
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    (Original post by 60Crs80)
    Hi all,

    I have just found this site and thinks it's great! So good to see so many mature students and people sharing ideas and helping each other.

    I am having trouble finding advice and guidance (Jobcentre, CIB and a career helpline were generally useless). I would like to share my journey so far.

    I am a 26yr old male and I recently left my job in financial services. I have worked in this industry since 19.

    After doing a self assessment, personality testing, reading numerous websites and much soul searching I am very interested in teaching at primary level. I was interested in this in my teenage years but have after many years decided to pursue this now.

    On the academic side I have 10 GSCEs. All grade C or above. I have two A levels. Grade D in General Studies and E in Business & Economics combined. I also have 2 AS levels, one grade E in ICT and communications and a C in German.

    With regards to experience in a school setting I have arranged a one day observation in a primary school next week. I am also trying to arrange a one day observation in a disabled school. I have also been accepted into a local primary school to do some work exp (hopefully 2 weeks worth) and maybe some ongoing voluntary work. I am waiting for the CRB check to come through.

    On the financial side I have no credit cards, no debts, no mortgage and I live at home and will do so throughout nost / all of uni so the overheads are not very expensive. I also should have enough savings to put myself through University although I am looking into seeing if I will be eligible for a bursary or any types of grant as I am jobless. If not I can get a part time job to top things up.

    I have looked at two Unis closeby and read through their websites. I am impressed by both and have downloaded each prospectus to read through and I will attend open days in October to have a good look at them.

    I have evidence of recent study if the Uni enquires about that. CF1 (Financial qualification on financial regulation, conduct and ethics). This is endorsed by the Chartered Insurance Institute.

    I am also hoping to draft my Ucas form and common interview questions to make sure I am upto speed on these for when an interview may happen.

    I am concerned my poor grades will hinder me but am hopeful that as a male wishing to be a primary school teacher and also combining that with my life / employment experience I was hoping this may count for something.

    Is there anything else anyone can think of that I have missed? Should be aware of? Need to be doing now whilst I have this time to plan effectively and properly?

    Thanks for reading.

    Look forward to any helpful ideas, thoughts or comments.
    My Nephew whos going to start his teacher training degree soon manage to arrange some work experience at his local primary school because university who offer education degrees with QTS usually want applicants to have some idea of what a teacher does and so forth so the sheer fact u have this already sorted will go in your favour
    The fact you got so many GCSEs at higher grades will help in your application however your A level grades let you down as most universities take applicants with grades at C and above.Have you looked into the possiability of doing a Access to Teaching HE Course at some of your local colleges.Thats if they offer them that is
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    Hi guys. Thanks for the responses.

    In response to figure-it-out, I won't be doing a 1 or 2 year PGCE I will be an undergraduate. It means I'll be doing a degree with QTS and going to Uni for 3-4 years. Also the work exp I am doing at a primary school in near future (hopefully) and voluntary work should be more involved so should have that base covered as you suggested.

    Also ZakBrannigan, I have looked and can't find any Access courses locally.

    Following ZakBrannigan's comment and because I have invested almost 2 months of my time already I think I might email both the Unis I am interested in and explain my circumstances to ensure I am a candidate that would be given due consideration for this course subject to application and interview etc.

    Thanks for the help.
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    (Original post by 60Crs80)
    Hi guys. Thanks for the responses.

    In response to figure-it-out, I won't be doing a 1 or 2 year PGCE I will be an undergraduate. It means I'll be doing a degree with QTS and going to Uni for 3-4 years. Also the work exp I am doing at a primary school in near future (hopefully) and voluntary work should be more involved so should have that base covered as you suggested.

    Also ZakBrannigan, I have looked and can't find any Access courses locally.

    Following ZakBrannigan's comment and because I have invested almost 2 months of my time already I think I might email both the Unis I am interested in and explain my circumstances to ensure I am a candidate that would be given due consideration for this course subject to application and interview etc.

    Thanks for the help.
    Hi 60Crs80 i find it strange that you cant find any Access Courses local to your locality,It might come down to how far you are willing to travel if there is a college a bit far away from you that offers a Access Course in what you want to do at University.I am also glad you taken some of my advice on board.I am here to help thats why i started on this TSR in the first place to help my fellow TSR members.If i can be any further help you know where i am:yep:
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    Got an update. One Uni said I need to make it clear I am a mature student and get as much exp in different age groups in primary schools. The other uni want me to do an access course.
    Also have done 1 day in a school observing and been invited back to do more observing while I am waiting for my CRB to come through and start exp at a different school which is good.
    Am now trying to find colleges with a space so I can do access course this year but the odds are against me as they are so popular and have already started.
    Found some local ones but they were not very easy to find to begin with for various reasons....:eek3:
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    (Original post by 60Crs80)
    Got an update. One Uni said I need to make it clear I am a mature student and get as much exp in different age groups in primary schools. The other uni want me to do an access course.
    Also have done 1 day in a school observing and been invited back to do more observing while I am waiting for my CRB to come through and start exp at a different school which is good.
    Am now trying to find colleges with a space so I can do access course this year but the odds are against me as they are so popular and have already started.
    Found some local ones but they were not very easy to find to begin with for various reasons....:eek3:
    I agree with what that university has advise u to do 60CRS80 u do need to get as much insight into teaching as possiable.My Nephew spent a few months at a Primary School and with regards to Access Courses u mentioned.You can still catch up if u do manage to get on one.My experience of Access Is this.The first week is introduction and a few weeks after that is just finding ur feet and finding out what the various Access Subjects Tutors want from u ie in terms of assignements and such
    I do hope u get it all sorted ou
    t:yep:
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    Well I have been reading posts on here for a while. Incase anyone was interested thought I would post an update on my situation.
    Since my last post I have started as of January working 2 days a week in a local primary school and have started helping coach the school football team.
    It took months to get this sorted due to some huge cock ups via CRB and other bits and pieces but I am finanally getting some experience.
    I didn't get onto an access course as hoped as they were all fully booked.
    I also couldn't do an open uni course as they were all booked up aswell.
    I have applied to Chichester Uni and today got a response. They have set me two assignments to do which if I am honest I don't have a clue how to tackle. They seem very hard. I have alot of reading and research to do and I'll give it a damn good go and see what happens.
    It confirms my suspitions though that I may need to do an Access course 1st to prepare me for future studying.
    If Chi Uni reject me I have been talking to two local colleges about doing an Access course from Sept 10 and applying to Uni the following year.
    So I have a plan A and a plan B.
    Hope everyone else is achieving their goals.
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    (Original post by 60Crs80)
    Well I have been reading posts on here for a while. Incase anyone was interested thought I would post an update on my situation.
    Since my last post I have started as of January working 2 days a week in a local primary school and have started helping coach the school football team.
    It took months to get this sorted due to some huge cock ups via CRB and other bits and pieces but I am finanally getting some experience.
    I didn't get onto an access course as hoped as they were all fully booked.
    I also couldn't do an open uni course as they were all booked up aswell.
    I have applied to Chichester Uni and today got a response. They have set me two assignments to do which if I am honest I don't have a clue how to tackle. They seem very hard. I have alot of reading and research to do and I'll give it a damn good go and see what happens.
    It confirms my suspitions though that I may need to do an Access course 1st to prepare me for future studying.
    If Chi Uni reject me I have been talking to two local colleges about doing an Access course from Sept 10 and applying to Uni the following year.
    So I have a plan A and a plan B.
    Hope everyone else is achieving their goals.
    Is there no-one you could ask for advice? Not even the uni, if you explained that you are operating independently? They might be williing to at least give you a sense of whether the approach you are taking is reasonable.
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    Hi all,

    not sure if anyone is interested but I thought I would update on the latest. You never know it may help some people reading from my experience to plan their own journey forward.

    Last time I was on here I had been asked by a uni to write some essays to get to the interview stage. Well I showed these essays to teachers in my school where I am working and they couldn't really help and said the essays were very tough indeed and wished me good luck.
    I suspect the uni was very popular this year so they were trying to push me in another direction.

    I have been working now at a local school for 6 months doing 2 days a week work experience which has been so valuable to me.

    I have been accepted by two colleges to start access courses in September. 1 of them which I am leaning towards is an access to teacher course for people interested in primary teaching.

    I have also been accepted to stay in in my local school from Sept 10 to July 11 for a morning or afternoon a week of my choice to keep getting experience and stay involved in the classroom.
    Things are all starting to come together.

    I don't know if any of this will help anyone but if you are thinking of teaching or have a strong interest in anything and want to make a change, be patient, have confidence in your own ability, research properly, take time to plan effectively and appropriately and when you come across a setback don't give up.

    I started planning to make a change in March 09. I only set the ball rolling in July/Aug 09 and this is the progress upto June 10 I have made so far...

    Good luck to anyone making a change.

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    (Original post by 60Crs80)
    Hi all,

    not sure if anyone is interested but I thought I would update on the latest. You never know it may help some people reading from my experience to plan their own journey forward.
    My Girlfriend is in a similar situation to yourself, and reading your thread has proven itself very helpful and insightful. So in this respect thank-you, and Good luck with the future!
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    Hi all,

    ok right, final update for anyone who is interested:

    I have been volunteering in a local primary school for over a year now and love every minute of it, even the harder days.

    I have been working hard at my access course and have 7 distinctions out of 10 assignments, whilst holding down a part time job of 26 hours week and the few hours of voluntary work a week.

    Regarding my uni applications, I have had 3 out of 3 conditional offers. 2 for teaching courses and 1 for an education degree. All unis in Sussex where I live.

    I guess when I started this thread I wanted it to grow and be a guide for other people thinking of trying to become teachers or students again. I also wanted to see how far I could push myself and what I could achieve and also how this change would go for me.

    In all honesty I wouldn't change a thing. I am glad I gave up my previous career and have chosen a more rewarding path.

    This whole journey is evidence to any mature students / people thinking of changing career and scared of dipping their toe in the water that you can do it, if you have faith in yourself and put in the hard work!

    Now four more years of work to become a teacher!

    Good luck to all the mature students preparing to go to uni and all those looking to start college in September!
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    (Original post by 60Crs80)
    Hi all,

    ok right, final update for anyone who is interested:

    I have been volunteering in a local primary school for over a year now and love every minute of it, even the harder days.

    I have been working hard at my access course and have 7 distinctions out of 10 assignments, whilst holding down a part time job of 26 hours week and the few hours of voluntary work a week.

    Regarding my uni applications, I have had 3 out of 3 conditional offers. 2 for teaching courses and 1 for an education degree. All unis in Sussex where I live.

    I guess when I started this thread I wanted it to grow and be a guide for other people thinking of trying to become teachers or students again. I also wanted to see how far I could push myself and what I could achieve and also how this change would go for me.

    In all honesty I wouldn't change a thing. I am glad I gave up my previous career and have chosen a more rewarding path.

    This whole journey is evidence to any mature students / people thinking of changing career and scared of dipping their toe in the water that you can do it, if you have faith in yourself and put in the hard work!

    Now four more years of work to become a teacher!

    Good luck to all the mature students preparing to go to uni and all those looking to start college in September!
    I just wanted to thank you for this post! I am nearing the end of my access course and hopefully off to uni in September. I am in a dilemma about what career path to take but teaching has been something I have considerex. Your insight has been invaluable and hopefully all going well in my final assignments I can look into gettin relevant experience.

    I do however have major confidence issues and I also worry I won't make the grade as I do not have a c in GCSE maths. It would be great if you updated this thread regularly or started a blog. Thanks again! Congratulations on your offers and your grades.

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