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Career changer - Secondary English teacher 2017 - prep?

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    • Thread Starter

    Hello all

    I've worked in publishing since 2010, have done quite well, but would like to go into teaching. I used to volunteer teaching children with behavioural problems, adult refugees, English as a second language, but never felt ready for the level of responsibility that came with being a teacher. I've moved a little due to my wife's work, but now want to settle in England and teach.

    Thing is, I feel so out of the loop and under-prepared! I got an MRes Creative Writing (fee waiver scholarship, thank goodness, what a lot of work for not a lot of reward) in 2012, but since then I've just done career development training (Agile, SCRUM, etc). I feel really overwhelmed at this point - what makes me feel like I am ready to be a teacher (having real-world experience, a detachment from the memory of being a student myself) also makes me feel completely out of the loop!Any tips on how to prepare for applying for positions? I'm looking at Schools Direct salaried as my first preference, and Teach First as my second. I'm going to a Teach First event on 30 August and looking to secure some classroom experience before the end of the year, but other than that feel like I'm not making much progress.
    Sorry if this has been asked a thousand times before, I just feel like I need to get this ball rolling!


    Getting as much classroom experience as you can before applying will strengthen your application, but apart from that, there are only a handful of things you can do to prepare:
    • Begin practising for the professional skills test - as you've worked in publishing, you should have no trouble with the English test, but you will need to familiarise yourself with the format of it by taking the practise tests available online. If you find maths difficult, particularly mental arithmetic, it might take you longer to become ready to take that test. Unfortunately, you can't book the tests until after you've applied.
    • Start writing your personal statement - the word limit is 47 lines or 4000 characters, whichever comes first.
    • Make sure you have all of your identity and qualification documents at hand - it will make filling in the qualifications section of the application easier and most course providers will ask you to bring them to interviews.
    • Contact your referees in mid-October to confirm that they're happy to provide you with a reference - UCAS emails them as soon as you've submitted your application, but your application won't be sent to the course providers to which you've applied until after your references have been received.
    • Have a look at the typical interview questions for English courses (there are tons of websites that can help with this) and make sure you've got answers for them.
    Best of luck!

    Have you registered with the Train to Teach website?


    You can also give them a call and they will offer plenty of advice and help.

    I wasn't very impressed with the Teach First presentation I went to. There was definitely an undertone of Teach First, earn lots of money in big business later which I found rather distasteful rather than a genuine desire to put the best teachers in the hardest schools.

    It can be overwhelming, but basically, you need to:
    1. Get experience (at least three days initially)
    2. Write your personal statement and application (references)
    3. Apply
    4. Attend interviews and secure a place
    5. Take your literacy and maths tests
    6. Complete any additional experience required of you.

    Good luck!

    For some reason my original username isn't working..!

    Thank you both - this is great. I'm registered with Get Into Teaching but feel like that site just takes me around in circles. I'll definitely give them a call.

    Thankfully my younger sister is doing a Primary PGCE and so has some insight into the literacy and maths tests so I don't feel too overwhelmed by those. She's in a very different position to me though, coming straight out of a social work degree and onto a Primary PGCE programme.

    I've thought so carefully about making this decision to teach, and now I've reached it I just want to do all I can to make sure it actually happens!

    Thanks again!
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