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    I´ve put my primary reference as my boss in the secondary school i worked for in Colombia. Should the second one be my uni tutor (i graduated 3.5 years ago) or should I put my boss i had in the english academy in Chile?

    Cheers

    Christian

    Of and, in the work experience section, are we supposed to write in prose? I mean all of my work experience has been put in my personal statement as i have no voluntary experience in schools.
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    In that case you better get some work experience in schools otherwise you will have no chance of getting in!
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    So the year that I worked as a secondary school teacher in Colombia isn´t worth anything?
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    (Original post by sirwhale28)
    So the year that I worked as a secondary school teacher in Colombia isn´t worth anything?
    Not really.
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    So two weeks observing classes is better than being the teacher for a year? well I´ve sent emails to the unis asking what they think. To be honest I find it very surprising as I have a lot more experience than someone who just observes and doesn´t have the responsibilities.
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    How relevant is that experience? You have knowledge of a country where students have to pay to attend school and where, according to Wikipedia, the net secondary enrolment was 53.5% in 2001.
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    Well students don´t have to pay to attend school in Colombia and I shall excuse your ignorance (hence "state school" and 2001 was in fact nearly 10 years ago). A secondary school teacher is a secondary school teacher and children are children. Now are you going to tell me that someone that has done two weeks of observing classes shows more commitment to teaching than someone who has had to do do it as a job, who has excellent references and shows passion to continue. How is being a secondary teacher not relevant experience for training to be a secondary teacher?
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    If we could maybe put aside the racism accusations for a second, I'd have thought that although the Columbia year would help an application, the thing to bear in mind is that the course you're applying for is to prepare you teach in England and Wales (presumably anyway). The problem is that you don't have any experience of mainstream UK schools, and most training providers state on their websites that this is the experience you must have. Working in Columbia is great, but how does is it enlighten you to the issues in UK education at the moment? How does it help you understand the challenges facing UK children? Yes, children are children, but their circumstances are not the same, and to assume that school experience anywhere in the world is adequate to teach anywhere else is a bit of a jump, to be honest.

    Take a look at the websites of the providers you're applying to, that should help. As for the reference side of things, the usual thing is that your first reference is a university tutor (or similar) if you graduated in the last five years, which you did. Therefore I would suggest putting your tutor as your main referee and your old boss as the second one. As strong an application as you think you might have, if you send it off ignoring some of the most basic guidelines you're not going to do yourself any favours. Do try to remember that it isn't you you're trying to impress. Good luck.
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    What subject are you applying for? Some are more competitive than others and will ask for more observation experience.

    Would it be possible to get some observation experience in this country before you would start PGCE?
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    (Original post by sirwhale28)
    Well students don´t have to pay to attend school in Colombia.
    "Registration and yearly fees must be paid for public schools. However, costs are lower than they would be in private schools. Public school fees cost around 4 percent of the fees for private schools."

    http://www.compassion.com/about/where/colombia.htm

    (Original post by sirwhale28)
    2001 was in fact nearly 10 years ago.
    True, but these are apparently the most recently published statistics. I have no idea whether the situation has changed in the last decade.

    (Original post by sirwhale28)
    put your racism aside
    That comment is completely uncalled for and makes you look breathtakingly stupid.

    Why ask for our help if you have already decided you are going to disregard anything you are told as you know best? If you display this attitude in your personal statement or at interview, you will not get a place. Trainee teachers need to be able to listen to and reflect upon the advice they are given.
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    I´m sorry but your quick google searches are not going to prove you correct. Primary and Secondary education in Colombia is free and obligatory by law, the poorer families are helped by the government when it comes to school meals, just as the UK education system does. Yes the children in the countyside do ten to be educated less as they find themselves working or in some cases wound up in the on going war, this is where you´ll find the statistics for students not enrolling for secondary education. Bienestar, the Colombian social services, will eventually take the kids away from a family if they are not attending school, Colombia is not as barbáric as you may think with your googled stats. One can also find private schools in Colombia as you have managed to uncover in your investigation. All in all, if I can keep myself well up to date by reading around the subject of education I´m sure I can know just as much about the challenges faced by English students as someone who observes a class for two weeks. I´d like to add that the PGCE is a course to train you to be a teacher, they are not expecting the finished product from day one.

    Thank you Darielle, you are the only person who hasn´t decided to attack my post. I´m going to be applying for Biology as I studied Medical Microbiology, I also speak fluent Spanish and have good experience teaching English so teaching Spanish wouldn´t be a problem either. I´ve just settled into Madrid where I´m teaching English to teenagers and this week coming, as the schools are going to be reopening, I´m going to the bilinguel colleges to ask if can arrange obersvations during the day.

    Thank you for the reply about the references.
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    Does it really matter :P

    i mean you are arguing over something that doesnt matter too much, all that matters is that you have experience work with children and thats what university's look for right? and to be honest getting more experience here wouldn't be a bad thing? because it puts you above the game and thats what matters
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    I'm sorry this isn't what you want to hear, but despite teacing in a different country for a year, you WILL NOT GET ON TO A COURSE with out UK mainstream school experience. Your experience is obviously fantastic, but unfortunately nt that relevent - you need to observe how teachers in the UK deliver the national curriculum. Your experience in a different country will not hurt your application, and may help it, but it won't get you in without observing in a state school here.

    I taught in a private tuition centre for 2 years, full time, teaching maths and English to children, mapped to the national curriculum using the same teacing methods they use in school, and going in to state schools to run workshops. Prior to this I had 4 weeks work experience in a state school, observing a teacher. I got turned away from Reading, because I did not have enough experience in a state school. I did however get in to Ox Brookes, but had to do an extra week in a school before I started.
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    Thank you modgepodge for a constructive answer. In my position (I am teaching full time in Madrid), would I be better off getting voluntary work in state school here or one of the international schools (that are private) that follow the British curriculum?
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    (Original post by sirwhale28)
    I´m sorry but your quick google searches are not going to prove you correct.
    Human Rights Watch say otherwise but I imagine that makes them "racist" too.

    Anyway, good luck with your application.
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    (Original post by sirwhale28)
    Thank you modgepodge for a constructive answer. In my position (I am teaching full time in Madrid), would I be better off getting voluntary work in state school here or one of the international schools (that are private) that follow the British curriculum?
    You are not really understanding what Mr M and modgepodge are getting at. No one doubts you have experience, but it is just not the right kind of experience. Sure, you could work in an international school and familiarise yourself with the curriculum, but it is a sanitised environment unlike the one you would face back in the UK. You need mainstream experience in a British school; there is no getting around that fact.

    Having said that, since you are in Spain already why do you not want to continue teaching over there (I am curious is all!)?
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    I do understand what people are getting at, but if I live in Spain I have to make do with the opportunites I have at hand. Over here I am an English teacher but I want to be teaching in state schools and teaching Biology. Without training it´s not very viable, plus I couldn´t afford to study over here in Spain.
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    (Original post by sirwhale28)
    I do understand what people are getting at, but if I live in Spain I have to make do with the opportunites I have at hand. Over here I am an English teacher but I want to be teaching in state schools and teaching Biology. Without training it´s not very viable, plus I couldn´t afford to study over here in Spain.
    Do you have family in England? Could you visit for a couple of weeks and do some observation then? Are there any times during the year when your school in Spain is closed for a holiday but schools in England are open?
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    (Original post by sirwhale28)
    I do understand what people are getting at, but if I live in Spain I have to make do with the opportunites I have at hand. Over here I am an English teacher but I want to be teaching in state schools and teaching Biology. Without training it´s not very viable, plus I couldn´t afford to study over here in Spain.
    In the nicest way possible, then thats your issue to deal with and resolve. I'm currently doing a PGCE course with Spanish specialism and more than half of the people on my course were working in a Spanish speaking country at the time of application. They had to take unpaid leave to come to the UK and get 2 weeks of work experience in a state school here because this is what the universities want. The work experience isn't just about showing a commitment to teaching, its about showing you're aware of how an average state school in the UK operates in terms of delivering the National Curriculum and how you as a teacher will be expected to fit into this model. If you want to do a PGCE here next year then you need to come back to the UK and get experience regardless of how difficult it is for you.
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    oxymoronic thanks for the advice. My mum is a secondary school teacher in my town and I could easily get voluntary work there. What you say makes a lot of sense but how does this work with the application? Could I write in my personal statement that I have the voluntary work lined up? or would it be better to wait until I´ve done it before I send off my application?
 
 
 
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