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Applying for PGCE and Teach First 2014 - ADVICE Needed watch

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    In my 3rd of 4 year MSc in chemistry, And applied to Teach First - Didn't get invited to an assessment centre. Feeling pretty gutted now and struggling to find the motivation to revise for these exams. Instead I have ordered some books from amazon on how to write (because apparently my english in general is shocking) and on general pgce stuff. Also, signed up to TES mag...

    I plan to apply to Teach First next year as well as PGCEs at Birmingham (well PGDipEd), and not sure where else really. Looking to teach secondary chemistry. Always wanted to be a teacher, and I had a practice interview at uni and got told it was ok and I came across as passionate about teaching.

    One MAJOR worry is that I was ill during A Levels (in hospital etc) and I still have the illness but its under control - but it means I only got 2 ok A levels, but I'm on course for a 2:1/1st in my masters degree.

    In general - ADVICE PLEASE!?
    Where to apply? What to read? What to do in general, how else to prepare, better myself over the summer/next year?

    I have a bit of teaching experience - I spent 15 days in a school through the student associate scheme in 2011, and I've tutored, work for summer camps, leader of a educational scheme at uni.
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    How do you know you want to be a teacher? You've barely any experience of working with young people or working in a school environment. The reality is very different from the imagined version many people have.

    Get experience - you should have loads of time from June onwards to get into a school to observe. Some schools may let you be a volunteer LSA. Also get experience of working with young people - you could volunteer with the Scouts/Guides, a local youth centre, or work on a summer camp programme. You have to be able to show that you understand what it's like to work with teenagers and what kinds of issues you'd be likely to have to deal with. Teenagers are a tough crowd and you have to be sure that you enjoy being around them and can establish a good rapport with them.

    Don't stress about not getting in for next year. You've spent a lot of time in education and you're used to knowing your next step - it's fine to not having something to go onto. I think it's much better to have a job outside of education before applying for teaching anyway - you learn so much in the workplace that you won't learn in a school environment, and you'll gain a good deal of confidence which will help you with the interview process. Plus, the kids will respect you more for it. Being 22 and having no experience whatsoever other than university to draw on is not really ideal when you've got a load of gobby 18 year old A level students wanting to know what you can tell them about getting a job when you've never had a 'real' one (because most kids think being teacher isn't a 'proper' job, obviously!).

    Also, Teach First isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's a lot of hard sell and talk of excellence but ultimately it's a tough couple of years in some pretty terrible schools where the training and support can be very hit and miss. I have a few friends who have done it and all hated the experience. Look into School Direct as well as the PGCE - it's a school based route that is similar in many ways to Teach First but you don't go in teaching full time like you do with Teach First, which may suit you better.

    Good luck and don't give up. Many people don't get onto teacher training first time round. Perseverance is the key!
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    Though I don't have much experience in a school other than a 3 week placement, I have tried to gain as much experience in education in general. I've tutored for 3 years from ages 6-adult, as well as working full time on summer camps, running tutorials at university level. While at school I was a student mentor and a music teacher at a local music school. It's very hard to get any experience at a school, when I don't live in the area I went to school with and schools round here aren't willing to take on work experience I find especially as I can't volunteer during term time because I have university every day til 5 ish. If I could volunteer it'd be brilliant.

    I won't graduate til Summer 2014, so I still won't gain any real world experience. I hate this idea as I do understand the value, but I love teaching/tutoring/working with children.


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    (Original post by edchem)
    Though I don't have much experience in a school other than a 3 week placement, I have tried to gain as much experience in education in general. I've tutored for 3 years from ages 6-adult, as well as working full time on summer camps, running tutorials at university level. While at school I was a student mentor and a music teacher at a local music school. It's very hard to get any experience at a school, when I don't live in the area I went to school with and schools round here aren't willing to take on work experience I find especially as I can't volunteer during term time because I have university every day til 5 ish. If I could volunteer it'd be brilliant.

    I won't graduate til Summer 2014, so I still won't gain any real world experience. I hate this idea as I do understand the value, but I love teaching/tutoring/working with children.


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    I second the get more experience comment. Look at schools you could commute to by train/bus that are slightly outside your city. Ask them if you can volunteer as a teachin assistant, not if you can observe. Big up your previous experience and say what you could do to assist the department (any filing/photocopying/etc in exchange for some classroom experience). Does your university not finish earlier than schools? What about your easter holidays? You can put experience that you have lined up on your application form.
    You can also apply for Schools Direct in October, which is another route you could go down.
 
 
 
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