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I want to be a secondary school teacher - Teach First or University PGCE? watch

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    Hi,

    So I want to be a secondary school teacher. I'm currently in my second year of university.I know there are different routes you can take to become one:

    *University PGCE
    *Teach First

    I know a bit about both routes, but really what are people's views on both of these options? Which did you take? Would you recommend etc.

    I know there is a school direct option - if anyone has any information on this, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
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    Since it sounds like you are considering teaching long-term and not as just a 'couple of years of hell before mainstream employment' thing, the university route might be more for you.
    There are also some nice bursaries/scholarships available (do you know about these?)

    From what I have heard and seen, people on Teach First often have a really, really tough time.
    Not that people on university-based PGCE's don't either, but they generally don't seem to have quite as horrific an experience.
    The great thing about Teach First is that you're likely to have more of an impact on people's lives, but there is great burden put on you when doing so.
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    I would think about where you want to be too, as teach first isn't available everywhere.


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    I wouldn't say that Teach First specifically gives you more chance to impact people's lives.
    Teach First is really for people who enjoy being thrown in at the deep end! I think ultimately it's probably better to have the deeper, long-term training that the PGCE gives you.
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    (Original post by Mpagtches)
    Since it sounds like you are considering teaching long-term and not as just a 'couple of years of hell before mainstream employment' thing, the university route might be more for you.
    There are also some nice bursaries/scholarships available (do you know about these?)

    From what I have heard and seen, people on Teach First often have a really, really tough time.
    Not that people on university-based PGCE's don't either, but they generally don't seem to have quite as horrific an experience.
    The great thing about Teach First is that you're likely to have more of an impact on people's lives, but there is great burden put on you when doing so.
    Yes I was thinking long-term unless I find out that teaching actually isn't for me, but I do love the thought of helping children achieve. I had some bad and some great teachers at school. I want to be a lot better than the bad teachers and as inspiring as the good ones

    I take combined honours so I think the bursary would apply if I taught Geography, but I am still considering which subject to teach.

    Thank you so much for your reply - I do love the idea of making a change via teach first, I'm just not sure if that kind of environment would be right for me, but then you do get straight into it, and perhaps learning on the job is better?
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    (Original post by myblueheaven339)
    I would think about where you want to be too, as teach first isn't available everywhere.


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    I thought teach first was available throughout the UK? (or at least that's what they said in a presentation I went to) - would teach first just place me anywhere or would I have some say in the matter?
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    (Original post by Angelil)
    I wouldn't say that Teach First specifically gives you more chance to impact people's lives.
    Teach First is really for people who enjoy being thrown in at the deep end! I think ultimately it's probably better to have the deeper, long-term training that the PGCE gives you.
    Thanks for your opinion
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    (Original post by girlygiggle)
    I thought teach first was available throughout the UK? (or at least that's what they said in a presentation I went to) - would teach first just place me anywhere or would I have some say in the matter?
    From what I understand it's aimed more towards cities. I wanted to be in a more rural location and there wasn't anywhere near me. I don't know how they place you, I imagine you would get some say.


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    (Original post by myblueheaven339)
    From what I understand it's aimed more towards cities. I wanted to be in a more rural location and there wasn't anywhere near me. I don't know how they place you, I imagine you would get some say.


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    Oh right thanks
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    (Original post by myblueheaven339)
    From what I understand it's aimed more towards cities.
    Yeah, it's aimed at deprived areas, and these areas do tend to be cities.
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    Don't forget School Direct and SCITT options, which often incorporate a PGCE.
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    Hello there, just read the above comments and wanted to weigh in on a few things to give you a rounded viewpoint.

    I'm currently on the Teach First LDP and it's not as horrific as the above comments make out...you get 6 weeks training across summer and start at your school in September. You're on a reduced hours timetable and receive an awful lot of support so I wouldn't worry about it from that point of view.

    You do have a large workload, as you're teaching, marking and planning as well as researching and writing your assignments. From what I gather though, there is a lot of work involved in a normal PGCE course as well, including written evaluations of all your lessons I've heard, which as a Teach Firster you won't have to do. So far I've found the hands-on experience absolutely wonderful and I think a baptism of fire is a great way to learn. I guess this depends on your learning style.

    I spoke to a friend recently who did a Cambridge PGCE and she said she felt like she mainly had a qualification in form-filling. I can guarantee you that the LDP doesn't feel like that. You're in the classroom, every day, actually interacting with this kids and not just going through bureaucratic procedures.

    Re: Teach First only being in cities this is broadly true, however I'm in the East of England and the coastal town placements here are just as deprived as the inner city schools in, say, London. The children face very different problems, but there is still a lot of good work to be done here. On TF you really do feel like you're part of something very exciting, and all the hard work seems like it's for something very special.

    I would also like to say that not everyone who does the LDP is in it for solely 2 years; there are some people who do it, including myself, who genuinely want to make a difference, and wanted to go into teaching in a slightly different route from the norm. But like I said, it's a personal choice. You need to think about why you want to teach in the first place - does it fall in line with the charity's vision?

    Hope this helps,
    Emma
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    A PGCE would prepare you better for your practice.
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    (Original post by primadonna92)
    Hello there, just read the above comments and wanted to weigh in on a few things to give you a rounded viewpoint.

    I'm currently on the Teach First LDP and it's not as horrific as the above comments make out...you get 6 weeks training across summer and start at your school in September. You're on a reduced hours timetable and receive an awful lot of support so I wouldn't worry about it from that point of view.

    You do have a large workload, as you're teaching, marking and planning as well as researching and writing your assignments. From what I gather though, there is a lot of work involved in a normal PGCE course as well, including written evaluations of all your lessons I've heard, which as a Teach Firster you won't have to do. So far I've found the hands-on experience absolutely wonderful and I think a baptism of fire is a great way to learn. I guess this depends on your learning style.

    I spoke to a friend recently who did a Cambridge PGCE and she said she felt like she mainly had a qualification in form-filling. I can guarantee you that the LDP doesn't feel like that. You're in the classroom, every day, actually interacting with this kids and not just going through bureaucratic procedures.

    Re: Teach First only being in cities this is broadly true, however I'm in the East of England and the coastal town placements here are just as deprived as the inner city schools in, say, London. The children face very different problems, but there is still a lot of good work to be done here. On TF you really do feel like you're part of something very exciting, and all the hard work seems like it's for something very special.

    I would also like to say that not everyone who does the LDP is in it for solely 2 years; there are some people who do it, including myself, who genuinely want to make a difference, and wanted to go into teaching in a slightly different route from the norm. But like I said, it's a personal choice. You need to think about why you want to teach in the first place - does it fall in line with the charity's vision?

    Hope this helps,
    Emma
    Hi Emma, I'm east of England too. Where are you training out of interest?


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    (Original post by primadonna92)
    Hello there, just read the above comments and wanted to weigh in on a few things to give you a rounded viewpoint.

    I'm currently on the Teach First LDP and it's not as horrific as the above comments make out...you get 6 weeks training across summer and start at your school in September. You're on a reduced hours timetable and receive an awful lot of support so I wouldn't worry about it from that point of view.

    You do have a large workload, as you're teaching, marking and planning as well as researching and writing your assignments. From what I gather though, there is a lot of work involved in a normal PGCE course as well, including written evaluations of all your lessons I've heard, which as a Teach Firster you won't have to do. So far I've found the hands-on experience absolutely wonderful and I think a baptism of fire is a great way to learn. I guess this depends on your learning style.

    I spoke to a friend recently who did a Cambridge PGCE and she said she felt like she mainly had a qualification in form-filling. I can guarantee you that the LDP doesn't feel like that. You're in the classroom, every day, actually interacting with this kids and not just going through bureaucratic procedures.

    Re: Teach First only being in cities this is broadly true, however I'm in the East of England and the coastal town placements here are just as deprived as the inner city schools in, say, London. The children face very different problems, but there is still a lot of good work to be done here. On TF you really do feel like you're part of something very exciting, and all the hard work seems like it's for something very special.

    I would also like to say that not everyone who does the LDP is in it for solely 2 years; there are some people who do it, including myself, who genuinely want to make a difference, and wanted to go into teaching in a slightly different route from the norm. But like I said, it's a personal choice. You need to think about why you want to teach in the first place - does it fall in line with the charity's vision?

    Hope this helps,
    Emma
    Thank you for such a brilliant reply! It's nice to have a perspective from someone actually on the leadership development programme How did you decide teach first was right for you rather than a pgce route?
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    A PGCE would prepare you better for your practice.
    Ok, why would you say this is the case out of interest? Surely you get a PGCE out of both of them, so they should prepare you equally as well? Let me know if this needs to be corrected
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    (Original post by girlygiggle)
    Ok, why would you say this is the case out of interest? Surely you get a PGCE out of both of them, so they should prepare you equally as well? Let me know if this needs to be corrected
    For the practice...for the teaching practice. When you start your teaching practice you will be better prepared for it if you're on a PGCE course.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    For the practice...for the teaching practice. When you start your teaching practice you will be better prepared for it if you're on a PGCE course.
    You could argue that Teach First and School Direct better prepare you for the realities of the job, owing to the increased amount of time spent in school.
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    (Original post by TraineeLynsey)
    You could argue that Teach First and School Direct better prepare you for the realities of the job, owing to the increased amount of time spent in school.
    So a higher likelihood of burning away all your passion before you actually start teaching, as a result giving you a PGCE you'll never actually use?
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    So a higher likelihood of burning away all your passion before you actually start teaching, as a result giving you a PGCE you'll never actually use?
    As a School Direct-trained teacher, I use my PGCE knowledge as much as someone who did a traditional university based course. I just had the added benefit at the start of my NQT year of having spent all but 12 days of my training year in the classroom.

    You clearly have a very fixed view on this issue, so I'll end my part in the discussion here.
 
 
 
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