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    Hi all,
    Im a mature student looking for a carerr chabge into teaching English at secondarylevel. My backgroubd is on social housing and welfare benefits. I have been sdvised to gain some experience observingin a school English department to strengthen my application. I work full-time so i will have a maximum of one day per week available to observe and I'mlooking to get this arrange for early on in the next academic year, with a view to applying for the PGCE to start in September 2017.
    So, I have begun contacting local schools to ask if I can go in and observe lessons. So far, this has been completely fruitless. I have tried telephoning schools directly, which has resulted in me experiencing some hostility and being told in no uncertain terms that they do not have time to accommodate me alongside their existing PGCE placement students. I have also tried emailing heads of department directly and have received virtually no response. How would peiple suggest going about securing a place to justvgo in an observe? I have so far been a little shocked by the level of negativity that I have encountered. I would have thought schools would welcome volunteers but this does not appearto be the case.
    I have considered applying for a paid vacancy as a teaching assistant as a way of gaining the experience but most of the vacancies for TA posts ask for previous experience. So, I am at a bit of a loss as to how to get into a school to gain the experience I nees to enhance my application. Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Apologies in advance for any typos - I'm typing this on my smartphone!
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    Hi Naomi

    I agree that it's a bit of a shock when the adverts imply that they are desperate for teachers (and there's some truth to this) yet individual schools don't always make it easy to get the experience you need.

    It is a very busy period for schools right now, with a lot going on. There are many special events on at the end of the school year, and many people are rushed and exhausted. You might do better at the start of next school year when things are calmer. Apart from that, my only advice is keep persevering. Maybe widen your net and look further afield. Have you seen this website? Seems helpful.

    https://getintoteaching.education.go...ool-experience

    As you say, you could also consider applying for TA roles next year. Gets you loads of experience and insight into the inner workings of a school. Maybe get a foot in the door by doing some volunteer work with kids - coaching, eal, library groups.
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    Hi Naomi
    I arranged my school experience through the get into teaching website, I registered online and then applied for the school experience programme. They booked an initial appointment with the school and then I arranged another ten days with them over a couple of months. It only allows you ten days but that is enough for your application and once you're in a school they might let you do some more observation days if you feel you need them. Good luck!
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    (Original post by low2r)
    Hi Naomi
    I arranged my school experience through the get into teaching website, I registered online and then applied for the school experience programme. They booked an initial appointment with the school and then I arranged another ten days with them over a couple of months. It only allows you ten days but that is enough for your application and once you're in a school they might let you do some more observation days if you feel you need them. Good luck!
    Hi there,

    Thanks for this, but I am based in Wales and I was told this is not available here. Has this now changed?
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    There are a couple of ways to get some schools experience. You need to tell your whole network of friends, family, friends of friends and anyone who will listen that you are looking to teach. When I did this, I was amazed at the number of people I know who are already teachers. It is these people who can get you an 'in' to their school. I even managed to get an 'in' from one of our neighbours who knew someone who knew someone who worked at a school and made an enquiry on my behalf. It can be done. Keep at it.

    The other way in is to sign up to the Get Into Teaching website (https://getintoteaching.education.go...o-teach-events). Once you do that, you can book experience days directly. You might also be eligible for a mentor on your application. I was recommended to get at least three days experience with a view to being able to reflect on that experience on my personal statement.

    Good luck and keep at it!
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    There are a couple of ways to get some schools experience. You need to tell your whole network of friends, family, friends of friends and anyone who will listen that you are looking to teach. When I did this, I was amazed at the number of people I know who are already teachers. It is these people who can get you an 'in' to their school. I even managed to get an 'in' from one of our neighbours who knew someone who knew someone who worked at a school and made an enquiry on my behalf. It can be done. Keep at it.

    The other way in is to sign up to the Get Into Teaching website (https://getintoteaching.education.go...o-teach-events). Once you do that, you can book experience days directly. You might also be eligible for a mentor on your application. I was recommended to get at least three days experience with a view to being able to reflect on that experience on my personal statement.

    Good luck and keep at it!
    Thanksfor that and yes, i will soread the word. Im based in Wales though and I got told that the school experience programmewith Get Into Teaching is only available in England - is that still the case, do you know? Thank you
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    What exactly are you asking to do? Schools might be happier for you to observe lessons rather than actually help out in them, as that doesn't really inconvenience them. I'd also suggest making it clear that you want the experience because you're applying for a PGCE. Plus, it helps if you personalise your request for the school; "I would like to observe some English lessons because your recent OFSTED report ranked your teachers as outstanding, so I feel they could really help me develop my understanding of how to be an inspiring teacher", for example.


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    Have a look into the 'School Experience Programme' that the government run. They find and offer 1 days school experience.

    End of term is a bad time to contact - there's nothing for volunteers to do and everyone's too focused on end of term to care about next term. Try again in September.

    You can apply for:
    - Level 1 TA positions - Read into safeguarding, and SEN/EAL strategies and you should be able to wing an interview.
    - Cover Supervisor roles - you're essentially the schools own internal cover teacher and cover all sorts of subjects and classes on a day to day basis. (I career changed into this, best experience and not bad pay)
    - Agency cover teachers - Sign up to an agency (JustTeacher, ManaEducation etc). work will be slow in September, but eventually you'll get called in for day-to-day cover at schools all over. Some schools even off full-time placements. Again this is all subjects. You get between £60-80 per day you're in.
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    (Original post by Naomi 1983)
    Hi all,
    Im a mature student looking for a carerr chabge into teaching English at secondarylevel. My backgroubd is on social housing and welfare benefits. I have been sdvised to gain some experience observingin a school English department to strengthen my application. I work full-time so i will have a maximum of one day per week available to observe and I'mlooking to get this arrange for early on in the next academic year, with a view to applying for the PGCE to start in September 2017.
    So, I have begun contacting local schools to ask if I can go in and observe lessons. So far, this has been completely fruitless. I have tried telephoning schools directly, which has resulted in me experiencing some hostility and being told in no uncertain terms that they do not have time to accommodate me alongside their existing PGCE placement students. I have also tried emailing heads of department directly and have received virtually no response. How would peiple suggest going about securing a place to justvgo in an observe? I have so far been a little shocked by the level of negativity that I have encountered. I would have thought schools would welcome volunteers but this does not appearto be the case.
    I have considered applying for a paid vacancy as a teaching assistant as a way of gaining the experience but most of the vacancies for TA posts ask for previous experience. So, I am at a bit of a loss as to how to get into a school to gain the experience I nees to enhance my application. Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Apologies in advance for any typos - I'm typing this on my smartphone!

    Hi,

    It is true that for some schools it can actually be a hassle to have someone in for a couple of week - perhaps due to paperwork like a CRB/DBS check. Also, they don't really gain much from someone coming in to observe.
    I secured my 2 weeks of observing because I mentored in the school on a weekly basis during my undergrad and they had already done a CRB for me and knew who I was.

    My advice would be that it needs to be arranged well in advance (months).
    The best time may be post-May/June when the examinations are out of the way. I also think schools would prefer it done in a block rather than you in one day a week for many weeks.
    Other than calling the schools up, any way of checking if schools you would want to go in to have a mentoring scheme?
 
 
 
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