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    Hi all,

    I graduated back in 2015, after the year out on holiday and stuff, I've decided that I want to become a Secondary Mathematics teacher, from my Mechanical Engineering degree, albeit a 2:2. I wonder if that will come and bite me later on.

    I'm looking to apply to Middlesex and UCL, not entirely sure about the third one. I would prefer to stay local as postgrads can only apply for a university fee loan.

    I managed to squeeze in an application for 2016, as I thought it was worth a try, and I was quite worried about uni fees rising up even more. (I already have a sh*t load from the undergrad) But obviously I'd be unsuccessful due to the lack of school experience I had, as I applied during the summer with all schools closing. Somehow landed an interview at Hertfordshire.

    Anyway, I was wondering how I should approach it this time. I've been looking at some teaching assistant roles (Though many require a 2:1) and got in contact with 2 high schools to arrange some classroom observations/experience with the dates yet to be confirmed.

    Is there anyone who could give me a little advice on anything that I should look out for while on classroom experience or any other opportunities I could try to kind of build up a portfolio of experience?
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    Firstly, providing you are a UK citizen applying for teacher training you will be entitled to a maintenance loan. You may also qualify for a bursary as I believe maths is a shortage subject. As there aren't enough maths teachers I wouldn't imagine that a 2:2 would necessarily put you at a significant disadvantage to those who achieved a higher classification, providing you apply at institutions whose requirements stipulate a 2:2..

    You are doing the correct thing by seeking out TA jobs and classroom observations.

    Look at how the teacher structures his lessons.
    What behaviour management strategies does he use?
    How does he interact differently with different abilities and different age groups?
    How does he assess learning both during and after the lesson? This is huge.
    How does he keep different people engaged?
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    (Original post by wildrover)
    Firstly, providing you are a UK citizen applying for teacher training you will be entitled to a maintenance loan. You may also qualify for a bursary as I believe maths is a shortage subject. As there aren't enough maths teachers I wouldn't imagine that a 2:2 would necessarily put you at a significant disadvantage to those who achieved a higher classification, providing you apply at institutions whose requirements stipulate a 2:2..

    You are doing the correct thing by seeking out TA jobs and classroom observations.

    Look at how the teacher structures his lessons.
    What behaviour management strategies does he use?
    How does he interact differently with different abilities and different age groups?
    How does he assess learning both during and after the lesson? This is huge.
    How does he keep different people engaged?
    Thanks for your reply.

    Would you say there are any large differences between universities, in terms of reputation or if any are generally looked down upon?
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    You'd have to check that mechanical engineering degree can teach maths, as they say 50% of your degree must be your chosen subject.

    TA roles should be easy to get if you're looking for Level 1 positions. Also look for Cover Supervisor positions if you want a more full-on/cover teacher experience (in one school), and a teaching agency is you want sporadic and full on teaching experience (in multiple schools).

    Before you apply, read into safeguarding and SEN/EAL strategies. you will be supporting low ability classes or SEN/EAL students - how are you going to help them learn? how are you going to manage their outbursts or lack of concentration etc.

    You should be looking at how they start a lesson - are students allowed to walk in, or are they told to line up and are greeted in?
    What activities are involved to break up the lesson? How do students react/engage to these?
    Behaviour strategies - what do you notice?
    Communication with students - how is it different to talking to your friends?
    Assessment styles - how do they know/check students understand?
    Talk to students too - how do they find certain activities?
    Ask the teacher questions - how effective is strategy X? Why did you do technique Y? How long did it take for Z to be effective?
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    thanks for the replies.

    I recently got a call from EduStaff, explaining to me that I could be eligible for the premier pathways graduate scheme.

    Though the way he explained to me all sounded too good to be true (Small salary while training, and not needing to pay the tuition fees as they say they are independant of UCAS). As this is a new scheme, I was wondering if anyone would like to input their opinions about that here? Or if there are any red flags I should look out for.

    I've had a bad experience with something similar, though in another industry, where everything sounded so nice and dandy and the interview was a breeze. Hence I am looking for some opinions of others.
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    [QUOTE=LolzWhatIsThis;67456476]


    Yeah, edustaff reeled me in too with their premier pathways spiel back in May -
    they seem to have abandoned me with regards to that particular scheme.
    I've been trying to get a History/humanities TA position through them anyway just to bolster my UCAS application.
    Despite phoning them loads to check up on them, they're absolutely useless and do not communicate with each other. They're a typical recruitment agency I suppose: attract you then leave you high and dry.
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    I'm on a Secondary PGCE 2016 course (starts tomorrow!). I was interviewed and accepted with just one weeks observational school experience (with an agreement to do at least another week between my interview and the start of the course). So I wouldn't worry about building a 'portfolio' of experience before your interview.

    That being said, I ended up quitting my office job and got a role as a TA from Feb - July (this was after I'd been accepted) and it's done wonders for my confidence whilst giving me a good insight into how SEN works in schools.

    For my interview we were given 30 minutes in the morning to write a lesson plan. We had to bring in a teaching resource and explain to a group of other applicants why we liked it and what we'd use it for. We had to watch a lesson and discuss our thoughts with other applicants.

    Then we had the interview was in the afternoon and discussed the lesson plan, resource and the other questions the interviewer asked (e.g. safeguarding, EAL/SEN etch).

    I'd definitely recommend picking a few topics and try to write a few lesson plans for them before your interviews.
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    (Original post by LolzWhatIsThis)


    Yeah, edustaff reeled me in too with their premier pathways spiel back in May -
    they seem to have abandoned me with regards to that particular scheme.
    I've been trying to get a History/humanities TA position through them anyway just to bolster my UCAS application.
    Despite phoning them loads to check up on them, they're absolutely useless and do not communicate with each other. They're a typical recruitment agency I suppose: attract you then leave you high and dry.
    That sucks to hear man. The weird thing is that they want me to pay for the DBS check tomorrow, at the interview/registration. Did you pay upfront as well?

    I thought it would be something that I'd do AFTER some school decides to take me on?

    I've had a look at TryTeaching Graduate Teaching Internship as well, just in case this one doesn't go through (Which I don't have high hopes, after hearing 2 people saying that they were left out to dry).

    Thanks again everyone for your responses! Hopefully someone else may find this useful too!
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    (Original post by LolzWhatIsThis)
    That sucks to hear man. The weird thing is that they want me to pay for the DBS check tomorrow, at the interview/registration. Did you pay upfront as well?

    I thought it would be something that I'd do AFTER some school decides to take me on?

    I've had a look at TryTeaching Graduate Teaching Internship as well, just in case this one doesn't go through (Which I don't have high hopes, after hearing 2 people saying that they were left out to dry).

    Thanks again everyone for your responses! Hopefully someone else may find this useful too!
    Yeah I paid for the DBS check up-front (something they probably profited from). But I don't mind because I can use it anywhere, not just with that particular agency.

    Btw, if you want to get on a Maths PGCE, though, just shoot for the uni/ucas route because the gov gives maths teachers something like a 20k bursary. No need to faff around with other schemes I reckon. Good luck anyways.
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    1 week observation and you got an interview? wow, the DfE says you need at least 10 days observations. Also, if you don't mind my asking, which uni and what secondary PGCE subject did you apply for? Because obviously they're crying out for science and maths teachers so it would be relatively easy getting on to one of those courses.
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    (Original post by yellowjersey)
    Yeah I paid for the DBS check up-front (something they probably profited from). But I don't mind because I can use it anywhere, not just with that particular agency.

    Btw, if you want to get on a Maths PGCE, though, just shoot for the uni/ucas route because the gov gives maths teachers something like a 20k bursary. No need to faff around with other schemes I reckon. Good luck anyways.
    I thought usually you would have to go through the DBS check again if you're going to a different school?

    The bursary says that it is up to a 25k bursary, so it's not guaranteed it think.But I think I would be eligible if it were the maximum amount as I can receive support from Student Finance England.

    Do you think I can negotiate that I would pay for the DBS check if they secure me a role?
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    No, you can't negotiate with them. But if they do it for you it's way quicker (like a week). If you apply yourself, it can take months. Also, you can take the certificate to any school, so you may as well just pay for it and get it out the way.

    £50 in the grand scheme of things is nothing, really - especially if you're entitled to 25K bursary, which you are, so long as your degree was 50% maths related. I got a 2.1 in history so i only get 4K. I've still gotta find another 5K for tuition, plus living expenses. lol!
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    It's at Exeter University - Biology with Psychology.

    I had been working in a full time office role at the time, and the application was all a bit last minute. I explained I had used my remaining holiday of the year to do the 1 week experience and I'd just have to wait until next year to do more.

    @LolzWhatIsThis - I'd recommend getting a DBS check anyway - schools will often ask for one from the last 6 months just for a weeks observational experience and I'm pretty certain you can't order one for yourself (at least I wasn't able to).
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    thanks guys.

    I went ahead with it anyway. I signed up for the update service too, so it should be transferable now too. The school I just asked for observations also needed my DBS too, so it wasn't a waste of money. Went smoothly! Though I'm not intending to rely on these guys. Perfectly happy to with the traditional route in

    good luck to all of you!
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    (Original post by yellowjersey)
    Yeah I paid for the DBS check up-front (something they probably profited from). But I don't mind because I can use it anywhere, not just with that particular agency.

    Btw, if you want to get on a Maths PGCE, though, just shoot for the uni/ucas route because the gov gives maths teachers something like a 20k bursary. No need to faff around with other schemes I reckon. Good luck anyways.
    Stick with UCASTT and the government websites. If you are looking at an in-demand subject you shouldn't need an alternative/more expensive route.
 
 
 
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