04MR17
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Hello everyone, :hello: I am applying for teacher training this year and I want to ask whether anyone wanted to offer some general advice for those who are thinking about going into teaching.

Specifically some of the following:

- How to decide if teaching is for you?:hmmmm:

- What's the most importance differences between Teaching and undergraduate applications?:holmes:

- What would be your top Dos and Don'ts?:beard:

Post below with some of your thoughts, and if you yourself are wondering whether teaching might be your thing feel free to post below asking your own questions too.

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SarcAndSpark
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Hey

1) I think it's really hard to know if teaching is for you until that moment when you've stood up in front of a class and actually taught them! There were lots of people on my PGCE who were really sure about teaching at the start of the year, and some of them ended up dropping out. The more experience you can get with young people the better, but nothing I've done is really the same as standing up in front of the class and teaching them.

In terms of being able to survive the PGCE, I would say it's important to:
-Be good at time management/staying organised.
-Don't be a perfectionist.
-Be reflective- be willing to take on feedback and act on it.
-Have confidence speaking to groups.
-Have a love for your subject (secondary)
-Be able to act enthusiastic, even when you're not
-Be able to stay calm in the face of provocation.
-Like the age group you want to teach.

2) The big difference in terms of your UCAS application is that you're applying for a vocational course, instead of an academic one. So your PS needs to reflect this- talking about your experience and suitability for the course, rather than just an academic interest in your subject.

The other big difference is obviously your interview. Top tips:

-Dress professionally and comfortably (you may be asked to move around). Most guys I saw at interview were in at least a jacket and shirt though.
-Be prepared with your presentation etc, and make sure you have practiced. Interviewers want to be able to picture you in front of the class.
-During discussions, make sure to speak but don't dominate the conversation either.
-Make sure you're familiar with the national curriculum for your subject.
-Make sure you're aware of current educational issues, particularly those affecting your age/stage.

3) I think I've mentioned most of the dos/don'ts already.

Ultimately, I would say do go in with both eyes open- there are reasons why lots of teachers are leaving the profession.
Do choose a uni to train at in the area where you'd like to get a job- this will make your life loads easier, and I wish I'd done this!
Do get as much experience as you can before applying- I know it's tricky, but the more time you spend in schools, the better!

I guess my big don't would be don't let PGCE/teaching damage your mental health- know when it's time to walk away as well. Sorry that's not super optimistic!

I know you're looking at doing it straight out from uni, and I do understand why people go straight into teaching, but on my PGCE, of those who came straight from undergrad, there were quite a few people who struggled and some ultimately dropped out. Those who'd worked for a year or two or done a masters ultimately did better. I think part of it is the huge shock of the workload, and having to navigate a professional job for the first time on top of everything else. But then equally there were older people who struggled too, so who knows?
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airfixfighter
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SarcAndSpark's answer is obviously amazing! Here's my two cents

- How to decide if teaching is for you?
Work with young people! Really recommend getting experience working with the age group you'd want to teach. There's literally no point if you don't like or enjoy being with children.

You also need to be aware of how much of being a teacher isn't teaching. Just today I have spent:
- 4 hours teaching
- 2 hours marking tests
- 1 hour in an NQT meeting
- 2 hours planning (and still not done!)
- phoned parents about bad behaviour
- 30 mins or so inputting behaviour issues in the system

It's also really important you're resilient. My first two weeks of my NQT this year I cried basically every day. Kids can be horrible, mean, derail a lesson, be dangerous and it can be so upsetting. It's very hard not to take it personally when a class is going badly.

- What's the most importance differences between Teaching and undergraduate applications?
Everything! You need to prove to your provider that you can be a teacher and you've made the right decision - this wasn't a thing when I applied to my undergrad. Your Personal Statement really needs to get across how much you want this.

You also have your interview. These really vary depending on your provider, but you should be expected to sit individual and group interviews, GCSE papers and mini lessons.

- What would be your top Dos and Don'ts?

Do:
- do your university essays when you're given them! Don't leave them to the last minute while you're on placement - absolute nightmare
- listen to everything everyone says and try everything once, even if you don't think it'll be good, you never know!
- try and remain optimistic. There'll be times in the year where it's the hardest thing you've ever done, but that'll pass (plus wait til NQT...)
- seek and ask for help if you need it. Don't sit in silence if you're really struggling.
- try to make friends with others on the course - you can share resources and support.

Don't:
- turn up to placement in jogging bottoms (you'd be surprised...)
- talk crap about other teachers/other schools
- persevere if you figure out teaching isn't for you. It's really tough to do anyway, let alone if you don't want to do it. There's no shame in walking away if it was the wrong decision

I also echo SarcAndSpark - I really recommend doing something else rather than straight into teaching. Lots of the straight through people really struggled with the workload. It was hard enough going from a 40 hour week to my PGCE, let alone a 10 hour or less! However, if you think you'll be able to cope, then go for it.
- leave everything until the last minute
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by airfixfighter)

You also need to be aware of how much of being a teacher isn't teaching. Just today I have spent:
- 4 hours teaching
- 2 hours marking tests
- 1 hour in an NQT meeting
- 2 hours planning (and still not done!)
- phoned parents about bad behaviour
- 30 mins or so inputting behaviour issues in the system
I feel you on this soooo much- today was

-300 minutes teaching.
-30 minutes marking (not done)
-20 minutes on duty at lunch
-30 minutes in a meeting after school
-60 minutes running after school revision.
-like 90 minutes phoning parents and writing everything up on SIMs which took forever.

Tomorrow is open evening, so I'll be in school til 7.30.

Biggest quality you need in teaching? Stamina!
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