Year11Student:)
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Hi guys, I’ve struggled a lot with trying to decide on a career and my A levels because I had no clue what I wanted to do. I had a think about it and I love school. I really like the environment and the atmosphere so I’m always really happy when I’m there. Therefore I started thinking about if teaching in a secondary school would be a good career but I have some concerns and I wanted some honest advice before I choose my a-levels.

Firstly, I really enjoy English Literature although I haven’t achieved more than a grade 5 in exams and I’m year 11. If I were to teach, I’d want to teach English as it’s the only subject I enjoy a lot and the only one I would want to teach. I only have two a levels I want to do (lit and sociology and if I want to teach English I should probably study English language although again I’m not naturally good at it). If I’m not good enough at a subject then I can’t really be a teacher?
I’m worried that the reason I want to teach English is because how lovely and inspiring the department is in my school. Especially as they are all so close and I want a job where I won’t just be sat in silence. Similarly I’m worried that I just love my particular school and teaching somewhere else wouldn’t be the same and may not be as nice as the school I go to.
I’m also quite shy and quiet, I’m not really like this around my friends but I feel like being introverted may be an issue too. I also have a fear of public speaking and the thought of it makes me ill so I feel like I’d struggle presenting infront of a class. I really wish I could get rid of this as it is so annoying. Ultimately I fear making mistakes and this is probably why I don’t like speaking in-front of people as I don’t want to get something wrong and get judged. I never put my hand up in class for this reason.
Maybe I’m just overthinking and paranoid (like always😂) but if you have any advice for me it would be much appreciated
Thank you
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tubphonecase
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If you're still choosing your a-levels, you really don't need to panic about what career you want in the future, but it's really good that you have ideas. I'm in year 13 and basically no one in my year knows what they want to do as a job.
If you like English at GCSE, go for it at a-level, if you like it at a-level, do it as a degree. For an English degree, universities normally require a-level English
And usually to become a secondary school teacher people do a degree in the subject they'd want to teach - like English - and then do a postgraduate teaching programme. But, if you go to university and decide you don't want to be a teacher, you still have a degree - it's a win-win.
Basically, don't worry but have a look at what a-level subjects universities require for English.
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Year11Student:)
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(Original post by tubphonecase)
If you're still choosing your a-levels, you really don't need to panic about what career you want in the future, but it's really good that you have ideas. I'm in year 13 and basically no one in my year knows what they want to do as a job.
If you like English at GCSE, go for it at a-level, if you like it at a-level, do it as a degree. For an English degree, universities normally require a-level English
And usually to become a secondary school teacher people do a degree in the subject they'd want to teach - like English - and then do a postgraduate teaching programme. But, if you go to university and decide you don't want to be a teacher, you still have a degree - it's a win-win.
Basically, don't worry but have a look at what a-level subjects universities require for English.
Okay thank you!!! Where can I find the entry requirements? Will it just be on all university websites
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tubphonecase
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(Original post by Year11Student:))
Okay thank you!!! Where can I find the entry requirements? Will it just be on all university websites
Yeah universities will list them on their websites. Look up 'blahblah university English entry requirements' is probably the easiest way to find them.
https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...nkings/english is the list of top rated to lowest rated unis for English
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Year11Student:)
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(Original post by tubphonecase)
Yeah universities will list them on their websites. Look up 'blahblah university English entry requirements' is probably the easiest way to find them.
https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...nkings/english is the list of top rated to lowest rated unis for English
Thank you so much!! This is really helpful ))
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Year11Student:)
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Year11Student:)
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by Year11Student:))
Hi guys, I’ve struggled a lot with trying to decide on a career and my A levels because I had no clue what I wanted to do. I had a think about it and I love school. I really like the environment and the atmosphere so I’m always really happy when I’m there. Therefore I started thinking about if teaching in a secondary school would be a good career but I have some concerns and I wanted some honest advice before I choose my a-levels.

Firstly, I really enjoy English Literature although I haven’t achieved more than a grade 5 in exams and I’m year 11. If I were to teach, I’d want to teach English as it’s the only subject I enjoy a lot and the only one I would want to teach. I only have two a levels I want to do (lit and sociology and if I want to teach English I should probably study English language although again I’m not naturally good at it). If I’m not good enough at a subject then I can’t really be a teacher?
I’m worried that the reason I want to teach English is because how lovely and inspiring the department is in my school. Especially as they are all so close and I want a job where I won’t just be sat in silence. Similarly I’m worried that I just love my particular school and teaching somewhere else wouldn’t be the same and may not be as nice as the school I go to.
I’m also quite shy and quiet, I’m not really like this around my friends but I feel like being introverted may be an issue too. I also have a fear of public speaking and the thought of it makes me ill so I feel like I’d struggle presenting infront of a class. I really wish I could get rid of this as it is so annoying. Ultimately I fear making mistakes and this is probably why I don’t like speaking in-front of people as I don’t want to get something wrong and get judged. I never put my hand up in class for this reason.
Maybe I’m just overthinking and paranoid (like always😂) but if you have any advice for me it would be much appreciated
Thank you
Well I'm hoping I can help you. A grade 4/5 is equivalent to a grade C right? Well it honestly doesn't matter about your GCSEs. I got a B at GCSE. Then I got a B in English Language and a C in English Literature at A-levels. I still went on to study English Literature because I found it a lot more interesting than Language. I achieved an Upper 2:1 in my BA degree and I've just received a Distinction in my MA (Media and PR). Ofc, my MA and BA are in different subjects but what I want you to take away from my experience is that: don't doubt yourself. Your academic capabilities will improve over time if you work hard at it. If you are determined to enjoy the subject (and also understand why you don't like some areas) then it's fine.

I struggled with Literature at school and A-level. But I really developed during my uni days. I was naturally better at English Language but just found it far too complex and monotonous analysing everything at a structural level. But you must remember teaching English isn't just teaching literature, especially at KS3. There's been an overhaul in KS3 English and the focus has now shifted to language and arguably linguistics. I mean the things they have to learn like: to-infinitive adjective clauses, verbless supplementive clauses, progressive infinitives, etc is just astounding. But it's important for an English teacher to know such things and you will, with time. You don't have to be a language specialist to become an English teacher.

Well no school is the same and looking to replicate your current school environment to a future school is the wrong way to think about it. Every school has it's own vibe, uniqueness and characteristics. No one school is the same. And to me, you should see it as a good thing. It means varied opportunities and challenges. I really do believe students don't get to see a teacher's full job. Yes you see them teach but there's a lot more involved (more admin stuff). But all schools come with challenges whether it's obvious or not. But part of being a teacher is being able to confront those challenges in a school environment.

As to being introverted. Some people are grow out of it and become extroverts and perhaps vice versa. I was never an introvert but I HATED public specking, I even dreaded having to read aloud to the class in English. But as time goes by and you will face a bit of life experience between now and when you enter teaching, I'm sure you'll gain a lot of confidence. Especially when you have to do presentations at uni. I remember one of my tutors said they absolutely hated public speaking. He also had a serious speech impediment and had to do speech and language therapy for most of his child and young adult life. But he simply said the more public speaking he did, the more confident he got. And now, you wouldn't even believe he suffered from any sort of stage fright or speech impediment at all!

I also had this problem. Even when I did some shadowing at my old school, my voice would just tremble when speaking to a class. Of kids, like seriously! But the more you work with kids, the more you'd feel comfortable talking to them and stuff. That was my own experience. Also being the student speaker in front of over 200 students and their families at my graduation really made a difference. I no longer sweat when I stand up and talk in front of a crowd. Honestly, the more public speaking you do the less fear it will have over you.

I would suggest you take both English Language and English Literature at A-level. And by Year 13 you'll apply for unis with just Literature or both or maybe it will change and you'll end up picking Language! Because when I did my A-levels, I honestly thought I'd forever love language. But it changed when it came to Year 13! Be open minded!
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Year11Student:)
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(Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
Well I'm hoping I can help you. A grade 4/5 is equivalent to a grade C right? Well it honestly doesn't matter about your GCSEs. I got a B at GCSE. Then I got a B in English Language and a C in English Literature at A-levels. I still went on to study English Literature because I found it a lot more interesting than Language. I achieved an Upper 2:1 in my BA degree and I've just received a Distinction in my MA (Media and PR). Ofc, my MA and BA are in different subjects but what I want you to take away from my experience is that: don't doubt yourself. Your academic capabilities will improve over time if you work hard at it. If you are determined to enjoy the subject (and also understand why you don't like some areas) then it's fine.

I struggled with Literature at school and A-level. But I really developed during my uni days. I was naturally better at English Language but just found it far too complex and monotonous analysing everything at a structural level. But you must remember teaching English isn't just teaching literature, especially at KS3. There's been an overhaul in KS3 English and the focus has now shifted to language and arguably linguistics. I mean the things they have to learn like: to-infinitive adjective clauses, verbless supplementive clauses, progressive infinitives, etc is just astounding. But it's important for an English teacher to know such things and you will, with time. You don't have to be a language specialist to become an English teacher.

Well no school is the same and looking to replicate your current school environment to a future school is the wrong way to think about it. Every school has it's own vibe, uniqueness and characteristics. No one school is the same. And to me, you should see it as a good thing. It means varied opportunities and challenges. I really do believe students don't get to see a teacher's full job. Yes you see them teach but there's a lot more involved (more admin stuff). But all schools come with challenges whether it's obvious or not. But part of being a teacher is being able to confront those challenges in a school environment.

As to being introverted. Some people are grow out of it and become extroverts and perhaps vice versa. I was never an introvert but I HATED public specking, I even dreaded having to read aloud to the class in English. But as time goes by and you will face a bit of life experience between now and when you enter teaching, I'm sure you'll gain a lot of confidence. Especially when you have to do presentations at uni. I remember one of my tutors said they absolutely hated public speaking. He also had a serious speech impediment and had to do speech and language therapy for most of his child and young adult life. But he simply said the more public speaking he did, the more confident he got. And now, you wouldn't even believe he suffered from any sort of stage fright or speech impediment at all!

I also had this problem. Even when I did some shadowing at my old school, my voice would just tremble when speaking to a class. Of kids, like seriously! But the more you work with kids, the more you'd feel comfortable talking to them and stuff. That was my own experience. Also being the student speaker in front of over 200 students and their families at my graduation really made a difference. I no longer sweat when I stand up and talk in front of a crowd. Honestly, the more public speaking you do the less fear it will have over you.

I would suggest you take both English Language and English Literature at A-level. And by Year 13 you'll apply for unis with just Literature or both or maybe it will change and you'll end up picking Language! Because when I did my A-levels, I honestly thought I'd forever love language. But it changed when it came to Year 13! Be open minded!
Thank you this is really good to know!!!
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Year11Student:)
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Maid Marian
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I'm a primary school teacher and, like you, wanted to be a teacher because I enjoyed the school atmosphere. It's not a bad reason to get into teaching. It's really hard work though, the stuff you see in school as a child is only the tip of the iceberg!

I'm also really, painfully shy and quiet. I could never public speak and have always hated anyone even looking at me. When you go on placements, you've just got to put on the act of your life.
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Year11Student:)
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(Original post by Maid Marian)
I'm a primary school teacher and, like you, wanted to be a teacher because I enjoyed the school atmosphere. It's not a bad reason to get into teaching. It's really hard work though, the stuff you see in school as a child is only the tip of the iceberg!

I'm also really, painfully shy and quiet. I could never public speak and have always hated anyone even looking at me. When you go on placements, you've just got to put on the act of your life.
Thank you!!! Were you nervous before you started talking infront of a class and does this nervousness stop once you’ve taught for a while?
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