TeacherTraining1
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I was on a schools direct sort of program where I felt the school was really bad with rules, teacher retention, behaviour etc. Enough to make me drop out. However, I'm thinking of doing it uni-based this time, a PGCE; will this route be better? I'm not sure whether it was just bad luck with the school I was in or if teaching isn't for me. I found the year 7s and 10s to be manageable but the year 8s and 9s were chaotic. It was almost like the year 8s felt like the rulers of the roost now they weren't the youngest and that year 9s seemed to think GCSEs were a decade away. Things I enjoyed: my subject, being creative, stimulation. Things I didn't enjoy: planning (not a natural planner), overstimulation, the constant feeling of performing.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by TeacherTraining1)
I was on a schools direct sort of program where I felt the school was really bad with rules, teacher retention, behaviour etc. Enough to make me drop out. However, I'm thinking of doing it uni-based this time, a PGCE; will this route be better? I'm not sure whether it was just bad luck with the school I was in or if teaching isn't for me. I found the year 7s and 10s to be manageable but the year 8s and 9s were chaotic. It was almost like the year 8s felt like the rulers of the roost now they weren't the youngest and that year 9s seemed to think GCSEs were a decade away. Things I enjoyed: my subject, being creative, stimulation. Things I didn't enjoy: planning (not a natural planner), overstimulation, the constant feeling of performing.
Y8 and Y9 are like that in a lot of schools! A lot of schools also have issues with behaviour and retention.

Honestly, I think it is really hard to teach without doing lots of planning, especially in the early years, and I'm not sure you can get away from the feel of performing either. What's making you want to give it another try?

Have you thought about looking at a different age or stage e.g. post 16 has less behaviour to deal with and can be great for people who are passionate about their subjects?
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TeacherTraining1
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Y8 and Y9 are like that in a lot of schools! A lot of schools also have issues with behaviour and retention.

Honestly, I think it is really hard to teach without doing lots of planning, especially in the early years, and I'm not sure you can get away from the feel of performing either. What's making you want to give it another try?

Have you thought about looking at a different age or stage e.g. post 16 has less behaviour to deal with and can be great for people who are passionate about their subjects?
I get that but this one had just come out of special measures so I felt even more submerged. Will the PGCE ease you in a little bit more than a teach first? I also feel that if it was just a placement, rather than the whole year, I might have gritted my teeth and seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I was told by many there that it was natural to cry and feel overwhelmed and consider dropping out in the first year, and even in the NQT year, but it felt too extreme. However, now that I have had time away and went back to a rather unstimulating job, I'm kind of wondering if I made a mistake. I work with post 16 now but now I have found that the behaviour can be more annoying, if that's the right word, as they don't have to be there yet certain ones will refuse work, question the point, lash out etc. Although the class sizes are a lot smaller so it's easily manageable. I think that was the main problem in the school - not necessarily behaviour (as it's expected, we've all been in high school and felt what they feel etc.) but the class sizes, which I understand is an issue in most schools anyway. I don't know whether to give it another shot, like going in again but this time more equipped as I know what I'm letting myself in for and which areas I suck at.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by TeacherTraining1)
I get that but this one had just come out of special measures so I felt even more submerged. Will the PGCE ease you in a little bit more than a teach first? I also feel that if it was just a placement, rather than the whole year, I might have gritted my teeth and seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I was told by many there that it was natural to cry and feel overwhelmed and consider dropping out in the first year, and even in the NQT year, but it felt too extreme. However, now that I have had time away and went back to a rather unstimulating job, I'm kind of wondering if I made a mistake. I work with post 16 now but now I have found that the behaviour can be more annoying, if that's the right word, as they don't have to be there yet certain ones will refuse work, question the point, lash out etc. Although the class sizes are a lot smaller so it's easily manageable. I think that was the main problem in the school - not necessarily behaviour (as it's expected, we've all been in high school and felt what they feel etc.) but the class sizes, which I understand is an issue in most schools anyway. I don't know whether to give it another shot, like going in again but this time more equipped as I know what I'm letting myself in for and which areas I suck at.
A PGCE will definitely ease you in more than Teach First. You'll have a lot more support in school from your mentor teacher, and you'll have a uni tutor who can help you if the school is making unreasonable demands of you. Many PGCEs only place student teachers in good/outstanding schools (although remember an outstanding school may not have been inspected for 10+ years and may not actually be outstanding anymore).

I would say class sizes are an issue in all schools- most of my classes have 30+ students, and my bottom sets have 15-20 students. It is tricky, and to some extent at times it is crowd control, and as a science teacher there are things I don't do with some classes as they are too big.

However, if you are really keen to give it a go, why not talk to some local unis about what their PGCE is like and the support that will be on offer.
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bwilliams
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(Original post by TeacherTraining1)
I was on a schools direct sort of program where I felt the school was really bad with rules, teacher retention, behaviour etc. Enough to make me drop out. However, I'm thinking of doing it uni-based this time, a PGCE; will this route be better? I'm not sure whether it was just bad luck with the school I was in or if teaching isn't for me. I found the year 7s and 10s to be manageable but the year 8s and 9s were chaotic. It was almost like the year 8s felt like the rulers of the roost now they weren't the youngest and that year 9s seemed to think GCSEs were a decade away. Things I enjoyed: my subject, being creative, stimulation. Things I didn't enjoy: planning (not a natural planner), overstimulation, the constant feeling of performing.
If you are considering going back, I think you definitely should give it another go. PGCE will be much better than school direct route. Avoid teach first, I'm saying no more on that topic! Failing to plan is planning to fail so get use to planning and learn to enjoy it, it can be a creative thing if you find a way that works for you.
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royalty1702
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Do what you love in life. You only live once!
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ByEeek
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Correct me if I am wrong, but under school direct you apply directly to the school? That is what it was like for me. So I only applied to outstanding schools. And in order to be classed as outstanding, one way or other, there is generally some form of workable behaviour policy with support systems in place to manage teachers and trainees alike. So when you are applying and you go to the interview, make sure you have a look at the behaviour policy. And if it doesn't exist, ask about it. And if there isn't one and it all looks a bit out of control, don't go there. The downside of doing a PCGE with a university is you could be placed anywhere.

Good luck!
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BuckHowls
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(Original post by TeacherTraining1)
I was on a schools direct sort of program where I felt the school was really bad with rules, teacher retention, behaviour etc. Enough to make me drop out. However, I'm thinking of doing it uni-based this time, a PGCE; will this route be better? I'm not sure whether it was just bad luck with the school I was in or if teaching isn't for me. I found the year 7s and 10s to be manageable but the year 8s and 9s were chaotic. It was almost like the year 8s felt like the rulers of the roost now they weren't the youngest and that year 9s seemed to think GCSEs were a decade away. Things I enjoyed: my subject, being creative, stimulation. Things I didn't enjoy: planning (not a natural planner), overstimulation, the constant feeling of performing.
There's no doubt that teaching is a hard job and that you don't get paid nearly enough for the amount of work you do. I am on a one year contract anyway but if they plan to renew my contract I don't plan to stay on. The amount of planning and lesson preparation required, coupled with admin work leaves me with no free time. My weekends are spent preparing lesson plans and marking. I do really enjoy teaching my students but the amount of paperwork required gives me no work-life balance.

If you are really passionate about teaching then I'd say you should go for the university-led PGCEs. University-led PGCEs are more holistic with trainees compared to school direct routes. However, the planning and constant feeling of performing is something you'll need to accept. The teaching profession is just going to get harder every year.
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Get into Teaching
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(Original post by TeacherTraining1)
I was on a schools direct sort of program where I felt the school was really bad with rules, teacher retention, behaviour etc. Enough to make me drop out. However, I'm thinking of doing it uni-based this time, a PGCE; will this route be better? I'm not sure whether it was just bad luck with the school I was in or if teaching isn't for me. I found the year 7s and 10s to be manageable but the year 8s and 9s were chaotic. It was almost like the year 8s felt like the rulers of the roost now they weren't the youngest and that year 9s seemed to think GCSEs were a decade away. Things I enjoyed: my subject, being creative, stimulation. Things I didn't enjoy: planning (not a natural planner), overstimulation, the constant feeling of performing.
Hello

While you were teaching the Yr 7/10's, did you find it enjoyable? If so, then I think the teaching was right, but perhaps the setting not so much. Choosing the course provider is a really important aspect of teacher training. As no two school are alike, there will be a school for you.

I always found Yr 9's to be the toughest year group, and I think many teachers do. Often the tougher schools do help you to develop behaviour management strategies quicker, but it can seem that everyone else 'gets it' more than you. It won't be the case as we are all learning all of the time.

Planning is important to ensure you create a strong work/life balance. (ie you have to plan a walk in the park, or a drink with mates/family, or a theatre/cinema trip, or box set binge!) It will also allow for your creativity to fully develop in the classroom setting as you'll have all you need to hand and bringing your subject to life. As you progress you'll get better and quicker at it too. Remember, always ask what is the point of this lesson and work back from that.

If you'd like help with choosing the right provider for you, then please do contact Get into Teaching. We offer a free support service, by qualified teachers who are expert in the teacher training application process.

Wishing you all the very best in what you choose to do!

Jane
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FormerTeacher
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(Original post by bwilliams)
If you are considering going back, I think you definitely should give it another go. PGCE will be much better than school direct route. Avoid teach first, I'm saying no more on that topic! Failing to plan is planning to fail so get use to planning and learn to enjoy it, it can be a creative thing if you find a way that works for you.
Can I ask you on what basis you think that PGCE is better than school direct?
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xSkyFire
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You can choose to train in any method that you'd like - at the end of the day teaching is teaching.

I did TeachFirst and found my NQT year easier than people who did a PGCE in the same school, partly because I was accustomed to working a nearly full timetable already.
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giella
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I’ve turned down opportunities to do teaching three times now. Every time I looked at it, I was attracted by the same things: quick route to a fairly well paid and steady job, enthusiasm for my subjects, and knowing I’m actually quite good at teaching per se. Every time I’ve actually got close, done the work experience, had an interview opportunity, I’ve run a mile in the other direction. Because the reality is the reality. There are so many things you can’t control in teaching, number one being the students you get to teach.
Other things include your budget and the demands placed on you, but others include the view in which teachers are held in the popular mindset. Whilst many people who have done well revere the teachers who set them on their path, teachers are all too often held in contempt, by both students and the general public. Kids who can’t stand school resent and hold in contempt the people whose responsibility it is to teach them. The old attitude that teachers must somehow have failed at life to have never made it beyond the classroom persists in so many quarters that it’s no wonder schools are so badly funded.
That issue of funding is one I could only keep coming back to. Teachers are asked to do so much with so little that’s it’s a joke. Moreover, teachers are expected to deal with the fallout from cuts elsewhere in the public sector, meaning that teachers are expected to adapt their curriculum to pupils who are not working to age related expectations and somehow turn out work from them very much at age related expectations. You’ve got parents who don’t back the system, meaning that your influence is incredibly limited and behaviour management takes up all of your time in the classroom to the point you might think of yourself as a glorified babysitter or prison officer in training.

I have done supply work, cover work etc and whilst I know it’s not the exact same as teaching I know that the attitude from the schools is that there is nothing that I they can do. Their expectations are so low that one person cannot make the difference that is necessary. Occasionally, I’ve seen schools who can just get it right but then I see the other side of things in tutoring where schools just perpetually get it wrong. I’ve worked with children clearly in desperate need of SEN support and the schools actively neglecting these children’s needs because they know that there are far bigger problems for them to deal with. Management seems to exist to benefit the school’s interest and not the children’s. Everywhere I look I see teachers tired and exhausted and staying ridiculously late to try and get work done that will meet the ridiculously high standards expected of them, creating bespoke lesson plans and resources which they know will never be appreciated.

I know some teachers love their jobs and god knows I love teaching when you can actually just focus on teaching. But with another five years of Tory cuts on the line I wouldn’t recommend anybody touch it. It’s not going to get better. If you had misgivings the first time, those are unlikely to have changed for the better. And if you don’t feel that you have changed significantly in that time, you are unlikely to enjoy it much more than you did the last time.

There are so many roles which allow you to work with children, with teaching just being the most obvious. I would look at any of those if that’s the interest you have. But if it’s just a graduate job you want, look anywhere else. I hate saying this. It goes against my understanding that we need as many good people in teaching as possible right now. I might even change my angle slightly and say, maybe if you could train in a private school, this might be better for you, because the conditions are completely different. But don’t expect things to have improved that much if the conditions were enough to drive you out the last time. They’re a good indicator of what you know you can tolerate in terms of working conditions and the demands placed on your time and personal resilience levels. You need to be happy, not just barely coping.
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bwilliams
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(Original post by FormerTeacher)
Can I ask you on what basis you think that PGCE is better than school direct?
PGCE you are on a taught course with subject specialists who you can contact during school-based placements for support. You experience a range of schools who may teach differently. With school direct you learn directly from the school you are working in. I don't believe this to be very healthy as all schools are different and you shouldn't just accept that your placement school is doing it right. Experiencing a range of settings would be more beneficial. The PGCE allows you to work with other trainees on projects and there is more of a student support network that you wouldn't get so much via SD. SD is more isolated and this is fine for independent trainees; however, some like to make use of working with other students.
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FormerTeacher
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(Original post by bwilliams)
PGCE you are on a taught course with subject specialists who you can contact during school-based placements for support. You experience a range of schools who may teach differently. With school direct you learn directly from the school you are working in. I don't believe this to be very healthy as all schools are different and you shouldn't just accept that your placement school is doing it right. Experiencing a range of settings would be more beneficial. The PGCE allows you to work with other trainees on projects and there is more of a student support network that you wouldn't get so much via SD. SD is more isolated and this is fine for independent trainees; however, some like to make use of working with other students.
I have worked with many many trainees, who have followed both routes and there are pros and cons to both. SD is PGCE, but in a different setting. Subject mentors are subject specialists, and SD works in partnership with a University for the entire programme. Also, most trainees experience two schools for teaching placement, whether at University or SD, so their experience is the same. Trainees on SD come together for subject studies at the University on SD and also I know groups of SD trainees who are all at the same school, perfect for support networking. I just want to ensure that the OP is getting a full picture for decision making and not one that is biased.
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TeacherTraining1
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Correct me if I am wrong, but under school direct you apply directly to the school? That is what it was like for me. So I only applied to outstanding schools. And in order to be classed as outstanding, one way or other, there is generally some form of workable behaviour policy with support systems in place to manage teachers and trainees alike. So when you are applying and you go to the interview, make sure you have a look at the behaviour policy. And if it doesn't exist, ask about it. And if there isn't one and it all looks a bit out of control, don't go there. The downside of doing a PCGE with a university is you could be placed anywhere.

Good luck!
This one was whatever school you were given. It also didn't include the PGCE qualification, just QTS, and there wasn't any link to uni, only an organisation in London that you were supposed to go once every few months to complete training. This made me feel quite alone, as at least with the PGCE course I could have leaned on someone who was starting out at the same place and probably feels the same anxieties and pressure. I'm still not sure if the route is the problem or whether the profession isn't for me. Or whether it's best to wait a few more years.
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TeacherTraining1
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(Original post by BuckHowls)
There's no doubt that teaching is a hard job and that you don't get paid nearly enough for the amount of work you do. I am on a one year contract anyway but if they plan to renew my contract I don't plan to stay on. The amount of planning and lesson preparation required, coupled with admin work leaves me with no free time. My weekends are spent preparing lesson plans and marking. I do really enjoy teaching my students but the amount of paperwork required gives me no work-life balance.

If you are really passionate about teaching then I'd say you should go for the university-led PGCEs. University-led PGCEs are more holistic with trainees compared to school direct routes. However, the planning and constant feeling of performing is something you'll need to accept. The teaching profession is just going to get harder every year.
The planning is something I would most likely come round to and would imagine it takes less time when you become more experienced. Plus I do enjoy being busy - what I did enjoy about teaching too - as my current job has a lot of waiting around and I succumb to the boredom too quickly. However, the performing thing did drain me. Quite a few teachers there reminded me to just perform or that it was just a performance, and they looked soulfully drained. I'm not sure whether that's just a personality issue/misfit, as more extroverted teachers seemed more natural. As someone who is more introverted, I need that recharge time, and the weekends didn't leave any room for it with planning/marking. I stupidly thought I could work 10 hours every weekday and have the weekends free, but I still needed to eat into the weekends. So a 50 hour week easily turned into 60+. The teacher retention after five years worries me as well, if I ever do make it that far.
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TeacherTraining1
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(Original post by giella)
I’ve turned down opportunities to do teaching three times now. Every time I looked at it, I was attracted by the same things: quick route to a fairly well paid and steady job, enthusiasm for my subjects, and knowing I’m actually quite good at teaching per se. Every time I’ve actually got close, done the work experience, had an interview opportunity, I’ve run a mile in the other direction. Because the reality is the reality. There are so many things you can’t control in teaching, number one being the students you get to teach.
Other things include your budget and the demands placed on you, but others include the view in which teachers are held in the popular mindset. Whilst many people who have done well revere the teachers who set them on their path, teachers are all too often held in contempt, by both students and the general public. Kids who can’t stand school resent and hold in contempt the people whose responsibility it is to teach them. The old attitude that teachers must somehow have failed at life to have never made it beyond the classroom persists in so many quarters that it’s no wonder schools are so badly funded.
That issue of funding is one I could only keep coming back to. Teachers are asked to do so much with so little that’s it’s a joke. Moreover, teachers are expected to deal with the fallout from cuts elsewhere in the public sector, meaning that teachers are expected to adapt their curriculum to pupils who are not working to age related expectations and somehow turn out work from them very much at age related expectations. You’ve got parents who don’t back the system, meaning that your influence is incredibly limited and behaviour management takes up all of your time in the classroom to the point you might think of yourself as a glorified babysitter or prison officer in training.

I have done supply work, cover work etc and whilst I know it’s not the exact same as teaching I know that the attitude from the schools is that there is nothing that I they can do. Their expectations are so low that one person cannot make the difference that is necessary. Occasionally, I’ve seen schools who can just get it right but then I see the other side of things in tutoring where schools just perpetually get it wrong. I’ve worked with children clearly in desperate need of SEN support and the schools actively neglecting these children’s needs because they know that there are far bigger problems for them to deal with. Management seems to exist to benefit the school’s interest and not the children’s. Everywhere I look I see teachers tired and exhausted and staying ridiculously late to try and get work done that will meet the ridiculously high standards expected of them, creating bespoke lesson plans and resources which they know will never be appreciated.

I know some teachers love their jobs and god knows I love teaching when you can actually just focus on teaching. But with another five years of Tory cuts on the line I wouldn’t recommend anybody touch it. It’s not going to get better. If you had misgivings the first time, those are unlikely to have changed for the better. And if you don’t feel that you have changed significantly in that time, you are unlikely to enjoy it much more than you did the last time.

There are so many roles which allow you to work with children, with teaching just being the most obvious. I would look at any of those if that’s the interest you have. But if it’s just a graduate job you want, look anywhere else. I hate saying this. It goes against my understanding that we need as many good people in teaching as possible right now. I might even change my angle slightly and say, maybe if you could train in a private school, this might be better for you, because the conditions are completely different. But don’t expect things to have improved that much if the conditions were enough to drive you out the last time. They’re a good indicator of what you know you can tolerate in terms of working conditions and the demands placed on your time and personal resilience levels. You need to be happy, not just barely coping.
The glorified baby sitter/police office was definitely a feeling on more than one occasion. I don't feel like I have changed significantly in that time, so I might give it more time. It's hard to know what to do as I do have enthusiasm for my subject, enjoyed the creativity, and would like a stable job I can work my way up in, changing lives as I go. However, the reality is the reality, as you say. I definitely don't expect to be as high as happy in any job, but barely coping just doesn't seem an option for me because it drove a non-quitter to actually quit at something in life.
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giella
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(Original post by TeacherTraining1)
The glorified baby sitter/police office was definitely a feeling on more than one occasion. I don't feel like I have changed significantly in that time, so I might give it more time. It's hard to know what to do as I do have enthusiasm for my subject, enjoyed the creativity, and would like a stable job I can work my way up in, changing lives as I go. However, the reality is the reality, as you say. I definitely don't expect to be as high as happy in any job, but barely coping just doesn't seem an option for me because it drove a non-quitter to actually quit at something in life.
Have you considered speech and language therapy or occupational therapy? Both might offer you what you’re looking for. Maybe worth a look.
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