Sabbatical Officer or PGCE?

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benb00
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#1
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#1
I have an offer for a PGCE at UCL to start in September. I am also considering going for Sabbatical President of the Junior Common Room of my college in Durham. I've always wanted to be the JCR President but now I have my PGCE offer I'm not sure if I want it and I'm quite impatient to start my teacher training. Equally, being JCR President is a once in a lifetime thing and it could be fun, I don't know if I'll regret not doing it, plus i have the rest of my life to teach. Any ideas on what i should do?
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by benb00)
I have an offer for a PGCE at UCL to start in September. I am also considering going for Sabbatical President of the Junior Common Room of my college in Durham. I've always wanted to be the JCR President but now I have my PGCE offer I'm not sure if I want it and I'm quite impatient to start my teacher training. Equally, being JCR President is a once in a lifetime thing and it could be fun, I don't know if I'll regret not doing it, plus i have the rest of my life to teach. Any ideas on what i should do?
As you've said, teaching will always be there, but this other role won't. Also, teaching is the sort of career where it's quite advantageous to go into it with a few other experiences under your belt.

Something else to note is that there's still a risk that next years trainees will have a bit of an 'unsettled' year due to COVID, so waiting an extra year to train might be safer if you want to avoid that. The only thing to note is that bursaries change year on year, and recently they have been trending down, so if you are relying on a bursary to fund your training, you might not want to take the risk of holding off.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by benb00)
I have an offer for a PGCE at UCL to start in September. I am also considering going for Sabbatical President of the Junior Common Room of my college in Durham. I've always wanted to be the JCR President but now I have my PGCE offer I'm not sure if I want it and I'm quite impatient to start my teacher training. Equally, being JCR President is a once in a lifetime thing and it could be fun, I don't know if I'll regret not doing it, plus i have the rest of my life to teach. Any ideas on what i should do?
I'd go for the sabbatical president. As you say, it's not something you can go back and do- whereas the PGCE will always be there. And I agree with everything bluebeetle says about getting more experience and next year potentially being an unsettled training year.

If you got a PGCE offer this year, you're very likely to get one next year too. UCL may even let you defer the place.
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benb00
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
As you've said, teaching will always be there, but this other role won't. Also, teaching is the sort of career where it's quite advantageous to go into it with a few other experiences under your belt.

Something else to note is that there's still a risk that next years trainees will have a bit of an 'unsettled' year due to COVID, so waiting an extra year to train might be safer if you want to avoid that. The only thing to note is that bursaries change year on year, and recently they have been trending down, so if you are relying on a bursary to fund your training, you might not want to take the risk of holding off.
Thank you for your answer! I do history, so there is no bursary, unfortunately! You make a good point about COVID too - although part of me is just really impatient as this would mean I'm not going to be doing my PGCE for another 20 months.
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benb00
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I'd go for the sabbatical president. As you say, it's not something you can go back and do- whereas the PGCE will always be there. And I agree with everything bluebeetle says about getting more experience and next year potentially being an unsettled training year.

If you got a PGCE offer this year, you're very likely to get one next year too. UCL may even let you defer the place.
Thanks for replying! UCL have said that if I reapply I'm 'very unlikely to get rejected' so I guess that's a plus. Another downside I didn't mention is the fact that my parents, as with a lot of people are fairly judgemental that I'm even thinking of postponing my career for a year to be a sabbatical officer.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by benb00)
Thanks for replying! UCL have said that if I reapply I'm 'very unlikely to get rejected' so I guess that's a plus. Another downside I didn't mention is the fact that my parents, as with a lot of people are fairly judgemental that I'm even thinking of postponing my career for a year to be a sabbatical officer.
You can't live your life to please your parents.

Next year is likely to be very tricky in schools as well (picking up the pieces from a hugely disrupted 18 months, even if we don't have ongoing disruption then). I think waiting a year will probably give you a better base for your career long term!

The PGCE is a really tough year, and I don't think you can go into it thinking "I wonder if I should have done xyz instead".
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