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Unsure whether to accept PGCE offer

Hey,

I graduated in 2021 from a top university in Maths and got a well paying job [~£50,000 p/a after bonuses etc] but I really don't enjoy it for multiple reasons, largely due to it being too easy, isolating and awkward hours quite often.

I have never DESPERATELY wanted to be a teacher, but I always thought that it could be quite a cool career to do. After spending quite a while applying for various jobs in the data sector [probably the main alternative I have to teaching at this point, because I know I want to leave my current job], I barely heard back from any and only had one interview, which I wasn't successful for.

To explore my options, I recently did a week of work experience at my old school basically observing lessons for a week to see if I'd enjoy it. I did enjoy it, much more than I do my current job but obviously I was only there from 8am-3:30pm roughly so didn't have to do things like lesson planning, paper work etc. I applied for a PGCE mainly just knowing that if I wanted the option to go into it, I needed to apply soon and got accepted pretty quickly after an interview and now all that is left is for me to accept but I'm nervous about it.

Money doesn't massively motivate me, but obviously I'm never going to say no to having it, which isn't something that is likely to ever come through teaching. Multiple people have warned me that although my training provider is great at equipping you for being a full time teacher, the training year itself is pretty rough and not very enjoyable. Although I do enjoy working with children, I'm worried I don't have *enough* of a desire to do it that once I experience all of the negatives, I'll decide it's not for me and then I'd be without a [well paying!] job and really lost career wise. I'd be far from graduation with little to useful experience in the data world which is realistically the area I'd try to get a job in, and I've really struggled to get in as it is at the moment, no doubt it would be harder then too so I'd feel boxed in. I also have pressure from some of my family saying I'd be "wasting myself" by being a maths teacher.

Sorry this post has been super long and rambly, but if anyone could give me any thoughts and advice I'd really appreciate it!
Reply 1
Well done for getting some insight! I think you’ve been asking this for a couple of years?

Any idea why you are not progressing with data science jobs? You sound like a great applicant.
Reply 2
Original post by BenHigham2000
Hey,

I graduated in 2021 from a top university in Maths and got a well paying job [~£50,000 p/a after bonuses etc] but I really don't enjoy it for multiple reasons, largely due to it being too easy, isolating and awkward hours quite often.

I have never DESPERATELY wanted to be a teacher, but I always thought that it could be quite a cool career to do. After spending quite a while applying for various jobs in the data sector [probably the main alternative I have to teaching at this point, because I know I want to leave my current job], I barely heard back from any and only had one interview, which I wasn't successful for.

To explore my options, I recently did a week of work experience at my old school basically observing lessons for a week to see if I'd enjoy it. I did enjoy it, much more than I do my current job but obviously I was only there from 8am-3:30pm roughly so didn't have to do things like lesson planning, paper work etc. I applied for a PGCE mainly just knowing that if I wanted the option to go into it, I needed to apply soon and got accepted pretty quickly after an interview and now all that is left is for me to accept but I'm nervous about it.

Money doesn't massively motivate me, but obviously I'm never going to say no to having it, which isn't something that is likely to ever come through teaching. Multiple people have warned me that although my training provider is great at equipping you for being a full time teacher, the training year itself is pretty rough and not very enjoyable. Although I do enjoy working with children, I'm worried I don't have *enough* of a desire to do it that once I experience all of the negatives, I'll decide it's not for me and then I'd be without a [well paying!] job and really lost career wise. I'd be far from graduation with little to useful experience in the data world which is realistically the area I'd try to get a job in, and I've really struggled to get in as it is at the moment, no doubt it would be harder then too so I'd feel boxed in. I also have pressure from some of my family saying I'd be "wasting myself" by being a maths teacher.

Sorry this post has been super long and rambly, but if anyone could give me any thoughts and advice I'd really appreciate it!


What sort of PGCE is it? SCITT, Uni-based, Teach First??
Reply 3
Original post by ajj2000
Well done for getting some insight! I think you’ve been asking this for a couple of years?

Any idea why you are not progressing with data science jobs? You sound like a great applicant.


I was thinking about it yeah! No idea to be honest, I just rarely hear back from them. From the bigger companies I will just never hear back.

Original post by Muttley79
What sort of PGCE is it? SCITT, Uni-based, Teach First??

It's a SCITT. Logistically, I'm not willing to relocate and there are no uni based courses near me. I have heard from multiple different non biased places that it's the best one in the area though.
Reply 4
Original post by BenHigham2000
I was thinking about it yeah! No idea to be honest, I just rarely hear back from them. From the bigger companies I will just never hear back.


It's a SCITT. Logistically, I'm not willing to relocate and there are no uni based courses near me. I have heard from multiple different non biased places that it's the best one in the area though.


Read their Ofsted report :smile:

Personally I love teaching Maths and there is a career path to subject leadership etc. You might enjoy being the timetabler - one of the best problems to solve fitting everything in around part-time, restrictions on PE space etc.
Reply 5
Original post by Muttley79
Read their Ofsted report :smile:

Personally I love teaching Maths and there is a career path to subject leadership etc. You might enjoy being the timetabler - one of the best problems to solve fitting everything in around part-time, restrictions on PE space etc.

The school I will be placed at for some of my placement (the only one I know so far) is outstanding in every area. I might enjoy it I'm just really worried that if I don't ill lead myself stuck with not many routes out into something I might want to go into
Reply 6
Original post by BenHigham2000
The school I will be placed at for some of my placement (the only one I know so far) is outstanding in every area. I might enjoy it I'm just really worried that if I don't ill lead myself stuck with not many routes out into something I might want to go into


I meant the SCITT Ofsted report ... beware hostoric outstanding ie before 2012; many aren't getting outstanding now.

A PGCE won't 'harm' you ...
Reply 7
Original post by Muttley79
I meant the SCITT Ofsted report ... beware hostoric outstanding ie before 2012; many aren't getting outstanding now.

A PGCE won't 'harm' you ...

Oh apologies! The SCITT has a good ofsted from last year and was outstanding before that in 2014. I know the PGCE itself might not harm me but I would have to leave me current job which is well paying (although i do want to leave anyway) and I'd be further out from graduation making it harder to find other jobs I could be interested in. As I said I struggle to get responses so applications at the moment so in a whiles time I'd struggle even more l. If I was aged 27 or so and had little to no relevant experience in the data sector I think I'd struggle to find any good career in it
Reply 8
Original post by BenHigham2000
Oh apologies! The SCITT has a good ofsted from last year and was outstanding before that in 2014. I know the PGCE itself might not harm me but I would have to leave me current job which is well paying (although i do want to leave anyway) and I'd be further out from graduation making it harder to find other jobs I could be interested in. As I said I struggle to get responses so applications at the moment so in a whiles time I'd struggle even more l. If I was aged 27 or so and had little to no relevant experience in the data sector I think I'd struggle to find any good career in it


Only you can decide that ....
Reply 9
Teaching is a very respectable career with development opportunities in to management too. You’re not going in blind, having spent some time in a school. This said, if you’re not sure, I wouldn’t rush in to it. Follow your heart on this
Reply 10
Even if it doesn't work out, I am sure you will gain a lot from the experience, testing yourself, learning new skills, skills you didn't know you had. Teaching develops you a lot as a person. Much more so than sitting at a desk. Do you want that enough? You would be giving up something in terms of work-life balance, I imagine, for at least a couple of years.

If you can find enough intrinsic motivation to teach, I would say it's worth the risk.

Perhaps those skills will be useful in any alternative career should you eventually choose to give up teaching.

You could consider Teach First, which also provides a qualification in Leadership as well as QTS, and apparently sets people up well for alternative careers in addition to teaching.

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