I’m concerned that I will fall short of the classroom experience, especially as it’s already January and my application will need to be sent off in a matter of months! I’d have the option of unsalaried school direct or tradition uni pgce – I think both are equally backbreaking but I wonder if the traditional pgce is slightly more family friendly? My goodness – very sorry to hear that. I made it to the end, I qualified, and I have a job as a Newly-Qualified Teacher (NQT) next year. Having said this, I’m very torn with what to do as my school are incredibly supportive and I’m worried about regretting my choices if I don’t undertake my NQT year, however, I cannot see myself working 70 hour weeks for the foreseeable future. Talking to friends still teaching in the state primary sector, things seem to have got worse in the last 6 months not better. So, I’m glad I stuck the training year out, having been lucky enough to get a place, because it has given me a source of income; but I am far from certain I have the right stuff or circumstances to survive as a primary class teacher. I have just been thrown out of School Direct after five weeks as my performance up the “steep learning curve” with a nasty, unhelpful mentor was deemed under par. Behaviour management was also my weak spot, and it’s a tough one to crack – it took time, experience and general gaining of confidence for me. My next challenge is to work out how to make all my lessons fall into the former category. The School Direct route into teaching is led by a lead School, working individually, or as part of a network of schools in partnership with an accredited teacher training institution. I am mildly panicking now. Still doesnt really help me feel any less worried about my NQT year though. Despite being thrown in at the deep end, trainees are gradually introduced to teaching through an initial period of observations before starting a timetable of six hours a week and finishing with 18 hours a week. After all I’m going to be doing a PGCE alongside it and one day per week training.. Is this normal? As a result of this I have been off today and will no doubt not be back tomorrow due to this. It seemed Michael Gove wanted ex-squaddies or mardy middle-aged grammar school-educated blokes with O-Level Latin and A-Level Computer Science as primary teachers, and I certainly fitted one of those categories perfectly. I may try and re-start my NQT year in September 2015. I owe over two thousand pounds of the £9,000 loan I took out. Im surprised that we are still together tbh. (If you want quick School Direct tips or a ‘should I / shouldn’t I?’ guide, skip to ‘Cut to the chase’ at the end of this post). lesson planning – the stuff of nightmares. Good luck, and let us know what you do. Ultimately I’m glad I qualified, I had just picked the wrong route and am much happier as a secondary school teacher who also teaches a specialist subject in a junior school. I have got TA experience and although TA’s are brilliant the job isn’t the same as teaching. I have 5 really disruptive children and spend a lot of time asking them not to speak out. I’m also struggling with children’s behaviour. Any advice for someone who is feeling the pressure would be much appreciated. I found behaviour management at least as challenging (if not more so) in primary than secondary, but again that could be down to the kind of school I am now in – behaviour is generally excellent in my secondary school. It’s like extreme writers’ block. Have 15 yes teaching experience but lack of pgce/NQT limiting my school choices. The school was inspected earlier this year and received a “good” but there are now big changes afoot as the head is leaving (deputy replacing as interim measure) as well as two teachers retiring – it is a one form entry school. I’m stressed and tired all the time. Thank you for sharing your cautionary tale. before I started. Sounds simple, but this was probably the best single piece of advice I was given, thankfully early on by my class teacher (herself a career changer). Good luck and keep us posted about what you decide to do. And a tax lawyer. It would probably be one day a week where I’d arrive at school about 8.30 and leave at 5/5.30 (with a view to working from home later) – and then maybe one other 8.30 start and one other 5/5.30 finish. Fingers crossed…. That has happened many times. I know you can take work home with you, but the school day alone is exhausting and you need to be sure that the school will be ok about you coming in and going as you need. This can deter people straight out of university or career changers who may have to take a pay cut. By the end of the Spring term, however, I was developing an increasing awareness of how children learn, through a combination of college lectures, practical experience and school Continuing Professional Development (CPD). I hope she’ll remain understanding. I have 12 years experience as a TA and HLTA but am having concerns about what to do next and wonder if I am to old at 50! I can totally understand why you felt your working day started again at 3.30pm! Maybe it was too short? It’s a tough situation you’re in, and I certainly sympathise having been there myself. The school is in charge. In addition, the School Direct salaried route also requires three years’ paid work experience in any occupation. A friend told me that on her GTP course, half the students’ relationships broke up in their training year. We help you find schools the easy way. I constantly swing between thinking the expectations are way to high given my limited experience and questioning my own competence. I was also able to use Scratch to make my own interactive resources for teaching maths that fitted in with our literacy topic on Scaredy Squirrel. If you’re on the Salaried School Direct scheme, you do have to remember that. Just a final point. The support from your teacher/TA is at least as important as the support from your mentor, possibly even more so. I actually read this before applying for and starting a secondary school direct placement last September and just wanted to add a note of optimism- it can work for some people.I am also a career changer but I have loved every second. We are also left with £9000 + debts incurred with fees. I find it very difficult to answer the question about whether the benefits outweigh the fact that it takes over your life. I never have planning time with my teacher and are literally given a plank template and told to plan what I like as long as it covers the learning objectives of the national curriculum. You can have a dialogue about learning with children this way. Unlike a PGCE course, where you often start with lectures before going out on shorter placements, School Direct allows trainees to participate as active members of the community from the off . I’ve two degrees in my subject, which is Spanish. Passwords are case sensitive. I best stop procrastinating! I’ve spent the last 2 days crying due to being advised I’m potentially going to fail my first term on behaviour management. The school seem to have felt I could have “done more for myself” despite the little to no real support I had. Find his department here and him on Twitter @GoffsRS. My specialism is human biology and basically I’m learning to teach Physics and Chemistry, there is very little biology until later in the year which I wasn’t fully aware of at interview. Although my experience with children/classroom is minimal at the moment, I have both primary and secondary experience lined up. This has been by far the hardest year of my entire life and I have done a lot of difficult things! School Direct enables you to develop a tailored training programme, customised to suit the needs of your school and your trainees. I am a widow and support my two teenagers so can’t afford to follow the PGCE route and have been thinking about schools direct. As my husband is away every week, I need to be able to get to and from nursery/school. Tacoma Public Schools Athletic Department has partnered with FinalForms, an online forms and data management service. I could do the occasional 70-hour week but I will not do that as a matter of course. I’m glad that I took the SD route as I believe it much more thoroughly prepares you for life as a teacher than a PGCE but at the same time it has also shown me how difficult the profession is. I read your article before applying and re-read today and it’s scary how much rings true. Very interesting read. I can’t go back to what I did before straight away but I can find a job to tie me over whilst I apply for new ones. PGCE with QTS trainees will balance school-led learning with university-led pedagogy and Master's modules 4. Next year, at least one college is folding this into the weekly reflective journal, so there’s no end-of-term panic to fill it in. Any advice gratefully accepted! I am considering a career change, i have been thinking about it quite a bit to teach, however i didn’t know exactly how to go about it. And if it can work for your training year, I have to say you’ll probably need some different childcare arrangements for your NQT year. Like you, I had very little experience outside the classroom- and I think having a career break to do something else had clearly not helped matters. Hi Debbie, I found I was working similar hours just because as an NQT everything took me longer than it would an experienced teacher. Could be wishful thinking there though!). An open day at another school left me with the distinct impression that as far as some schools were concerned, School Direct was no different from the GTP, and no-one with little experience of working with children would make the cut. She told me that I was teaching the children far too many misconceptions, and as a result terminated my placement. School Direct is different because instead of applying to a university and then finding a school placement, the you applied to the school. School Direct is choking university teacher-training courses, for some PGCE courses, but often limited to certain subjects, apply for School Direct and PGCE courses through UCAS. According to Wikipedia, culture shock, has the following features: ‘information overload, language barrier, generation gap, technology gap, skill interdependence, homesickness.’ The GTP was the standard year-long on-the-job route into teaching for someone with a degree who worked as a Teaching Assistat (TA). I was lucky enough to have a very supportive mentor who kept me going when I was finding it tough. Your alliance will arrange the two school placements that form part of the programme, and you will attend training days at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). Granted it is a lot of work, but I’ve found it manageable. Do I want to spend the rest of my life in a job with constant pressure to be ‘outstanding’? Hi Shahina – sorry to hear you have had such a tough time of it, but it does chime with my personal experience. Between them, the average turned out to … I’m unsure how I stand in terms of the proportion of my fees I would need to pay back if I quit at this stage. I wanted to apply for the SD salaried route, but with no classroom experience I’m wondering if it’s even worth applying. However …. Sorry to hear about your experience, but I know exactly how you feel, I was feeling similar at this point in my training year. I know two other people in the same position as me so it is not uncommon to have difficulty finding work, even when you have qualified as an outstanding teacher. Days before I went my Year 9 class stole memory sticks from me (if you didn’t laugh by this stage you’d have cried) and a Year 10 student said to my mentor “he isn’t in control of the class is he ?”. ‘Light touch’ management certainly helps, along with teaching a subject you love. Im glad you are happier now and in a role that you are enjoying. Thanks for this post, definitely food for thought! At the moment, it’s not unusual for me to pick up my son and then work until the early hours, once he’s gone to bed. Managing your workload while in school can be tiresome. But reading from the comments and the post it self, i see that there is a requirement for experience in teaching, in which i have none. these stories are quite scary!! I probably looked like a fool with a huge grin on my face, but it was sincere. In addition, the School Direct salaried route also requires three years’ paid work experience in any occupation. If yes, please contact me at zoephiland@gmail.com, Hello, It was at the end of (my rather wobbly) second school experience, my tutor told me ‘you should never have been accepted on the course.’ She’d said this once before, and I’d been a bit taken aback, but this time I knew what she meant. Whilst I know you cannot give me an answer on what I should do, I’m glad that there are other people who have felt a similar way to myself. I was told when I left the course by the course leader that if I left I would not be allowed to return to teacher training. I agree with you, I would not recommend this to anyone that has very young children. Thank you Emma – good to hear a positive experience. Well, I could not have applied, I suppose, but the reason I did was that I couldn’t afford to do a PGCE. I am only 3 months into schools direct unpaid. Grant funding is available as a contribution to the training and salary costs for each qualifying trainee on School Direct (salaried) courses. Were you successful in re-applying for a course? I found this very rewarding; I talked about my experience watching debates, like Prime Minister’s Questions, in the House of Commons. The job literally takes over your life, every waking moment, and for me it’s just unsustainable and sadly, unenjoyable. If nothing else, I am going into this with my eyes open. Here are some of my suggestions to help ease the teacher workload burden. Hi there, thank you so much for your post it has shed some light on what to expect. Key to that is the constant desire to want the best for the children, to give them the tools to progress, to open up as many options as possible for them in later life, and to ensure that in my classroom they are happy. I don’t have children but I am due to get married in a couple of months and I feel that the lifestyle of a teacher isn’t what I want (I also want children in the near-ish future and believe it impossible to juggle the two). They spoke a different language: not just the jargon that goes with any profession, but they had a familiarity with the daily business of school life and learning that was utterly alien to me, as an outsider. Thank you Mrs W – I know I can’t really advise you what to do, but if I had the chance to return to my old job at an increased salary I would take it! I dropped out of my School Direct Media Studies course at the start of December. I have done everything to try and move away from this but every time I follow the feedback for example; differentiation I get told ‘yeah you did it’ but ‘it wasn’t good enough’. I have read the blog with huge interest! Here are a couple of observations I’ve made that have resonated with other teachers: ‘My best AND worst lessons are planned on the hoof, or at very short notice.’. Great post – thank you. When you consider teachers salaries with the real hours worked, the rate is quite low and this deflates me further. My children are almost 16, 13 and 11 and my wife works from home which makes life much easier. I dont know if I will be able to cope with having my own class. I feel I have aged so much in just 7 weeks. I don’t understand what she expected me to learn in one afternoon- did she think I would come back into the classroom as an mathematical expert? Hi Adam, The most important element for new recruits is the school experience itself – and this is where the two courses differ more widely. I’m half heartedly filling out applications, almost hoping I don’t get an interview because I literally couldn’t find the time to squeeze the prep time and stress into my week! We did binary maths, we broke and made codes. Normally Scratch is only taught – even by the experts – to upper KS2, but my experience of teaching it in Year 3 made me think that it was worth a go in Year 2. Obviously you would then have a lot more college work than I did, which may balance it out. and am in my mid 20s- I don’t have a family to take care of so I commend anyone who does teacher training and has a family (you are all SAINTS!). I never got the hang of that. Is it possible or will I go mad? Don’t think that you just don’t ‘have authority’. School Direct (salaried) is an employment-based route for high quality graduates, typically with at least three years’ experience of transferable work history. Listing the array of services (including direct and indirect services as well as compliance-related activities) on service plans will help SLPs document these student-centered workload activities and, as previously noted, help communi­cate to parents, teachers, and others how much time SLPs devote to students beyond direct … From my research so far, i have discovered 2 routes, either do PGCE, or school direct (salaried). I completely lost all confidence in myself and as a result I convinced myself that teaching wasn’t for me. I am still single so i guess i have a lot of time on my hands and less responsibility, i want to use that to my advantage to do as much as i can academically. Wasn’t tied into a school – but that may vary. But i have been working continuously for 4 years and a half, a degree in forensic science, and am currently doing distant learning masters in forensics too. But almost everyone on the scheme had worked as a TA, some for many years. I went to my spare room and sat there and just cried for ages. I just dont know anymore! Although applications are made via Ucas, schools shortlist, conduct interviews and assess the experience and skills of candidates in relation to the needs of the school. I’m embarrassed to quit and feel I need to invent a valid reason to do so. I second the post above and would love to see how you get on. Alas it isn’t always the case. Too tough for me, at any rate. To me the latter is a more attractive path. I keep reassuring him it will get easier but I am only kidding myself. Hi Isabella – this sounds shocking. I got more pleasure out of watching children, some whom I’d taught, some I barely knew, on stage and doing their best than I got out of any number bands on Later With Jools Holland. Culture shock. Hi M, sorry to hear your story. So far I am finding it much easier in secondary, for a few reasons: I am teaching a subject I love, so doing planning and research feels much more like fun to me; my school does not expect/demand full lesson plans to be submitted, I am allowed to get on and plan and teach in whatever way I see fit; I find teaching 1 subject to several classes much less stressful than having sole responsibility for 30 children; and I’m not required to set targets and track levels as I was in primary (this may well be because of the kind of school I’m in). wishing you all well however. What is School Direct (salaried) funding. Hope that is some help – please let us know how you get on, and good luck! Reducing teacher workload – practical approaches: 1. Hi Kate, However, low and behold the very same thing happened! While some of her notes were quite helpful they became increasingly more critical as time went on – to the point where she stopped writing any positives down. Qualified (and even newly-qualified) teachers will breezily say ‘oh find a nice activity or game’ and the student then spends a whole evening scouring the TES web site for things, none of which quite fit the learning intention you had in mind. She constantly brought up subject knowledge and on occasions sent me home early to ‘go and work on my knowledge of the curriculum’. If I didn’t have a young family I’d be there like a shot, but sadly it’s a career that doesn’t seem compatible with family life these days! I used the 70th anniversary of D-Day (the ‘longest day’) to take the children on a virtual journey to the Normandy beaches, thinking about the importance of secrecy, code-breaking, Bletchley Park, computers and how they store information as binary numbers. It will be better next year. I was working about 10 times harder than I had done in the BBC (all day, every day, every evening until I was so tired I could no longer think, including weekends) and earning less than half the money. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences includes, alongside linguistic, musical, logical, spatial, kinesthetic and so on, one that is often overlooked: naturalist intelligence – this is to do with having an affinity with the natural world, living things and ecosystems. Much like yourself I don’t think I could be viewed as a typical trainee. Now I am at the point of believing that I cannot teach and I feel like telling the school the reason for this is because that is what they have led me to believe. I almost quit at Christmas because of the effect on my wellbeing and family life, but carried on and qualified, only to find the pressures of being one of 4 primary school NQTs in a small school too much to bear. What do you think are my chances in getting into school direct salaried? I have to say your experience mirrors mine as a primary school SD mature student. I am still paying off mine after nine years because I took extra to cover my PGCE too. Getting a bit depressed here – I have honestly felt like a hostage. It has made think I am not cut out to do it and that maybe teaching is not for me. It’s certainly not going to be plain sailing – and I don’t have the option of reapplying next year and choosing a more academic course as I’m really restricted in terms of placement locations. Don’t dwell on your workload. It sounds like you’ve had a very tough time. Have you been able to speak to a tutor outside the school as opposed to a mentor? It varies hugely between schools: some have fixed whole days with joint planning, in others you take it in chunks when you can. Sorry it’s can’t afford to do pgce in my last comment *. Your mental health absolutely comes first, but I would say two other things: you may possibly not fail your first term, and if you stick with it you may be able to secure a role in a school where you can teach Biology exclusively and feel much more comfortable. The other was for the school I work in, but unfortunately it was given to another candidate. No shadowing and no observation in the first week…just straight to teaching! Thank you for commenting. I spend so much time learning the subjects before I can plan them and I’ve discovered I really dislike physics and it’s a difficult subject. Thank you Boris – I am now teaching mostly secondary ICT and Computing, and really enjoying the job. If I don’t train to teach I would get a support role, perhaps with a more pastoral side to it…I’d love it and I’d have a work life balance…but then I fear I’d always regret not giving teaching a go. PGCE courses tend to offer two placements lasting up to two thirds of the course between them. However, the reality is more complex than this. I am so much happier now in my new role. Getting an NQT job on my first job interview was a pivotal moment. Just this week I had a meeting with the Trust responsible for the school and though very sympathetic they stated they would not challenge the mentor, as I knew, of course. I suspect this will take the rest of my teaching career, through a process of continuing reflection and learning, striving to improve my subject knowledge and pedagogy. With a PGCE, there’s a more general interview process and school placements may be made after the candidate is accepted by a university. I’ve been up.past midnight regularly, sometimes as late as 3am trying to produce LPs on my own (my mentor is great but has even less time than I do). To those who made the primary choice, i do wonder if secondary may have been a better option. I’m applying for the this salaried route into teaching later this year (2015). 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