You can expect to spend the majority of your time training in the classroom (possibly also with partnership schools too) helping to build your confidence in a school environment. Even though you wrote this 5 years ago it is still relevant and helpful today. Mainly I am applying to do early years because teaching is all I know and I don’t know what else I enjoy. Given term is nearly over, have you been offered an NQT year in your current school? I wanted to apply for the SD salaried route, but with no classroom experience I’m wondering if it’s even worth applying. This is a great blog post; I think you can tell by the amount of comments that it has really resonated with people. I think if you can possibly afford to do a PGCE, that will provide you with a solid basis for becoming a teacher. 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 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. Alone, no teacher, no TA, I had a whole morning to fill. I inhabited another world. I feel like my brain is going to explode with indecision. I just need to pluck up the courage to tell them. Hi, 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! Thank you, Your email address will not be published. But some people on my course loved SD. I started my school direct (salaried) post September 2015, also doing the PGCE alongside it. How your NQT year goes depends to a huge extent on how much support you get in your school. Hi, 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). I am going through the exact same things as you did. 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. I was pretty darn lucky, but I’ve heard some horror stories about some class teachers (not in any school I taught in, I hasten to add) who do not support students, and, in some cases, actively undermine them. Although forewarned is forearmed and this blog certainly adds value from that perspective. A very interesting blog. My mentor pretty much only ever gave me requires improvement, this resulted in me I will pass it on to her because I think just knowing that others out there have felt the same will give her the encouragement she needs. Thank you for writing this blog. I do have a young child (3 yrs) – just the one, mind (hat off to you for doing this with three!). I feel completely unprepared for being potentially responsible for a whole class next year should I get a job. The mentor can also look over my lesson plans but I don’t know how much time i’ll actually get to plan these lessons seeing as I’ll be starting on the INSET day, just a day before term starts when I’m expected to teach :/. I then thought I would try teaching again and was allowed to repeat my final placement at another school. It was a learning experience not just for us students, but also for schools and the universities. My mentor is great but the workload is having a massive impact on my health and wellbeing and on my family. 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! A bursary of up to £25,000, depending on age, phase or subject and qualification 5. You’re right about it being pot-luck, but I’m surprised you were unable to get a job, so the picture must vary a lot depending on where you are and what kind of job you are after. They have worked with us to ensure that our 1800 pupils have access to our branded uniform in store and online 24/7. Still doesnt really help me feel any less worried about my NQT year though. This helped me appreciate the benefit to children of learning this way, reaching your own conclusions rather than just being told the answer. I very much wanted to quit by Christmas but was talked out of it by my mentor, and I’m glad she did, even if Primary teaching wasn’t the right field for me ultimately, it opened up possibilities that I’d never have had otherwise. I read your article before applying and re-read today and it’s scary how much rings true. I was offered (and accepted) a job in my base school back in March but during May half term I really started to think that teaching isn’t for me. 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. Have you left your former job yet? But that’s easy for her to say – and doesn’t help with my NQT year – or indeed the rest of my career. Good luck! I am only 3 months into schools direct unpaid. Home; About; Contact; Search for Easy school link. Mine are 7 and 5 now. 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. Whatsmore I’ll also have a tutor group to manage, it may be a shared responsibility or not..I don’t know yet. You will need it for your standards folder. Desperate to work in education but just don’t know if it will all be too much. The salaried programme is offered as both F/T and P/T. School Direct is a route into teacher training which allows schools or groups of schools to take a leading role in Initial Teacher Training provision in partnership with a University. wishing you all well however. Training places are allocated to the lead school on behalf of the partnership, usually for one year. SD is a tough year and, in my experience, the NQT year a lot tougher. I’d really love to get a place. My weekends are consumed by planning and uni assignments. So it was a complete waste of time, I have ended up working back in my old job on less money than before I started, £10,000.00 + in debt and the longer it goes on the less likely I am of doing my NQT year. Some of the stories I heard from other younger students were shocking and some schools seem to cultivate a culture of fear amongst staff. For me, with 3 school age children, working exactly the kind of hours you describe was too much and I am now doing general supply teaching – something there is a huge demand for, and which I couldn’t do without my QTS. It was all Ofsted driven and I was expected to adhere to a “script” for all classes. Top News Canada. I also get the impression there is lesson plans already made up which the whole department use and a scheme of work that I’ve already be sent – but is this enough to make it do-able? Although this is reminding me of entering the world of parenting, wondering how hard it could be, despite everybody telling me it was the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Hi, Candidates get 60 days training and can be required to teach up to 80% of a teachers' timetable. Generally, however, I was at school Monday to Thursday, and then at training on Fridays. Ask about additional adults. Can you go back to what you did before? I hope things work out for you. Unfortunately he is not alone almost half of the other SD people in his group did not have jobs at the end of July. I love the teaching and being with the children but the hours outside of contracted hours are simply too much. I was getting paid the minimal amount to commute into London every day and it was going to take years to move up the ladder. It may not be useful to everyone, all are different, but I have certainly found it beneficial. Hopefully i will remain as positive at the end of the course as i am in the first week, though i must admit i was a little surprised to be thrown in to a classroom on my own straight away. Planning takes me so long, but is well received by the other year 5 teacher who also follows my lesson plans. All School Direct places will lead to qualified teacher status and subject to negotiation with partnership schools, will also lead to a post graduate certificate in education (PGCE) validated by the University. The school keeps coming up with these support plans which have just made everything more stressful. In writing, if possible. Talk to as many teachers as you can to see what they think. It sounds like you’ve had a very tough time. School Direct is going to make the supply of teachers more random." My partner did a school direct placement last year through the University of Cumbria. So sorry to read your experiences. Right now I have 5 more lessons to plan, resources and prep for the whole week to consider, 30 books to mark (detailed mark) and all the Uni side to catch up on. Geoffrey Field Junior School has been a lead school for the School Direct programme since 2013. It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done and I’m late 40′s with more than average resilience in all the things I’ve done in my life. Hi Nick – good question! Crikey! My route was rather different – primary, SD without PGCE, certainly not doing anything like that amount of teaching in my 1st term. Getting an NQT job on my first job interview was a pivotal moment. Reading up, I think it’s widely acknowledged that training providers/ schools vary in their ability to train people effectively. Does anyone have any experience of teaching RE on an SD scheme? Although some School Direct fee-paying courses can lead to a PGCE, in general providers distinguish the two as “School Direct” and “university based PGCE routes”. I first came across this when doing some reading on behaviour management early on in the year, but it only really made sense when I experienced it first hand when working on planting fruit and vegetables with a group of ‘difficult’ children. I had to account for every hour of training given in school and college, though I couldn’t work out why this was my resposibility, in an unworkable Word document. We help you find schools the easy way. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE. She works from 8am until 6.30pm everyday at school, gets home and until at least midnight planning lessons, marking etc. I’m currently on the SD primary route and very close to throwing in the towel! However, after reading many people blogged (who tried/failed) to gain a place has somewhat unnerved me. The biggest is financial as I get a bursary and loans, I have no partner to support me but my mental health is more important than money so please if you’re reading look after yourselves. When I started applying for the (hugely competitive) Salaried School Direct, however, I realised that as a career-changer, I was the exception. Tell us a little about yourself to get started. In short: As you can see, I found the School Direct Salaried route very tough (I came very close to quitting at least once, but I was lucky in having an amazing mentor and colleagues who pulled me through). I completely lost all confidence in myself and as a result I convinced myself that teaching wasn’t for me. I just dont know if I will be able to cope with the work load especially as my youngest child will only be 3 years old. And every school is different – if you can hang on in there, you may get a job in a school where the SLT are supportive. I can’t believe I went through the lengthy application procedure, welcomed as the new trainee even before I got my application in (!) I don’t think I should quit because of one or two mentors that have made me feel inadequate. I could do the occasional 70-hour week but I will not do that as a matter of course. © 2020 Virtual Classroom Software Powered by Electa Live | Need Help?Virtual Classroom Software Powered by Electa Live | Need Help? I don’t know why people like that become teachers, but I’ve heard enough stories at college to conclude they do exist. I was lucky enough to have a very supportive mentor who kept me going when I was finding it tough. Thanks again for the advice/wake-up call. I am currently school direct salaried just coming up towards the easter break, On Friday I ate a dodgy meal in a restaurant which has completely knocked me for six – gastric flu. My children are almost 16, 13 and 11 and my wife works from home which makes life much easier. You can apply to up to three different alliances 2. PGCE failed first placement. As a School Direct trainee, you'll follow a modified version of the PGCE course structure. The shift in ‘ownership’ from universities to schools left many confused as to who was in charge, and some things were neglected as each institution thought the other was dealing with it. If yes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, Hello, NB: Since writing this post I have moved to secondary teaching – please read comments below – my views may have changed since writing this article! Teaching, writing essays, evidence files has just taken its toll and I just feel like I want to admit myself into a hospital. The plan has always been to train to teach once my youngest starts school (2018) and I’d so love to but I am very conflicted! Like the OP, I’m going to look at supply work until I can find a role in a different sector, then get out and never return! I get paid double what I would as a teacher, but all I dream about is teaching. Latterly I got up early on Saturday and tried to finish planning by early Saturday afternoon, leaving me with clear, guilt-free family time, making me (and those around me) happier. 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. Will you be shadowing someone, i.e. Also, are your fellow SD’ers all former TAs? One teacher said she does a 70-hour week. Which UNI out of these two should i go to? Perhaps plan 1 lesson and get some feedback from your class teacher? I spent my first school week in a state of shock. I just dont know anymore! I have probably been given requires improvement 50 times!! Thanks so much for your help! Trust me secondary is NOT the easier route, many primary SD I meet feel they have it easier as we teach so many different year groups and the subject knowledge has to be to such a significant standard, for me in 3 subjects. I know she will be a fantastic teacher if she can just stick with it a bit longer. Find your group chat here >>, Uni students may not return until February. I’m a single Mum of 3 young kids and have the opportunity for SD or PGCE. There was no other possible route for me into teaching. Yo empezaré School Direct en septiembre. Differences between SCITT and School Direct (unsalaried) programmes? However, these all sound like horror stories, like a nervous breakdown is part of the course! she works every weekend doing the same thing and is getting paid 12k for the luxury! People’s experience of the scheme has been wildly varying, depending on the school they are working in. 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. 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.’. Like you all I want to do is teach. I plan to apply for school direct salaried primary teaching this coming September but I am having doubts on to how much school experience or qualifications would be good enough for the schools to choose me for interviews? I’ve just retracted two applications, which would involve further travel. I believe that it provides an excellent insight into the challenges and potential issues related to the SD ITT route. The sad thing is that I actually enjoy teaching and working with children. Hi All I recruit for School Direct for a secondary alliance of schools and there are some pretty awful recounts on here. 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. It’s giving me some serious food for thought as am currently debating whether or not to go into Primary Ed down the SD route or try a PGCE. Wasn’t tied into a school – but that may vary. 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. Salary will vary according to where you are. 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. This is definitely one of the most realistic posts that I have read about teacher training! 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. Accounts. Like you I had only had a few weeks experience before starting the course, but I have been placed with a mentor who has supported me very little in terms of being in the class with me. I have felt like such a bad mother/wife and many times I have asked myself is it worth it?. I also have loads of uni work to do ( assignments etc). Thank you so much for writing this blog. Hi, I'm starting my nonsalaried, Primary School Direct (PGCE) course in about 2 weeks (Scary!) I did my first full day of working as a voluntary TA today – at the school in which I’m hoping to train. Fingers crossed…. As my teaching load increased I found work-life balance increasingly hard to manage. Good luck to those that are able to secure the salaried route. I rarely see daylight and I miss my family time so much. PGCE with QTS trainees will balance school-led learning with university-led pedagogy and Master's modules 4. I don’t mind working in the evenings, but working until the wee small hours every night – and at the weekends – sounds like a family breakdown waiting to happen. Hi there, thank you so much for your post it has shed some light on what to expect. Company status Active Company type Private limited Company Incorporated on 9 February 2001. I do wonder if I may have been better suited to secondary teaching. Congrats on succeeding in such a difficult career . Or was it a tax lawyer who packed it in to become a tree surgeon and then tried teaching? 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). I also fell behind in a course assignment as I was kept out of the school for ten days and couldn’t give the classes I was then to document. I would say to anyone having difficulty or doubts about SD ….don’t do it, it’s really not worth it. I have just completed my Hons degree in education attaining a 2:1 (primary) . I’ve spent the last 2 days crying due to being advised I’m potentially going to fail my first term on behaviour management. I am in Primary. There are 8 Levels in the Direct English course, with 85 learning hours per level. I would literally never see my son. The team are friendly, helpful and communicate regularly to ensure an excellent service to both our parents and us. 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 have a lot of experience private tutoring and was planning on getting some classroom experience over the coming months. 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’ve just started some long-term supply work and, though it’s very early days, this is going well so far. The job literally takes over your life, every waking moment, and for me it’s just unsustainable and sadly, unenjoyable. In Inner London I was on more than £12k but that might be right for outside London. Im glad you are happier now and in a role that you are enjoying. This has been by far the hardest year of my entire life and I have done a lot of difficult things! Hi Kate – sorry to hear your daughter is having such a tough time. I still think being a state school class primary teacher is, in the current climate, ridiculously stressful and suited only to the very committed, very young, very childless, very single, very friendless. Others on my course have been into different year groups each term because the school wants to give them as much experience as possible – I’ve been in the same year group from the start with a 4 week placement after Easter scheduled – I’ve been told I’m wholly responsible for the progress of that class this year! I’d like to build on this in my future career, teaching debating as a skill and also taking children to Parliament to find out more about how we are governed. I was able to see possible links between this and a child who, unexpectedly, started to seek attention through petty theft and vandalism. I feel torn between my head and my heart on what I should do. ‘Light touch’ management certainly helps, along with teaching a subject you love. Your training will take place in a school that will deliver specific training tailored to your requirements and the school's needs. I went to my spare room and sat there and just cried for ages. Educational issues impacting primary schools, 2020 Teach First Official Applicants Thread. I’ve decided to change direction and have an interview for School Direct Salaried for Secondary English. I am just left to get on with it and sometimes feel undervalued- unappreciated. Any advice gratefully accepted! My other thought is moving towards family support work or social work or SEN teaching just don’t know where to go to for advice. Much of the other was for Special needs but I ’ ve two degrees in my new role on... Morning to fill SD mature student touch – have a dialogue about learning with university-led and! Ll probably buckle where it varied slightly deriving pleasure from other younger students were shocking and some schools seem have. It to the practical ( or not ) from the department for education ( school direct hours ) some classroom experience and., in terms of stress and workload, have been totally different career path in finance I would as salaried! 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