before I started. I understand that they say it gets easier but the work life balance that I was used to is never going to be the same. Would you be willing to answer a few questions? 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. Also there are parents evenings or CPD training every week. Would you prefer the gradual immersion into the classroom via the PGCE route or do want to jump straight in through School Direct? I sometimes want to grab the teachers and scream that no I don’t have any experience, certainly not at lesson planning (not much from the uni element either) and you knew this when you took me on! I, like yourself, had only had minimal experience in a classroom prior to this. Im surprised that we are still together tbh. 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. I certainly found getting work much more challenging when I decided to specialise and transfer to Secondary. Is it possible or will I go mad? I’m hugely passionate about this idea; for me, it’s the fundamental reason why I became a teacher. I owe over two thousand pounds of the £9,000 loan I took out. Whatsmore I’ll also have a tutor group to manage, it may be a shared responsibility or not..I don’t know yet. They can be very passionate about issues, but need to develop skills to organise their thoughts, and express their ideas more clearly. It’s like extreme writers’ block. Hi. Although I have no background in a school teaching environment I do have time spent as an instructor in the military. I’m no stranger to working ridiculous hours – sometimes 8am – 1am, which doesn’t go down too well at home. 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! Does anyone have any experience of teaching RE on an SD scheme? My second school experience in Year 2 in a different school brought a new, milder form of culture shock. Thank you for writing this blog. 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. Somehow, I did. In writing, if possible. 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 . We are also left with £9000 + debts incurred with fees. I am actively undermined by everyone who has observed me since I requested a new mentor. He did receive a small salary (£9,000 which was a substantial drop in his earnings) – the amount you receive depends on the subject you’re training to teach and the grade of your first degree. However I really don’t think it is for me. I am just left to get on with it and sometimes feel undervalued- unappreciated. Hi Marie, apologies for the late reply. If so it might be do-able? A bursary of up to £25,000, depending on age, phase or subject and qu… The mentor that you raise any issues/problems with is the same person assessing and marking your performance, a conflict of interest if ever there was one. 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. Considering SDS for secondary English. Although my experience with children/classroom is minimal at the moment, I have both primary and secondary experience lined up. She saw me through tough times with her unquenchable optimism, Tigger to my Eeyore, working with me much as she would with children in her class, talking through my lesson plans in detail, making me realise for myself what would and wouldn’t work, and making my lessons better as a result. Schools can then offer their trainees permanent roles at the end of the training. I feel torn between my head and my heart on what I should do. I survived a year as a School Direct (Salaried) trainee. They impressed me with their hard work, and the great care they took handling living things; one child in particular, whose behaviour could be very challenging, was a joy to work with. How are you finding secondary compared to primary in terms of planning and resource making? The program is scheduled to begin February 1, 2021 for 3 and 4 … Hope that’s not too depressing – please keep in touch, and good luck! Clearly, fixed whole days are likely to be more productive. With trainees in school from day one, working alongside your existing team, it is a great opportunity for them to gain insight into life as a teacher and to be supported by those already doing the job. Have you left your former job yet? Hello I read your article before applying and re-read today and it’s scary how much rings true. Yet even in line with school sanctions they still persist. Added 'School Direct (salaried) funding manual 2019 to 2020 academic year'. Were you successful in re-applying for a course? 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities were surveyed and asked how many hours of homework they had each night. Can anyone please advise? I read this article with great interest. Would I recommend the School Direct route to anyone? Not sure why I feel in such turmoil over doing it! My training gave me a greater understanding of where this behaviour was coming from, so I could deal with the child more effectively and sensitively. A few questions: aside from your mentor, do you have a qualified class teacher with you working as your TA when you are teaching? This is definitely one of the most realistic posts that I have read about teacher training! 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). Thanks so much for your help! 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. losing confidence and being unable to be MYSELF. Of course the holidays suggest that it may be a family-friendly career, but you need an incredibly supportive partner and stable home environment. Sorry it’s can’t afford to do pgce in my last comment *. This helped me appreciate the benefit to children of learning this way, reaching your own conclusions rather than just being told the answer. I’m not surprised. The risk paid off. But I am worried this is out of the frying pan into the fire. I think it’s hard for anyone who’s been teaching for any length of time to understand the sheer horror of being a trainee teacher, staring at a blank lesson proforma. I’ve just retracted two applications, which would involve further travel. Good luck, and I’d love to hear what you decide to do. I am so glad I tried it because I would have always wondered what if? School Direct. Secondary teachers may shoot me down in flames, but my suspicion is that their workload is often less than primary teachers’ in most schools, plus they can specialise in a subject they love. Thank you Emma – good to hear a positive experience. Shortly before the start of the summer term I was asked ‘How do you feel about the 80% teaching load?’ A fair question, but I think I coped better than expected. Omg! The other difference, or so I believed, was that School Direct was aimed at people like me: career changers. 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. Being a primary class teacher in a state school was not something I could sustain, certainly, but I will offer a few crumbs of comfort: everyone says it gets better, and even in my new NQT year I am finding planning (if not marking) is taking me less time than it used to. Hi. This is nothing short of a miracle, but it was the children and some amazing colleagues who made it possible. This non-salaried route is run by a school, or group of schools, that work closely with a university or school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) consortium that certifies … I’ve spent the whole weekend contemplating my future (whilst still trying to plan lessons!). And bursaries are available for some PGCE courses, but often limited to certain subjects. I was lucky enough to have a very supportive mentor who kept me going when I was finding it tough. New colleagues, new children, a larger school, classrooms so much physically larger I almost had agoraphobia on my first day. It’s funny, so many people have asked why I don’t go for primary teaching because I think they think that’s the ‘easier’ option (hanging out with cute, adoring kids all day). 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. 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.’. 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. I’ve heard a few stories about mentors who grind students down – I’m sure they are the exception, but I’ve heard enough to think there are some odd people in the profession, and I wonder why they became teachers if they dislike helping people so much. Not worth it long the classroom more productive works from 8am until 6.30pm everyday at school, classrooms so.! ( assignments etc ) not believe I have just completed my Hons degree education... Of our school experience in a situation similar to mine our Partnership schools ; experienced in supporting development... 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