Friday, 18 November 2011

A bit inspired. A lot frustrated.

I've just finished a week spent in a secondary school as preparation for applying to teacher training. It's been a strange week - after all I haven't even really been in a school since I was at school - maybe thirty years ago. I suppose the good news is that the experience hasn't put me off - in fact I want to get some more time under my belt -  but it has made me much more frustrated about how I can now change direction.

Contrary to all those ads - and the articles about bankers seeing the error of their ways and turning to something more worthwhile -  nobody  is  falling over themselves to lure people  into teaching with incentives to change careers.

Certainly not if - like me - you're thinking about teaching something as 'un-useful' as History. Maybe I might stand more chance if I'd elected for Business Studies - god knows I've had more than enough experience in that area, but I've also had enough of that shit and I just don't think it belongs in schools. 

It gets worse: Forget about any golden handshakes - even those 'earn while you learn on the job' GTP schemes just don't seem to  be available for 'non-shortage' subjects either.  If I  get a place on a PGCE course for the next academic year  I will have to face the prospect of living on not much more than fresh air for a year whilst at college. And only then after several years of working my way up to get something like an average wage. But first of course I've got to find something to keep me going for before I can start in Autumn 2012 -  and whilst I'm fully resigned to never again earning as much as I did in my previous over-paid existence -  I'm still wrestling with the implications of inflicting that on my family.

And that's all assuming I can even get on a course  -  the laws of supply and demand mean that applications for teacher training are up 40%  this year - as a result of redundancies and mid-life crisis - or in my case both simultaneously. There's  a catch-22 too of having to demonstrate in your application that you have spent time  in schools (inevitably unpaid) - which is a hard thing to do when you've also trying to find a paying job to keep you going and puts the 'mature' career-changer with responsibilities at a big disadvantage against the recent graduate in their 20's who can afford to take a gap year volunteering. 

Perhaps I should make a case for age discrimination.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hi Journeyman. I've been reading your blog since you started writing on Dorain Cope's site, and although I've not commented before, it's been an interesting blog to follow.

I went to university back in 2001, to study English, possibly with a view to becoming an English teacher.

I'd make a good teacher, I think, but I struggled with the organisation and committment required for a full time degree course, and left after a term.

I now teach for a living, but I teach people how to drive. I've always loved driving, so it was a good fit.

The papers are full of adverts about how you could earn £30k a year. This is bollocks. There is a lot of competition for work, and I've never got anywhere near that figure.

But I am my own boss. Nobody tells me what colour tie to wear, or how I must always teach people how to reverse round a corner according to the management approved technique. It's a free and easy role, and I love it, although I will never become rich from doing it.

So it struck me that as someone who loves bikes, and is interested in being a teacher, you might want to look into becoming a qualified bike instructor.

It ain't my thing. I ain't a biker, so I can't tell you much about how you'd become qualified, or what the earning potential is, but that sort of stuff is easy enough to google.

For car instructors, there are two basic business models. You either work for yourself, and source your own pupils,or you pay a franchise fee to a school that then finds the pupils for you, or at least promises to (they're all full of shit in my experience. I now work for myself) Bike instructors are rarely sole traders. They nearly all work for a school, generally as waged employees.

Anyway, just a thought. If you want to know more about teaching driving, feel free to contact me me.