Calling all teachers…

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  • Calling all teachers…
  • After nearly 20 years in business, I’ve been making the move towards teaching over the last year or so. Currently studying a masters in outdoor education and have an interview for a PGDE (same as PGCE) next week to be a secondary geography teacher – course starting in August.

    Frankly starting to cack myself about the interview.

    Anyone else been down this route and have some interview tips for these? Also – big problem – what to wear!? I reckon a full on suit isn’t the way to go but neither are jeans. Shirt/chino type combination? A jacket at all (with or without elbow patches 😉

    Any info gladly received.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    don’t worry it will probably snow and you can go outside and play instead…..


    Brown patches over the elbow of your suit surely for geography 😉

    Just wear a suit as no one will think anything bad about that choice so it is safe choice.

    The interview will be straightforward – why you want to teach and your experience etc

    good luck


    A full on suit will be fine if thats what makes you feel comfortable. Jackets and chinos are ok as well but I’d say ties definitely required.

    For the interview you just need to show that you have really thought about the career change. Be passionate about your subject and why you think you’ll be a good teacher. Find some examples in your job where you’ve coached someone to do something new.

    Enjoy it. They hardly ever say no entry to the courses.


    Yes to the suit. As for preparation, just read up on current issues in education (terminal exams for one) and make sure you have a clue about what you intend to teach if you haven’t studied for a while.

    Thanks guys – good info – might dig out the suit after all! I think I’ll have no problem on the geography front or the passion/commitment – if anything I’m going to struggle on the current issues point – so I’m all over the education websites at the moment too.

    Premier Icon ampthill

    I think theymainkly wabt to know that you are going to work hard and thayou are realistic about taking on a challenge

    Any examples of working with youg people or leadership that you might be abvle to dig up from say your masters will be gold dust

    but i don’t think its all make or brake on the interview


    Suit and all the above, also be aware of how much work and a change in direction it is. Enjoy, I do!


    I’m a geography teacher who did a PGDE. Two questions to better answer your question:

    England or Scotland?
    What have they asked you to do for the interview?

    Premier Icon miketually

    Suit if you have one. Trousers, shirt, tie if you don’t.

    Premier Icon boxelder

    I’m a geog teacher/head dept etc thinking of going the other way and leaving!
    Currently you don’t teach, you lead learning – it’s about what the kids do. Remember you’re teaching kids first, grog second. As a mature applicant, you’ll be fine. Teaching is at best fun and rewarding and at worst frustrating and exhausting. PGCEs are hard work – prepare yourself and good luck. Feel free to email if you have specific qus

    Premier Icon househusband

    Looking at your previous posts and the fact you’re looking at a PGDE I’m guessing you are indeed Scots..?

    Assuming so – get up to speed on the basics of CfE! I did my PGDE at Moray House several years ago. We seem, at last, to be out of the period of temp-only contracts so prospects are better.


    Don’t be tempted to teach in Further Education.

    Tom B

    I was a classroom teacher part time a few years back and hated it. That was in a high achieving school too!


    bokonon, why not?
    good luck dazzlinboy, been thinking about it myself, although i was leaning more toward FE

    I am currently doing my PGCE. the interview, one to one with the tutor, was very relaxed and I was honest about my views on teaching and what it meant to me. most importantly I was able to get across the reason WHY i wanted to be a teacher because I’d been told to prepare for that question.

    the other major thing covered in the interview was my subject knowledge, what I knew, what I didn’t etc. againl I was honest and said I needed to refresh some things but felt prepared to teach up to KS3 at that point and with a bit of studying I am now teaching upto GCSE KS4.

    The work load is intense and at times you will want to quit but as long as you are organised and prepared you will be ok.

    Good luck, any specific questions, drop me and email (in profile)

    no money in FE or job security

    just be realistic, it can be an interesting job with a few downsides, but all jobs have those

    be prepared to be asked what you think the challenges are, and of course try and read up on CfE


    Currently studying for my pgce (KS2) and if I can give you any advice it is to be yourself.

    Don’t prepare scripted answers and let you passion for teaching shine through.

    Let them know you understand how hard teaching and the course are but that it’s just part of the journey to becoming a teacher.

    Blow them away with your lesson if you have to teach one.

    Oh and good luck! The course is tough!


    bokonon, why not?
    good luck dazzlinboy, been thinking about it myself, although i was leaning more toward FE

    As has been noted above – the money is crap, even in education terms, and there is zero job security – given that FE shrank during the boom years, the current government are doing it no favours and colleges are making significant cuts to departments all the time – I worked in FE for 6 years and was put at risk of redundancy 3 times, and I felt my self lucky to get only that. I’d guess that in any one year, 25% of FE colleges are putting staff at risk of redundancy.

    Morale tends to be very low, with directorate coming in with little or no understanding of education – the person who made 90% of the decisions and did all the negotiating with the union where I worked was an accountant, was very good at it, but knew the square root of F all about standing in a class room – how long it takes to prepare a lesson, do some marking etc.

    FE is, broadly, a testing round for the rest of the education sector, if you look at the incorporation process of the early 90’s, it’s almost a mirror for the free school/academy changes we get now – except FE lecturers were less well organised and less able to take on the changes – because they were nationally implemented.

    School head teachers do tend to have a better idea about what it takes to do the job, which helps generally – although it’s no bed of roses by any means – they are being squeezed just like everything else – but FE has been getting it in the neck through the good times, so the bad times are that little bit worse, more precarious, more bullying management, more obtrusive micromanagement strategies.

    (I was on the National Exec of the FE lecturers union (UCU) for a while and got to see a pretty good cross section of what was going on, and it wasn’t pretty.)

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