What Advice Would You Give To Someone Deciding Which Provider To Choose? - By Emma McLaughlin
One of the most important things to remember is that every course is different, even those with the same name. The aim is to choose the course that best fits your personal needs. Talk to as many people as possible and make sure that all your questions (even if they sound silly) are answered so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. The experience and insights of teachers who have been through the process will be invaluable to helping make your decision.
Here are just three of the many questions to consider:
What experience have you got?
Training courses are often tailored to different levels of experience. For example, if you are making a career change from a job involving young people, a school direct salaried programme may be the most suitable. Always check the experience level that is expected from you. If you have no experience with young people, then I would recommend going out there and getting some because it can look great on an application and help you make decisions about your preferred course content.
How much does the course cost and what financial support can you get?
Courses can cost anywhere from £0 to £9250, so this is an important factor to consider. Do your research and do not forget to read the small print! Never assume that you are guaranteed to qualify for student loans and/or bursaries and grants from the government or any other official organisations. Government bursaries are awarded depending on your subject and degree award while other organisations, such as professional bodies, will offer financial support (often in the form of scholarships) to selected trainees after assessment days or interviews.
What kind of support is offered while on the course?
On day one of training, I was warned that there would be tears along the way and it did not take long to find out this was true. Mentors and fellow experienced teachers are essential to guide you through your course. When you are making your decision ask about support available on a day-to-day basis, pastorally and CPD availability. Meaningful and accessible support will make a difference and if you have it, ensure to make use of it! You are only a trainee once.
In a nutshell: ask questions and do your research. Do not let anyone give you an answer that is not good enough and always speak up if you do not understand something.
Training will not be easy, in any sense of the word, no matter where you go you will need a strong helping of determination, motivation and dedication. However, it will also be extremely rewarding, exciting and, without a doubt, completely worth it.
By Emma McLaughlin
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