How did you find the application process to initial teacher training?
Initially the application process to initial teacher training seemed bewildering. Even after deciding that I was going to quit my job and become a maths teacher, there were so many questions and options that it was difficult to know where to start. Did I want to do a university led PGCE, Schools Direct or a SCITT? What even is a SCITT and how is it different to Schools Direct? Do I apply through UCAS* or DfE Apply, and what’s the difference? How do I choose between all the different providers? Do I actually want or need a PGCE? Do any of these choices restrict the places I might be able to work in the future?
Fortunately there are lots of places to get help. I knew a couple of teachers so I sought out their views. I’m a career changer, so I went along to a couple of Now Teach events and asked loads of questions to people like me who had already done it. I scoured the Get Into Teaching website and registered for their online events. Through this process I narrowed down the options and settled on the SCITT route, and then got introduced to a friend of a friend who had just done exactly what I was aiming to do and left a career in finance to teach maths at a state secondary school. He recommended the National Maths and Physics SCITT, and I really liked the fact that it was subject-specific and on-the-job training, with the vast majority of my year spent in school.
I ended up applying for two SCITTs, and had an interview with both. Each asked me to prepare a short lesson to teach, but as this was peak COVID time it was all online and no actual students were involved. The process of preparing the short lessons was incredibly valuable for me – doing some research into pedagogical approaches, thinking about resources I wanted to use and practicing by teaching my wife about the volume of spheres. The interviews were both great – as well as teaching my short lessons I got to ask loads of questions about the structure of the courses and got to meet the actual teachers I’d be working with in the placement schools.
The whole application process was very smooth. Both providers were very friendly, clear and efficient in their communication, but NMAPS stood out for me as I really felt they cared about me as an individual applicant. I was offered a place on the programme a day or two after my interview. Now two months into teaching, I think I ended up in the right place for me, and am looking forward to qualifying as a teacher and helping to inspire the next generation of mathematicians.
By Marcus Cheadle.
*Message from the Scholarships Team: From 2021/22 applications to teacher training in England are through Apply For Teacher Training, the government’s teacher training application portal.
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