Is teaching your back-up?

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Anastasia Miari – student blogger

Teaching, for a lot of us, is a back up. If all else fails, then teach, right? If this is your mindset, maybe you should consider taking part in the Student Associates Scheme, as I did for three weeks this summer.

Along with a great number of students, before this summer I thought that teaching would be a brilliant fall back if my acting/ journalism/TV-producing career doesn’t exactly go to plan. Lets face it, the country’s not getting any richer and jobs aren’t exactly being handed out willy nilly. So, I decided that I’d see if teaching was actually for me.

The Student Associates Scheme is organised by The University of Manchester in association with TDA for university students with an interest in a career in teaching. It consists of five different workshops/training days in Special Needs Education, Behaviour Management, Lesson Planning, Ethnicity and Diversity and Widening Participation. These training days give a real insight into what the three-week placement will involve and also prepare you for any possible challenges you may face during placement.

After taking part in the workshops, you are assigned a school in the Manchester region (I organised my own placement at home but if you’re going to do this, you need to get it sorted fast.) The placement takes place from mid June for three weeks. I was a little disconcerted at the thought of having to do homework during my long awaited break from academia (I had to fill in daily logbooks reflecting on my progress) but to be honest, it really wasn’t that much work and I did get record of my achievement as well as £600… Oh yes, I forgot to mention you get paid.

So, could I manage hyperactive eight year-olds all learning to join their i’s and their t’s with biros for the first time? Or was it rowdy teenagers all eager to get one over on the non-teacher for popularity’s sake? I chose the teenagers.

After being interviewed, then attending the workshops I was keen to begin placement. Working as a drama teacher, I remembered my passion for my subject and felt I was achieving something by simply helping out. Even the naughty kids were enthusiastic and willing to get involved.

During placement, I worked with groups as well as individually and I taught whole lessons alone. I was worried about teaching my first lesson solo but it turned out I had nothing to worry about. After the lesson I even got an “Aw miss, you’re well better than Mr Veitch!”

The best thing about this work experience is that the whole process is made to be similar to how you would go about getting a job in teaching. After filling in an application, an interview ensues, then following the interview the workshops which in turn are followed by three weeks in which you actually immerse yourself in the role of a teacher.

Before this placement I thought that teaching would be a good back up plan; three challenging weeks and £600 later, I realise that teaching can’t just be a back up. A real enthusiasm and passion for your subject as well as a drive to disperse your knowledge is necessary. I don’t want to be a teacher unless I am a good one, and my placement with the SAS has made me see that I do have the potential to be a good teacher. PGCE after graduation has definitely become an option for me.

If you think teaching may be for you, I’d strongly advise you to take part. Applications and interviews are going on from now until February so get in there fast.

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One Response to Is teaching your back-up?

  1. Joe Heffer says:

    Thanks, this was an interesting post.

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