Teresa Morgan (Terri's group): the truth about teaching narrative March 2014
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25 March 2014
Title The Truth about Teaching work shop.
Working as a career coach, for a company that specialises in helping individuals going through outplacement (redundancy). I noticed a lot of clients were interested in moving from the private sector into education. Most of these clients were professionals and were interested in teaching. Many were referred to me for 1:1 sessions, often unsure if this was the path they wanted to pursue. I therefore suggested that the business run a workshop to highlight the truth about teaching.
The workshop was run in a conference room set up with a large table, at the top of which was a portal for a laptop, a screen and a projector (which made the room hot and was quite noisy).
The delegates (of which there were a maximum of 12), came from a range of businesses and were all going through various stages of outplacement (some had just found out their job would be finishing, others had been looking for work for a number of months). They also had different professional qualifications, backgrounds and ages.
The workshop was very much aimed at those who were interested in teaching as a potential future career.
The workshop aimed to give a realistic overview of teaching in Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Education. The measure of success would be the client feedback, some would decide that teaching was not for them, others would arrange 1:1 meetings to investigate entry into teaching.
The workshop used a power point presentation to run through specific areas:
- Relationships/notice periods/the staffroom
- The teaching day (partly to dispel the belief of many candidates that being a school teacher would fit with their role as a parent once their children were at primary school).
- Pay scales.
- Which age range would you like to teach? (looked at varying classroom demands, relationships with students, parents and fellow teachers)
- How to investigate your preferences further – an overview of the qualifications required.
- Finding a teaching route that suits you.
- What happens once you’re qualified?
- What to do between now and the course start
Whilst the power point slides were being talked through, examples of lesson plans for Primary and Secondary schools were shown, candidates were invited to ask questions. There were also leaflets that had been produced by the Teacher Development Agency which candidates could take away. Where relevant pages of these were highlighted for example pay scales.
The feedback from the workshop (each candidate is asked to give feedback on the course structure, which 3 things they will take away from the workshop, what they found most and least useful). Were overall very positive. One candidate was disappointed as they wanted to be a Teaching Assistant. Several candidates went on book 1:1 appointments with me for further help with the best route into teaching for them, 4 candidates decided teaching was not for them.
The first time this was run, the workshop was oversubscribed. I felt that I got the information needed across, however some of those attending were interested in becoming Teaching Assistants (which the course did not cover). Some candidates walked away having decided teaching wasn’t for them (which I had anticipated) others wanted to know if there were ways of circumventing the qualifications needed to teach (which I hadn’t quite considered).
Many found that there was a lot of information covered (this was on the feedback sheet).
I found the number of candidates was too many. When this workshop was repeated although I used the same structure, because there were fewer candidates (often fewer than 6) I was able to use a different style. I would initially highlight the areas I was planning to cover and then sit down at the same table and explain the material but with more opportunity to ask for client experiences.
The workshop literature was also adjusted to highlight that the course was not aimed at those interested in becoming teaching assistants.
The workshop made less use of the power point presentation, partly as with smaller numbers it was possible to tailor the presentation to them and have more of a discussion type format. Also because the powerpoint conveyed information professionally it also made the room hot when the room was full.
For the first session there were 14 candidates. Some of the feedback was that the room had been cramped and stuffy. For this reason the number of candidates was also reduced.