How to secure a place on a teacher training course
Before you apply for a course you’ll need to prepare. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to get a place on your first choice course.
So do your research. Talk to teachers about teaching, they’ll give you invaluable insight into what’s involved. You could also arrange some work experience at a local school and consider attending any teacher training events nearby. You’ll also need to register with UCAS .
Consider the qualities you’ll bring to teaching
As part of your preparation, you’ll also need to think about why you want to teach. Be clear on your reasons and assured about how you can make a difference. Also think about the skills and commitment you’ll bring to your course – and the experience you’ve gained from any time you’ve spent in schools.
Consider the transferable skills you have from any previous employment and make sure you have a reasonable understanding of current policies and practices in education.
Choose a training provider
Selecting the right course is extremely important. If you search ‘education’ under undergraduate options on UCAS, you’ll see all the options available from the following eight universities in Scotland that provide teacher training:
- The University of Aberdeen
- University of Dundee
- The University of Edinburgh
- University of Glasgow
- University of the Highlands and Islands
- The University of Stirling
- The University of Strathclyde
- University of the West of Scotland
Please note that PGDE courses appear in undergraduate options.
It’s worth comparing all the course options and providers but make sure you also consider things like location and costs so that you’re properly prepared for your time on the course.
Prepare your personal statement
Your personal statement gives you a chance to showcase your experience and articulate your reasons for wanting to teach.
You should think about the qualities you have that will work well in the classroom. How do your previous studies and work experience relate to your chosen subject or age group? What did you learn on school experience placements to influence your application? How have you benefited from other experiences of working with children or young people?
Craft your statement carefully, make sure you review it thoroughly before you submit it, and double-check the spelling and grammar.
Arrange your references
Good references are essential. Check the referee requirements for your course and choose your referees carefully. You should always double-check with your referees that they’re happy to give a reference. Remember also to check that they are happy to fill in the UCAS request online.
Prepare for interviews
If your application is successful, you’ll be invited for interviews at your chosen universities. At this point you need to make sure you’ve done your research. What do you know about the school or university that will be leading your training?
You’ll also need copies of all your personal documentation, including examination certificates. Finally, be prepared for the interview itself. It could involve group tasks, discussions, short individual presentations, personal interview (either one-to-one or with a panel) or written tasks that could involve a literacy test and/or subject-based test.