Blog Archives

Blog Archives

Working as a probationer teacher

TeachScotland 16th May 2018
featured image

As a probationer teacher, I had a few big epiphanies…

The first of which was just how important it is to build relationships with pupils, taking the time to know who they are, what they stand for, and what they like, makes a world of a difference. I learned that I can’t assume my pupils will automatically relate to me. I wasn’t a positive role model just by showing up. I had to work hard, notice them, and earn their respect. The pupils in my classes have a lot more going on in their lives than my classes. I had to pay attention to them if I wanted them to pay attention to me. I also had to learn to treat them as individuals; one size does not fit all and an effective teacher will understand the importance of fitting the curriculum to the pupil, not the pupil to the curriculum.

Second, accept that you are at the early stages of a journey of learning and that you will sometimes make mistakes. The important thing to do is reflect on how you can improve and allocate some time each week to your own development. Revisit notes from your teacher education programme, talk with and observe colleagues, and evaluate your own practice.

Third, as a teacher the classroom is your stage, you’re the star and you must make yourself and your pupils proud every single day. Your role is to motivate, encourage and inspire the young people in front of you. You must always show up prepared and with a positive attitude, because you are a role model and your pupils will follow your lead in your classroom, around the school and within the community. It is the most rewarding feeling when pupils understand something, make a connection, or are engaged because of something I said or did. The look on a student’s face when something clicks or they receive recognition for a job well done or earn a good grade after grappling with a specific topic or assignment, is priceless.

Fourth, the importance of planning and preparation. Planning kept me organised and focused. It’s hard to plan ahead when you’re doing so many other things, but it’s absolutely necessary. I tend to be a perfectionist but teaching helped me realise I can’t take the weight of the entire world on my shoulders. You must do the best you can, but that is all you can do.

Lastly, teaching is more than just a job. It is devotion to lifelong learning. Teachers not only get to share their existing knowledge, but they get to dig deeply into topics and learn something new along the way. You will experience job satisfaction, knowing that you’ve made a difference in many lives. As a teacher, you become a champion for your pupils; never giving up on them; understanding the power of connection and influencing them to become the best versions of themselves. Through interacting with students, parents and members of the community from a range of different backgrounds, you’ll gain greater understanding of your own society. By pursuing a career in teaching and doing a job that you love, you can inspire and awaken the hearts of others.

STEM Teacher Education Bursaries

TeachScotland 14th March 2018
featured image
  1. Bursaries will be available to career changers wishing to undertake a one year PGDE Initial Teacher Education (ITE) course in Scotland that leads to the award of registered teacher status in the hardest to fill STEM subjects. For applications to start a PGDE ITE course in August 2018 the eligible subjects will be Maths, Computing Science, Technical Education and Physics.
  2. The level of bursary will be £20,000 per student. The bursary is an incentive to ease the transition from giving up paid employment to undertake initial teacher education and will be over and above any normal student support provided by SAAS, as long as students meet the SAAS eligibility criteria. Eligible students will also have their tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government and must apply to SAAS to have them paid.


  1. Applicants will be expected to be in current employment and to have been in employment for at least three of the last five years (including career breaks), immediately prior to undertaking initial teacher education.
  2. Applicants will be expected to have a relevant degree at 2.1 or above with the required academic content to teach Maths, Computing Science, Technical Education, Physics or Chemistry. Normal entry requirements for PGDE Initial Teacher Education courses will also apply, including a requirement to have Higher English (or equivalent) and National 5/Credit level Maths (or equivalent). However, flexibility on entry requirement may be applied by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, and support can be provided for the provision of English/Maths qualifications if necessary.
  3. Applicants will be expected to have an offer of a place on a PGDE ITE programme at a Scottish university before applying.
  4. To qualify for the bursary students will need to satisfy SAAS residence conditions as outlined on the SAAS website:
    • Be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of the course (the relevant date).
    • Be ordinarily resident in Scotland on the relevant date (you will not be regarded as being ordinarily resident in Scotland if your main purpose in coming here is to receive full-time education and that you would have otherwise been living elsewhere).
    • Have ‘settled status’ in the UK (as set out in the Immigration Act 1971).
  5. Further information is available on residency eligibility is available on the SAAS website.
  6. Those already in receipt of any other subsidised ITE provision where salaries or allowances are already in place will not be eligible. Examples of such programmes include salaried Distance learning/Learn to teach programmes, Supported Induction route at Dundee, accelerated PGDE with masters at Strathclyde and PGDE Internships at Aberdeen university.


  1. Applications will go live from 3 April 2018. Applications should be made direct to the STEM Bursary Scotland website.
  2. Applicants will be informed if they have been successful within 28 days of receipt of their application. Payments will be made in 10 equal monthly instalments from September 2018 to June 2019 direct to students. In the event of an individual in receipt of a bursary withdrawing from the PGDE programme, payments will cease with immediate effect.
  3. On gaining PGDE, the individual will be required to undertake a place on the Teacher Induction Scheme to complete their standard for full registration and be expected to be employed as a teacher in Scotland for a minimum of 2 years following qualification.