Wanting to become a teacher in Northern Ireland? Want to stay in Northern Ireland to teach? Have a read of this before you make up your mind.
So my journey to becoming a teacher wasn’t straight forward at all. I studied my undergraduate degree in Queen’s then when I was finished that, I knew for certain I wanted to be a teacher. I started applying for PGCE in Northern Ireland, well the only PGCE in Northern Ireland – Coleraine programme. I got through to interview stage two years in a row and didn’t make the cut to study my PGCE there. Fed up with the process I decided to apply to England (to the horror of my parents – I’m very much a homebird.) I got accepted my first time applying and studied in the beautiful city of Newcastle. It was one of the toughest but best years of my life as I got to teach in fantastic schools and meet other fantastic teachers. So you go to university and if you’re like me you spend approximately £24,000 to study to become a teacher.
To come home to find that there are actually no jobs in your hometown. When I say no jobs I mean – no jobs unless you someone high up in a school who can get you in. You can disagree with me on this but I’ve been in enough schools to see this happening on a continual basis. For example, I was in a school on Friday and one of the teachers is asking me about my time as a teacher and I ask her back only to find she’s a sub too but shes gotten two years in a row (without interview) in the same school. Oh you’ve the same surname as the principal… makes sense now. I don’t come from a family of teachers – I’m the only teacher in my family so I’m not going to get a job through knowing the right people.
So unless you are a musical person, or know someone who is a principal or an influential member of a school. You’re unlikely to get a job easily. Not saying you will never get a job but even if you meet all the criteria and perform really well in your interview… chances are there is someone already in place for that specific job.
Do you find this happening in your hometown too? I’m genuinely interested to know. Leave a comment below