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U.K training and development agency website.

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    • More +
      02.05.2010 01:51
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      A must for anyone considering a career in teaching

      www.tda.gov.uk is the website of The Training and Development Agency for Schools. There are six sections to the website, namely
      * Get Into Teaching - information for those interested in entering into a career in the teaching profession.
      * Teachers - Help, advice and support for current classroom teachers (Including Newly Qualified Teachers)
      * Support Staff - Information for those working or interested in working as teaching assistants and, to a lesser extent, other school support staff
      * School Leaders - Headteachers and senior leaders
      * Remodelling - Support for schools in the changing education environment
      * Partners - other stakeholders and issues.

      I first came across this site when I sparked an interest in becoming a teacher. Since then I have gone through the application and GTTR process (see my earlier GTTR review) and now hold a conditional offer to start a PGCE course in a few months time. This review will consider the helpfulness of www.tda.gov.uk in making my decision to apply for a career in teaching, hence focusing on the 'Getting into Teaching' section.

      www.tda.gov.uk is a must for anyone considering entering the teaching profession. The website is clear and easy to use and address the main issues that any prospective teacher might have. The main body of the site contains six coloured boxes which give information on what would appear to be the most frequently asked questions for potential trainees - behind each of these boxes, the user is brought to another section of the website which provides clear and concise information on the things they have been wondering,

      To give an example, the first box gives information on the various methods of getting into a teaching profession. Once you click on this tab, a series of questions are asked all on individual screens so as not to overwhelm the user with too much information. I think this is a clever way of defining the ways into teaching as not every option is going to be suitable for every candidate - what I mean is, the first screen will ask basic questions such as 'Do you have GCSE English and Mathematics?' This is an essential prerequisite for becoming a teacher so if the user answers no to this question they are immediately brought to the options they have - for example, given information on equivalency courses which may be of interest or use - again this is a way of tailoring the information the reader receives to the individual, rather than listing all the ways into the profession that some people may not be able to consider for various reasons.

      Other information included in this section, and the ones I found particularly useful were the sections entitled 'Life as Teacher' and 'Advice and Events'

      'Life as Teacher'
      I found this section particularly useful as it address a lot of questions that potential users may have about once they have qualified - rather than devoting the whole site to encouraging and helping people to get onto teacher training courses, it aims to give users a snapshot of what they can expect once they have qualified. Examples of the topics covered in this section include:

      * Information on what teachers can be expected to earn
      * Ways in which their careers can be developed and augmented
      * The basic timetable a teacher follows - hours of work and holidays.
      * What their place will be in a school; and
      * The different types of school they may choose to work at.

      'Advice and Events'

      Far from simply trying to get everyone to consider a career in the profession, this section of the website aims to ensure that those with an interest, are sure that they are making the right decision - ie, it gives the user the opportunity to test the ways in which they can be sure that teaching is right for them (and that they are right for teaching). The sub topics in this section include advise and guidance on:

      * Spending time in a school
      * Arranging 'Taster Days' at local universities
      * Speaking to those already in the profession, and;
      * Links to further support such as telephone advice and careers information.

      I found this section particularly useful as it was through this that I was able to arrange to spend some time in a local secondary school, shadowing the head of department in an attempt to get a feel for what working as a teacher was really like.

      Overall, I would recommend this site for anyone considering a career in the profession - it did answer a lot of my questions and addressed any apprehensions I had. They also offer telephone advice and give information on funding and financial support available to trainees which has also been a massive help. Definitely worth a visit.

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      • More +
        29.05.2009 10:54
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        A great resource for trainee teachers or people with an interest in the profession

        So having always enjoyed playing 'teachers' as a child with whoever would give up their precious time to be my 'students', I finally decided last year after much soul searching and what not to go into the profession.

        I've already enroled on an undergraduate English course to begin this autumn but getting into teaching is a lot more difficult than most people imagine. There's so many different types of courses, ways to get experience, so much that is required of you both academically and professionally and trying to make head and tail of what is actually wanted from you and how you'll be able to fund yourself whilst you train etc. is extremely mind boggling and has given me many a sleepless night since I made the decision to pursue a career in education.

        That's where the TDA come in. After trawling through Google and speaking to many experienced teachers I kept hearing this name thrown around. The TDA are basically the Training and Development Agency for Schools. The organisation works alongside various other agencies to ensure that the highest standard of teaching and learning are delivered in the classroom and this is done by focusing on training teachers themselves as well as other staff that make up the education establishment.

        Logging onto the official website [see below] brings you to a nice and easy to navigate site that is set out with various pictures of teachers and children in a classroom environment. You've probably seen the adverts on television that try to make out that learning is the most amazing experience ever and that teachers have a brilliant life and its all smiles and such. Obviously this fools nobody! But the TDA have virtually everything you'll need on their website to help you decide whether teaching really is for you.

        By registering with them for free you will be eligible to receive information through the post which amongst other things includes a magazine crammed full with all sorts of articles on teaching, learning styles and discipline tactics. This is also completely free and is sent out once every school term.

        The toolbar that runs down the left hand side of the website enables you to access all the information you'll need telling you about the different routes into teaching as well as the various academic steps that you will need to take and any qualifications you'll need. Every individual's circumstances are different but there seems to be a way for almost anybody to get into teaching whether you're a fresh, young, student or someone who wishes to make a career leap.

        Also, There's plenty of information letting you know all about what the application process is like, how life REALLY is in the classroom and most importantly how you're going to be able to afford to train for this qualification and not starve at the same time. The financial rewards and loans are very promising, even if you choose to take a postgraduate route into education.

        Perhaps the most important part of the site is the section 'Find out what teaching is like'. This enables you to arrange a visit to a school in your area, or attend various other open days or if you're a university student, land a placement in a school environment and receive a bursary for your stay there.

        The TDA uses simple and enthusiastic language that bounces off the page and puts all of your fears at ease. There's loads of extras including a practise interview and help completing your initial application form. You're made to feel cared about and as if you're not alone and this is constantly reinforced by the communications between TDA and yourself. They don't harrass you with phonecalls and such but that connection is there.

        You can request booklets containing more information if you wish though most of the ones I've received are really just rehashes of the web pages in printed format.

        The TDA aims to provide a strong and solid classroom environment for both the pupil and the teacher and all the fears and myths that revolve around entering this profession are blown away once you've actually taken the time to consider everything that's presented here. Whilst there's probably lots of other resources out there, this is the most accurate and up to date site I have came across and it has everything that I needed to know as well as so much more.

        If you're about to enter the profession or are curious then I'd fully recommend checking out the website.

        Website - http://www.tda.gov.uk/

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