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Subject Choice for Teaching

  • 14-03-2014 5:22pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,359 whiteandlight


    This thread is for information regarding what subject/s you are choosing for your teaching career and feedback from teachers in the system on what may be useful. Most of what I am listing has been posted on various threads throughout the forum.

    The moderators will keep editing the opening post for newcomers.


    1. It is very difficult to get a teaching Job with one subject. You will be accepted onto the PME (Professional Masters in Education aka "the Dip") but will find it difficult to get a job.

    2. When choosing your subject aim for subjects that are core or at least full scale subjects. CSPE/SPHE for example are often only one period a week, this will leave you with very little hours and they are often used as filler subjects.

    3. Irish, Maths, English are the core subjects, usually 5 periods a week at JC and possibly more at LC. Anecdotally Irish and Maths are better choices when trying to get a job

    4. Anecdotally it is straightforward enough to find temporary work as a Home Economics teacher particularly on maternity cover.

    5. There is a restriction on the number of business applicants to the PME.

    6. Doing a teaching qualification in England does not automatically qualify you to teach here. In particularly going to England for your qualification because the Teaching Council have said you do not have enough credits will not fix the problem. You will still not be entitled to work here. When you come back you will need to register and they will still assess your primary degree.

    7. In general if you do a Major/Minor degree, only the Major will be recognised by the Teaching Council. You can make up the balance by doing extra degree modules but will need to pay to have the teaching council assess your degree.

    8. Likewise you may not register to teach in subjects you only took in first year of your degree. Only subjects taken to degree level with appropriate course content will be accepted by the Teaching Council.

    For example "Maths and Irish" may be a good combination (again this is based on opinion of posters including teachers/principals). However combinations like "French and CSPE" or "English and History" may be less advisable.


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Comments



  • Excuse my ignorance, but what are the PDM and PME?




  • The should have both said PME (fixed), its the latest name for "The Dip"! I'll amend the original post to include the full name




  • I've talked to various people and am still unsure on the subject thing. In September I was talking to two school principals on two separate occasions who said that regardless of what you have at degree level, what you actually teach is up to the school that hires you. Is this not the case anymore?

    If this is not the case can I use credits from my undergrad and combine them with other courses through Oscailt? Because some of minor subject could count towards either classics or history I'd just be missing some modules.

    Alternatively, if I was to train in the UK I would hopefully do a course that has two languages, the one I have my degree in and the other ab initio. Could I take credits from this or the subject knowledge enhancement course to put towards getting a degree in that language?

    Sorry this is all a bit confusing. I've been offered a place in TCD but I'm not sure if I should accept it or continue with my UCAS app. Just trying to make an informed decision.




  • From reading your post I construe the following:
    1. You have an undergrad with a major in one language.
    This is the only subject the Teaching Council will recognise I would imagine but you need to be assessed.
    2. You have minored in classics and history.
    You likely do not have enough credits to be allowed to register to teach these. You can make up the balance but I would advise finding out the shortfall from the Teaching Council first.
    3. You speak another language (not english)
    You will not be allowed to register to teach this at all because you have no qualification. You would need to make up the equivalent of a joint honours degree in it before being allowed to register.

    In addition to your first point:
    Yes that is true. However school principals who will let you teach subjects you aren't qualified for is getting smaller and parents really frown on it now. Pretty sure its not allowed in VEC for any contract except temporarily filling a class. It is becoming less common from my experience and tbh rightly so.


    NB Training in the UK will not let you get around any of the above points. When you return they will still assess your degree and say that you may only teach the language you majored in. You need to do more credits in university in the other subjects assuming I read you correctly.




  • Ok thanks. That's slightly disheartening but I'm a lot clearer. Which subject would be more useful as a second subject? History, Classics or a Second Language? I'm guessing the language.


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  • Definitely the language. Classics is offered in very few schools and history is a very popular choice among the permanent teachers already employed.




  • Does anyone know how many subjects you can do on the PME at DCU? Can you do three?




  • Chopper12 wrote: »
    Does anyone know how many subjects you can do on the PME at DCU? Can you do three?

    Fairly sure most colleges have two. are you fully qualified and recognised by the TC in three? I would imagine (based on a different college) you can attend on all three and get assessed on two




  • what you do in he Dip/PME is irrelevant except to satisfy requirements of teacher training. Its what the TC says you can teach based on your primary degree/diplomas etc.




  • The TC are the gatekeepers on this one. Regarding training in the uk or elsewhere, there is a requirement to take an exam on the history and structure of Irish education also.

    Many Irish degrees are pre assessed by the TC for registration (list on their website cant post link from phone) which saves you a pile of cash. Th have your uk degree assessed can be expensive believe.

    oh yeah.... There's no such thing as being qualified to teach anything up to junior cert anymore either.


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  • I understand it is up to the TC as to what subjects you can teach, what I mean is once the TC has approved your qualifications can you then study more than two subjects in the PME if they are all approved?

    ie I will be doing History and CSPE in the PME as they are both on the approved list (BA Arts History & Politics at UCD). If my H Dip in Business Studies is approved by the TC can I then also study the Business Studies section during the PME?

    Does this make sense or I am getting something wrong? I assume you need to study the subjects on the PME course before you can actually teach them even if the subject has been approved by the TC?




  • The TC are the gatekeepers on this one. Regarding training in the uk or elsewhere, there is a requirement to take an exam on the history and structure of Irish education also.

    Many Irish degrees are pre assessed by the TC for registration (list on their website cant post link from phone) which saves you a pile of cash. Th have your uk degree assessed can be expensive believe.

    oh yeah.... There's no such thing as being qualified to teach anything up to junior cert anymore either.

    Not entirely true. I did Economics in my degree. As well as teaching Economics I can teach Business Studies to Junior Cert Level. I'm not qualified to teach Business at Leaving Cert level




  • chippers wrote: »
    Not entirely true. I did Economics in my degree. As well as teaching Economics I can teach Business Studies to Junior Cert Level. I'm not qualified to teach Business at Leaving Cert level

    The only exceptions are Science and Business, because they're split into sub disciplines at Leaving Cert being recognised to teach any at Leaving Cert grants recognition for the appropriate Junior Cert subject.




  • Hi everybody!
    I'm 17 and currently in 5th year in secondary school. I definitely want to be a second level teacher, and I'm absolutely certain that I want to teach English. However, I also want to teach at least one other subject; either history or Religious Education.
    I suppose I'm looking for opinions here on what would be a better option to study in college. I initially really wanted to teach religion, but it seems as though not many schools teach it as an exam subject anymore, so is there much point? Would I be more employable if I could teach history?
    In a way I'd prefer to study theology in college but to be honest, UL really appeals to me as a college, but I'd have to do English and History. I dunno!
    Thanks guys,
    Clodagh.

    Clodagh your thread has been merged into the primary thread for this purpose.




  • I wouldn't do either of those- Eng/History teachers are already way too common (no offense to History teachers-was my favourite subject!) but most schools have a surplus of permanent Eng/History teachers who actually get few hours in History as there so many of them. Irish or Maths would be better to have with English but unless you already like those subjects and are good at them there's no point in telling you to study those at college.


    Its hard to say what subjects would be in demand as there's just no demand for teachers full stop at the moment and its not looking good for the future but if things improved I'd be inclined to go for maybe French with English....I don't know about Religon-in our school its a bit of a filler subject. Teachers without a second subject often get RE on their timetable (along with CSPE and SPHE) and the few qualified RE teachers get Exam Religon (though we only sometimes have a class due to low uptake).


    Another thing to consider is what subjects you could teach abroad as unfortunately a lot of NQTs have to emigrate to get work- RE would only be taught in Catholic Schools abroad......but then again, maybe that's a good option for you?




  • Hi Clodagh,
    The benefit of teaching English and Religion is that if you do in Mater Dei or Carlow College you can do placement in a school as part of your undergrad which is invaluable when it comes to do the HDip/PDE. (Double check this, but I teach with people who went to these colleges and have nothing but good things to say!)
    Also, whilst most schools don't offer it for Leaving Cert., they still teach it, just don't gear it towards an exam.
    I teach English and History, but that's only because I love History; had I the choice, I would definitely re-consider Religion as the undergrad part seems a lot more worthwhile.




  • Hi Clodagh,
    The benefit of teaching English and Religion is that if you do in Mater Dei or Carlow College you can do placement in a school as part of your undergrad which is invaluable when it comes to do the HDip/PDE. (Double check this, but I teach with people who went to these colleges and have nothing but good things to say!)
    Also, whilst most schools don't offer it for Leaving Cert., they still teach it, just don't gear it towards an exam.
    I teach English and History, but that's only because I love History; had I the choice, I would definitely re-consider Religion as the undergrad part seems a lot more worthwhile.

    If you do English and Religion in Mater Dei, you don't have to do a H. Dip/PDE/whatever they call it now, it's a concurrent teaching degree.




  • How do you make up missing credits to meet the teaching council requirements?

    I'm studying Science, I have the requirements to teach Leaving Certificate Biology. I'm missing 5 credits/one class in physics to be qualified to teach Science for the Junior Certificate....I'm assuming there is a way to fix this but I havent been able ti figure it out




  • aileenwa wrote: »
    How do you make up missing credits to meet the teaching council requirements?

    I'm studying Science, I have the requirements to teach Leaving Certificate Biology. I'm missing 5 credits/one class in physics to be qualified to teach Science for the Junior Certificate....I'm assuming there is a way to fix this but I havent been able ti figure it out

    you'll have to find out from the teaching council what topics you needthen go and do a module, because its physicsyou will have to attend and complete labs. I'd imagine first year physics in college would be most likely. Register to do a module in one of the colleges as a part time student. It would make most sense to do a module that is listed in one of the science teaching degrees as the modules are the correct ones for teaching science subjects.




  • Funny how it goes with subjects sometimes - was talking to someone today and there's a job in their school in Dublin for 20+hours of English - their own hours which appear almost certainly to lead to a CID - and they've had one application! There can't be as many English graduates twiddling their thumbs as some of us thought if they are doing so well as to not even apply for a job like this.


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  • Clodagh, ultimately its your decision but I wouldn't decide on a teaching subject yet, unless you're 100% certain its what you want to do. You might want to consider an Arts degree where you can pick four subjects and then in second year decide which you would like to continue to degree. Although this may mean discounting Home Ec and Religion.

    Speaking from experience I went into my first year of college thinking I would like to be an English or Irish teacher. I was uninterested or not good enough in these subjects at university level and I'm now a maths teacher.

    Still not entirely sure how that happened.




  • Is English considered a dodgy subject to take on if intending to teaching as it is so popular?




  • userb wrote:
    Is English considered a dodgy subject to take on if intending to teaching as it is so popular?


    You can always go abroad with an English degree.




  • Hi there,
    Looking to do PME in biology in UCD. However when I'm doing the application it says I have to chose a 2nd subject. I'm not qualified to degree level in any other, does this mean I can't apply to UCD?




  • EIMxxxEAR wrote: »
    Hi there,
    Looking to do PME in biology in UCD. However when I'm doing the application it says I have to chose a 2nd subject. I'm not qualified to degree level in any other, does this mean I can't apply to UCD?

    JC Science is usually taken as the second subject methodology. For those who really don't have a second subject there's usually an alternative module like teaching TY, or you're often let do SPHE or CSPE even though you won't be qualified to teach it.

    If Science/Biology are your only subjects then I strongly recommend looking at adding another as soon as you can. Although there are jobs in Science you will struggle to get full hours with just Science in most schools. JC Science has had its recommended time allocation cut.




  • JC Science is usually taken as the second subject methodology. For those who really don't have a second subject there's usually an alternative module like teaching TY, or you're often let do SPHE or CSPE even though you won't be qualified to teach it.

    If Science/Biology are your only subjects then I strongly recommend looking at adding another as soon as you can. Although there are jobs in Science you will struggle to get full hours with just Science in most schools. JC Science has had its recommended time allocation cut.

    On this point, apparently it’s the DES who have said the new JC SCience is down to 200 hours, not the NCCA, they designed it to be the same length as the old one.




  • clodagh96 wrote: »
    Hi everybody!
    I'm 17 and currently in 5th year in secondary school. I definitely want to be a second level teacher, and I'm absolutely certain that I want to teach English. However, I also want to teach at least one other subject; either history or Religious Education.
    I suppose I'm looking for opinions here on what would be a better option to study in college. I initially really wanted to teach religion, but it seems as though not many schools teach it as an exam subject anymore, so is there much point? Would I be more employable if I could teach history?
    In a way I'd prefer to study theology in college but to be honest, UL really appeals to me as a college, but I'd have to do English and History. I dunno!
    Thanks guys,
    Clodagh.

    Clodagh your thread has been merged into the primary thread for this purpose.

    Not my subject area but religion is being subsumed into wellbeing so I would say history is the better option backed up in time by whatever wellbeing courses you can.do by the pdst etc at your local education centre




  • Not my subject area but religion is being subsumed into wellbeing so I would say history is the better option backed up in time by whatever wellbeing courses you can.do by the pdst etc at your local education centre

    Are you sure about this? I thought well being was CSPE, SPHE, PE and guidance. That’s what we are doing anyway, one period for all except PE which is getting two.




  • Not my subject area but religion is being subsumed into wellbeing so I would say history is the better option backed up in time by whatever wellbeing courses you can.do by the pdst etc at your local education centre

    Religion is still staying separate. Wellbeing = SPHE, CSPE and PE.


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  • solerina wrote: »
    Are you sure about this? I thought well being was CSPE, SPHE, PE and guidance. That’s what we are doing anyway, one period for all except PE which is getting two.

    My bad it is a subject in the 5th strand. Think I was confused as we were left confused on our JCT introduction day - there was a big debate amongst staff if it continued to be counted as an exam subject Or not as it's currently compulsory in the school


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