“Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” - Winston Churchill
While Russian has never been the most popular language to learn in the UK, it’s started gaining popularity in recent years.
A lot of this can be explained by Russia’s importance on an international level. Russia has a lot to offer. Russia is drawing in students with its literature, history, art, and sciences, not to mention its history, both ancient and modern.
So how can you teach Russian in schools?
We're going to assume that you've already completed an undergraduate degree, such as a bachelor's degree in Russian, and are looking at universities to study a postgraduate qualification in order to make you eligible to teach in UK schools. You won't necessarily need to be a native speaker to teach Russian as a foreign language.
In this article, we're going to look through how you can find a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and other teacher training programmes and apply to them. Since this is a postgraduate qualification, it's the equivalent to a masters degree.
The PGCE and Teacher Training Programmes
To teach in a secondary school in the UK, you’ll need to have a PGCE or do a teacher training programme. As you saw, you won't be studying your subject but rather focusing on the vocational aspects of the teaching discipline and the aspects of teaching as a profession.
Upon completion of your PGCE, you'll be able to teach in British schools both in the UK and abroad. So here's how you can apply to the PGCE and other teacher training programmes.
The University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) offers a number of ways for aspiring teachers to get on courses.
- There are over a dozen ways to get into teaching.
- The PGCE is one of the most common ways to do this.
- The right route depends on your background and your aspirations.
Let’s have a look at the steps you need to take.
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Applying for Teacher Training Programmes
The first stage of applying to a teacher training programme through UCAS is called “Apply 1”. During this stage, you can apply to three different places. Here’s some advice:
- Think carefully about where you choose as there’s a lot of competition for places.
- You don’t have to use your three choices, but you do have to make your choices at the same time. You can’t make one choice then add more choices later.
- You can use your three choices as you see fit. Your choices can include different ages, subjects, routes.
- If you change your mind, you have seven days to change your choices and you can only make this change once.
Before you’re given a place on a PGCE, you have to do an interview. Don’t forget that when it comes to interviews:
- Not every application will be given an interview.
- Applicants are chosen using academic and non-academic criteria.
It’s a good idea to ensure you’re completely free the day of your interview.
Responding to Offers
If you receive any offers, you’ll have 10 days to respond to them. Think carefully when choosing.
If you aren’t offered a place during “Apply 1”, you have another opportunity in “Apply 2”. Rather than making three choices, you can only make one choice at a time. However, there is no limit to how many choices you can make, as long as you only make one at a time.
Apply 2 only happens if your choices aren’t successful, you withdrew from your current choice, or you declined offers. Again, you can apply to any route you like. At this point, you may want to go back to your applications and strengthen them with additional documents and an updated personal statement. Keep in mind that a decision can take up to 40 working days.
Finding Teacher Training Programmes
Applying to teacher training programmes is all well and good, but how do you find them?
There are a few ways to do this.
It depends on where you live in the UK:
- The department of education has a teacher training service to help you find programmes in England.
- If you’re in Wales or Scotland, you can use UCAS’ search tool.
The application process in Northern Ireland is a little different. It’s important that you consider the opportunities you find carefully.
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The programme you choose can significantly affect your future as a teacher so it isn’t a decision you should take lightly. This is why you should take the time to do your research.
There are different teacher training routes you’ll need to consider. Similarly, there are different entry requirements. The quickest way to get rejected is to apply to a programme whose requirements you don’t meet! For those in England, you’ll also need to look at the professional skills tests.
Think carefully about which country in the UK you want to teach in and decide which age group and subject you would like to teach. In the case of Russian, you’ll probably need another language to go with it.
Finding the Right Programme
Once you’ve found the ideal programme, make sure you check that there are still spaces available on it. It would be terrible to apply to a programme that’s already been filled. All it takes is a quick phone call or an email to find out. Don’t waste one of your choices applying to a programme you have no chance of getting on.
The application process is far too complicated to explain in just a single article. However, there are plenty of great resources on the UCAS website explaining how to fill in your teacher training application. Fortunately, you don’t have to complete your application in a single sitting. You can save it and go back to it.
Making a Decision
As we said earlier, you have ten working days to reply to offers. Fortunately, this is ten working days from when you’ve received the decisions from all your choices.
The training providers have 40 working days to respond to you with an offer or a rejection. However, these working days don’t include the days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day as UCAS is closed. Of course, you can get responses before the end of this 40-day period.
There are a number of responses you can get from the training providers.
- Unconditional Offer: This means that you’ve met all the academic requirements. However, there may still be non-academic requirements that you have to meet.
- Conditional Offer: This means that there are further conditions to meet. They’ll tell you what these conditions are.
- Withdraw: This happens if you don’t attend an interview or don’t reply to the training provider. Additionally, this can happen is the programme fills up.
- Unsuccessful: This means you haven’t been accepted. Not considered: programme full: This one is pretty self-explanatory.
Now you should get to finding training programmes and preparing to do a lot of work! Additionally, you'll also need to consider scholarships, bursaries, and funding for higher education. You can find plenty of information about tuition fees for higher education from the universities themselves and from alumni of the courses.
Each academic institution is different although all UK universities can be applied to through UCAS. Whether you specialise in mathematics, humanities, or science, you can expect a lot of coursework. The PGCE is one of the most difficult postgraduate courses but it's arguably the only way for you to become a teacher in a British secondary school.
You can also opt to get a diploma or study abroad as an international student. For example, if you want to teach the national curriculum of another country, the PGCE isn't a requirement.
Whether you're interested in teaching Russian, psychology, physics, computing, or the English language, there are plenty of options for students thinking about continuing on their path to becoming a teacher.
Once you've graduated and been awarded your certificate, you'll be ready to start teaching in schools! Of course, you don't necessarily need to be an accredited teacher to teach those in further education as a private tutor. Students can be taught at their own home and you can do this either part time or full time.
If you're interested in teaching private Russian tutorials, you can make your profile on Superprof. You can offer face-to-face tutorials and online tutorials to students wanting to learn Russian or improve their language skills. Consider offering the first hour of tuition for free in order to encourage potential students to get in touch!
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