I attended a workshop organised by the university in order to learn about how to access teaching. The talk showed the two main routes that would be possible to take after graduation; a PGCE which is a years course with a short placement or the school direct route which is predominantly placement based. As the university does not currently offer the PGCE in Art and Design (the specialism needed to be able to teach photography), then the advised route into gaining my QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) would be to take the school direct route.
The school direct route is again a years course where the student trains in the classroom based in a working school. This would provide invaluable experience and allow to be tutored by those who have taught for many years. This is something that I wish to do, however I feel as though I need to expand my art, design and photography portfolio first.
The requirements of the course, which is to be applied for through UCAS, is to have two weeks of classroom experience, (which can be achieved through supply teaching), a portfolio, a police background check or DBS, and to pass an English and maths test. As teaching is something that I have only begun to think about recently, to fit in all of this before applying is impossible. This is why I am going to do this over the next academic year, whilst also completing my MA in photography.
I also received information in the same seminar regarding the careers I can access with both a degree and masters in photography and a QTS – the list was extensive. The three that stood out the most were to teach in a school or college, to work with young offenders and to work with the council. Although the QTS only seemed to cover schools, the doors that it can open are vast. Gaining a QTS will also give valuable life experience if nothing else, and advance my skills and knowledge base.
To complete the QTS is next on my to do list after completing my photography MA. Although different from being a full time photographer, this is sensible in allowing myself to live comfortably and also practise my photography part time.