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Unregistered 09-02-2017 10:55 AM

Hi all,
Iíve been reading through this thread and just want to say thank you to all who have contributed. Iím seriously considering applying for the PGDE in March this year, but first would like to hear everyoneís views (criticisms are welcomed too):
Current position

- Currently 28 y/o male, qualified lawyer doing contentious matrimonial law with 1.5 years in the legal industry. Not by choice. I wanted to do corporate work but supply/demand said otherwise.

- Graduated from UK university with a 2.1. My plan post-graduating was to give law a shot but was quite wary that in a glut market, things may not work out the way I wished they could.

- Reasons for leaving are that my current prospects arenít good in terms of exposure, prospects, upward mobility and remuneration. Iím making S$54k p/a before CPF in a small firm. Before anyone says how good I have it compared to my peers, please be aware that my juniors a year below me are making about S$42k p/a in SME hell where security and stability are not great.

- I feel that Iím in a position where if I leave my present law firm now, itíd be tough to convince any SME employer to not force me to take a paycut and risk facing the same above mentioned problems for the next few years.

- Iíve applied to bigger orgs, but so far itís been fruitless because Iím too junior and coming from an SME.

Teaching
- I did a relief teaching stint (for about a month) in a secondary school before I went to law school. It was quite a nice experience and before I left, my students did tell me that they learnt a lot from me. That was quite fulfilling.

- I take pleasure in giving back what the mentors in my life gave to me. Itís become a personal characteristic at this point.

- I want security and stability more than anything else at the moment. As explained above, I find this absent in legal practice. Not sure if Iím a pessimist, but it seems to be the case for the foreseeable future.

- Iíve always been a huge history and literature geek, so itís something I wouldnít mind spending the rest of my life teaching (as far as I know anyway). Have always been good at English (exams) and didnít really have to put too much effort in getting my As.

Questions

- What are my chances of even getting an interview?

- Are there any ex-lawyers or professionals around who would care to share their experiences? Was it a step you regretted taking? If yes/no, why?

- Is the paycut for me going to be quite big? I really donít mind taking one step backwards to take two steps forward, but what would I be looking at 2-3 years down the road?

Unregistered 10-02-2017 12:16 PM

My advice would be this.
It seems you are trying to leave law rather than join teaching.
You really just need to think about the teaching itself - whether you genuinely want to do it, whether you are cut out for it etc - and decide.
The finances and all that will be fine - teachers are very fairly paid, so I wouldn't worry - but as I said, you just have to want to teach. Cheesy as this sounds, its a calling, not just a job.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 94398)
Hi all,
Iíve been reading through this thread and just want to say thank you to all who have contributed. Iím seriously considering applying for the PGDE in March this year, but first would like to hear everyoneís views (criticisms are welcomed too):
Current position

- Currently 28 y/o male, qualified lawyer doing contentious matrimonial law with 1.5 years in the legal industry. Not by choice. I wanted to do corporate work but supply/demand said otherwise.

- Graduated from UK university with a 2.1. My plan post-graduating was to give law a shot but was quite wary that in a glut market, things may not work out the way I wished they could.

- Reasons for leaving are that my current prospects arenít good in terms of exposure, prospects, upward mobility and remuneration. Iím making S$54k p/a before CPF in a small firm. Before anyone says how good I have it compared to my peers, please be aware that my juniors a year below me are making about S$42k p/a in SME hell where security and stability are not great.

- I feel that Iím in a position where if I leave my present law firm now, itíd be tough to convince any SME employer to not force me to take a paycut and risk facing the same above mentioned problems for the next few years.

- Iíve applied to bigger orgs, but so far itís been fruitless because Iím too junior and coming from an SME.

Teaching
- I did a relief teaching stint (for about a month) in a secondary school before I went to law school. It was quite a nice experience and before I left, my students did tell me that they learnt a lot from me. That was quite fulfilling.

- I take pleasure in giving back what the mentors in my life gave to me. Itís become a personal characteristic at this point.

- I want security and stability more than anything else at the moment. As explained above, I find this absent in legal practice. Not sure if Iím a pessimist, but it seems to be the case for the foreseeable future.

- Iíve always been a huge history and literature geek, so itís something I wouldnít mind spending the rest of my life teaching (as far as I know anyway). Have always been good at English (exams) and didnít really have to put too much effort in getting my As.

Questions

- What are my chances of even getting an interview?

- Are there any ex-lawyers or professionals around who would care to share their experiences? Was it a step you regretted taking? If yes/no, why?

- Is the paycut for me going to be quite big? I really donít mind taking one step backwards to take two steps forward, but what would I be looking at 2-3 years down the road?


Unregistered 10-02-2017 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 94418)
My advice would be this.
It seems you are trying to leave law rather than join teaching.
You really just need to think about the teaching itself - whether you genuinely want to do it, whether you are cut out for it etc - and decide.
The finances and all that will be fine - teachers are very fairly paid, so I wouldn't worry - but as I said, you just have to want to teach. Cheesy as this sounds, its a calling, not just a job.

I don't necessarily disagree... what convinced you to be a teacher?

Unregistered 12-02-2017 02:18 PM

From what I understand, you actually prioritize job security. Yes, teaching provides it. However, your relief teaching stint and impression of teaching may not give you an accurate picture of being a teacher. You may enjoy your subjects and mentoring students, but as a teacher in a MOE school, you face several complex issues daily which require great persistence and commitment to overcome. For example, teaching in a Normal Technical class requires tremendous patience and classroom management skills. Even teaching in an Express class may be difficult if you fail to build rapport among students. And students being young often have "unfiltered" comments e.g. one student told my colleague after she returned from 2 days of MC to "go and teach another class as we don't like you". Or having students who repeatedly disobey you in class can be quite demoralizing. At the end of the day, 80 percent of teaching is spent on micro-managing students' (or worse, parents') issues rather than teaching the subject or mentoring.

But to answer your questions:

- You shouldn't have any problems obtaining an interview. It's likely you will be given secondary level (English & Social Studies) due to your background in law. But be warned you can be given primary level too, because primary schools lack teachers. In addition, MOE is cutting back recruitment and paying more attention to fresh graduates. A younger colleague (NUS Literature honours grad) took 2 attempts to pass the interview. And after the interview, you will be posted to a school for about 1 year of contract teaching.

- I actually know a lawyer who made a mid-career switch to teaching (History & Social Studies). He flourished very well in a neighbourhood secondary school, and is now a VP.

- Yes, the pay cut will be huge, probably 20-30 percent. But my mid-career friends often say that their stress level also dropped tremendously, as compared to their old jobs. Anyway, after you complete NIE and pass the 1-year probation, MOE will rapidly raise your salary to match your old income. Unless you're a huge spender or in grave financial need, the pay cut won't hurt that much. My mid-career friends continue to drive their cars to NIE or go on holidays.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 94398)
Hi all,
Iíve been reading through this thread and just want to say thank you to all who have contributed. Iím seriously considering applying for the PGDE in March this year, but first would like to hear everyoneís views (criticisms are welcomed too):
Current position

- Currently 28 y/o male, qualified lawyer doing contentious matrimonial law with 1.5 years in the legal industry. Not by choice. I wanted to do corporate work but supply/demand said otherwise.

- Graduated from UK university with a 2.1. My plan post-graduating was to give law a shot but was quite wary that in a glut market, things may not work out the way I wished they could.

- Reasons for leaving are that my current prospects arenít good in terms of exposure, prospects, upward mobility and remuneration. Iím making S$54k p/a before CPF in a small firm. Before anyone says how good I have it compared to my peers, please be aware that my juniors a year below me are making about S$42k p/a in SME hell where security and stability are not great.

- I feel that Iím in a position where if I leave my present law firm now, itíd be tough to convince any SME employer to not force me to take a paycut and risk facing the same above mentioned problems for the next few years.

- Iíve applied to bigger orgs, but so far itís been fruitless because Iím too junior and coming from an SME.

Teaching
- I did a relief teaching stint (for about a month) in a secondary school before I went to law school. It was quite a nice experience and before I left, my students did tell me that they learnt a lot from me. That was quite fulfilling.

- I take pleasure in giving back what the mentors in my life gave to me. Itís become a personal characteristic at this point.

- I want security and stability more than anything else at the moment. As explained above, I find this absent in legal practice. Not sure if Iím a pessimist, but it seems to be the case for the foreseeable future.

- Iíve always been a huge history and literature geek, so itís something I wouldnít mind spending the rest of my life teaching (as far as I know anyway). Have always been good at English (exams) and didnít really have to put too much effort in getting my As.

Questions

- What are my chances of even getting an interview?

- Are there any ex-lawyers or professionals around who would care to share their experiences? Was it a step you regretted taking? If yes/no, why?

- Is the paycut for me going to be quite big? I really donít mind taking one step backwards to take two steps forward, but what would I be looking at 2-3 years down the road?


Unregistered 12-02-2017 02:25 PM

All uni grads are placed in GEO 2; diploma holders are placed in GEO 1. Erm "some teaching experience" not counted lah for your pay calculation. Salary is dependent on 1) class of honours, 2) with NS or no NS, and 3) previous job.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 94137)
What will the pay be like for me if I have

- 2nd upper Hons degree (BA) from top AU uni
- untrained by NIE
- some teaching experience

I will be placed under GEO 1 right? if so what will the pay be like because the range is quite big from what I see in the forums


Unregistered 13-02-2017 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 94450)
- You shouldn't have any problems obtaining an interview. It's likely you will be given secondary level (English & Social Studies) due to your background in law. But be warned you can be given primary level too, because primary schools lack teachers. In addition, MOE is cutting back recruitment and paying more attention to fresh graduates. A younger colleague (NUS Literature honours grad) took 2 attempts to pass the interview. And after the interview, you will be posted to a school for about 1 year of contract teaching.

Thanks for the reply.

My mom is actually a teacher so I'm not completely unaware of the workplace problems, but nevertheless your post was very enlightening.

Just a further question - do you actually have any power in choosing where you want to go? Like say I wanted to teach in my old JC, how do I go about getting there?

Unregistered 14-02-2017 08:33 AM

Often if the the officer and school both want it, then it will happen - subject to MOE's approval, though. Might be harder for JC.

Unfortunately the arrangement will only be made while you're in NIE looking for a practicum school, so no way of really confirming before you "sign on". Usually you can just get in touch with the school (e.g. Via the HOD of target subject) and if they want you, they'll negotiate with MOE HR about it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 94470)
Just a further question - do you actually have any power in choosing where you want to go? Like say I wanted to teach in my old JC, how do I go about getting there?


Unregistered 15-02-2017 05:57 PM

Application window opening soon... who's applying?

Unregistered 19-02-2017 11:52 AM

You can make a request to the Principal of your former JC, and if he agrees, he can submit a request to HQ. Deployment is ultimately dependent on manpower needs. To be honest, for your first posting, you've little or no say at all. But after you're in the school for at least 2 years, you can request for a transfer elsewhere. Anyway, from what I understand, JCs lack GP teachers now. Other subject teachers such as Math or Science are in excess, they are being told to move to sec or even pri levels.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 94470)
Thanks for the reply.

My mom is actually a teacher so I'm not completely unaware of the workplace problems, but nevertheless your post was very enlightening.

Just a further question - do you actually have any power in choosing where you want to go? Like say I wanted to teach in my old JC, how do I go about getting there?


Unregistered 19-02-2017 04:54 PM

Medical assessment
 
Hi, anyone knows what happens next after the medical assessment? And is it possible that I might get rejected even after the medical assessment? Thanks :)


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