I am just interested in other peoples opinions on this subject as i am getting a mixed reaction from friends. I finished my degree last year and i have been offered a place on the PGCE for Sept. However, my desire as taken me to book a tefl and try to defer my PGCE until next year and go and teach English abroad for a while and then travel. Sounds good to me. But after speaking to an old teacher of mine she has told me that the uni might not want to defer me and will see me as flakey and not want me to go back next year. She said they will see me as messing them around and i may not have a secure place on the pgce when i come back. I do need this as i won't be around to do interviews next year and also i know it is hard to get onto teaching courses now. So what would you do, risk it or do the PGCE this year. I just feel that after the stresses of a degree i'm not ready to study again. What would you do?
Let me preface this response by saying that I have no idea what the PGCE is, so take this with a grain of salt.
The thing is, I think the old cliche holds true about only regretting what you didn't do and not what you've done. I think everybody here who has taken significant time off to travel, did so with the belief that they were taking a huge risk with losing something at home; be it set backs to career, love, education, etc.
That said, I'd be willing to bet that if you took a poll, not one would regret their decision in hindsight (or perhaps a very very small percentage).
And as for this PGCE thinking you're some sort of slacker, I would argue quite the contrary. When I took a year off, I literally listed that year under experience on my resume/CV when I got home. Sure, some people may not understand how you can just pack up and take off, but very few will view this as slacking off. Not to mention, you say that you're looking to teach English, so to me, that can be nothing but an asset for whatever your future path may be.
Look at it this way. Now is your chance. If you put this off now, the PGCE will probably consume your life for who knows how long, so if it's important to you, just go.
PGCE - Post Grad Cert in Education - from my view point l would think it would be better for you to gain some experience both in life and teaching. I think teachers who are that bit older with more life experience have more to give kids and also have bags more confidence. Have you spoken to the Uni to see if they think its feasible to defer the PGCE? If not surely you can apply again at a later date with more experience.
Go travelling! Purdy and John are right...
You'll probably regret it more if you don't. If the University don't allow you do defer it, don't despair. Bear in mind that a year travelling, especially if you are doing it alone, and teaching English, then those experiences will help you hugely with getting a place on a course. Having (briefly) considered teaching myself once, I know that universties love you to have relevant experience, ie working with kids. Even if you do have to apply again, I expect your experience would give you a wider choice of courses and Unis.
You're still young and at least you know what you want to do! I'm nearly 27 and only this year have applied to study midwifery. (waiting to hear now!) But I am certain my expereince travelling has given me a confidence and maturity that has helped me hugely to get interviews, even if I don't get a place, and that's a really competitive course!
I just feel that after the stresses of a degree i'm not ready to study again. What would you do?
You've answered your own question.
Go travel and have some fun.
Don't just ake your old teacher's word for it, speak to the university themself and get their input.
Thanks for all your replies. You are all right and it is time to go and do it now. Little bit scared but like to go and find out for myself what it is like rather than be the one listening in envy to other peoples stories.
I wouldn't worry about what your teacher says about deferring the PGCE. My sister deferred hers for a year, and although she doesn't want to pursue teaching anymore, her offers for PGCE a year later still stand.
If travelling is something you really want to do - you should go ahead, because once you start the year course and then move onto teaching, you may find it difficult to leave and regret it. Go while you are fresh, and you can come back refreshed and tackle the PGCE.
Whatever option you take, make sure it's something YOU want to do. Good luck.
Go travelling, Uni will always be there when/if you come back.
I went to uni after 10 years of dossing about, mainly as i just didn't know what i wanted to do.
Go travel and enjoy it !!!!!!
Thankyou for your replies. Well looks like i am really going as today i found out i can defer my course and now i start sept 2007. So i have a year to kill travelling. I only have afew grand in my pocket and i am going all on my tod. So nerve racking. I will prob be leaving in Aug. Not sure if to do Aus first or Thailand. But if anyone is going to be around any of those places at that time, please give me a shout, it will be good to meet up with people.
Thanks for all your helpful replies and i am sure that this time next year when i am starting my course i will be happy that i made this choice and not regretting it.