I chose my profession before getting a third in my maths degree, and my poor understanding of Galois theory has not stopped me successfully teaching A-level further maths. Rather, I feel my difficulty in understanding helps me empathise with students' difficulties, and this is harder for someone who has never really "failed". The fact that I was recommended points for excellence and that I am now an acting head of department show a good honours degree is not necessary for professional competence. Oxford University's department of education had the common sense to recognise my potential rather than follow a rigid formula.
It is ironic that it was the TTA's "Teaching as a Career" scheme in 1990 that turned me on to teaching - a scheme which was cancelled the following year. I am sure that many of my colleagues feel that the TTA is being unfair in its new guidelines, and also despise the Pounds 2,000 drop in salary for third-class degrees despite equal professional training and commitment to the job.
The Vicarage Causeway Horsham West Sussex