If you want a career that can offer both challenges and rewards then a career as a Teacher may be for you. Some people say that Teaching is a calling and only those who truly want to make a difference should consider a career in the Teaching profession. Even if you disagree with this, it’s important to understand that Teaching is not for everyone – even those with a caring heart can struggle with the day to day realities of teaching kids. Generally Teachers who teach at Primary or Secondary level most often stay at the same level for the whole of their career.
If you decide that teaching is a career for you, the qualifications you need will to an extent depend on the qualifications you already hold. If for example you are degree educated, you will need to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). If you are considering a career in Teaching prior to starting university then you can choose to do a specific degree level qualification i.e. a Bachelor of Education or alternatively a Degree with a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Either way, you will need to undertake and pass your Initial Teaching Training before being fully qualified as a Teacher.
Gaining experience is not only valuable in terms of strengthening your CV but also for you to determine firstly if teaching is for you and also if you are best suited to Primary or Secondary level education. Depending on where you live, you will probably need to gain security level clearance before gaining work experience in a school. Prior to University it might be advantageous to offer to help out in a school, working with old Teachers you know, or perhaps get some xperience working for a Summer scheme or Kids club.
Type of Person
If you remove the stereotypes of long Summer holidays, and shortened working hours, the reality is that this can be a really tough job. Most Teachers work long hours, both teaching, organising and facilitating after schools clubs, as well as undertaking the infamous marking and paperwork. If you are considering this as a career, it’s important to realise that you would be expected to not only to have a passion, patience, and compassion for teaching children or teeenagers, but also the ability to multitask, and handle stress and stressful situations. Everyone knows that Teaching and Teachers can face challenges, so you must be prepared to have to manage disruption, complaints and sometimes the expectations of parents and education boards!
Good communication skills and the ability to put your message across is essential. Being able to competently use Technology and have good IT skills is becoming increasingly important as Technology becomes ever more integrated into the way lessons are taught. Good analytical and administration skills are also essential both for marking work and for pre planning lessons.
How to become a Teacher
Depending on where you live there may be a skill shortage for Teachers, or there may be an abundance of recently qualified Teachers looking for work. Many new Teachers may be happy to consider temporary contract work while they look for a permanent role and often temping can be a good way to build up your CV and work experience. If you are able to relocate, that may be an option if you are keen to get a permanent role straight away and happy to move wherever. A career as a Teacher is certainly not for everyone and that is why it is advisable to gain some work experience in a classroom prior to studying and gain Teaching qualifications. If you are keen to start Teaching asap and you have a degree, it may only be a year or two of study and job searching before you find your first Teaching role.
Fancy a career as a Teacher? Good luck!! We hope these basic tips help you along the way…
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