do you have what it takes to become a teacher? Here are the qualities you’ll need, from primary to adult education
Working in education takes a special kind of person. When you tell other people you’re a Teacher, a lot of them will say: ‘Gosh, I could never do that.’ But those with a passion for teaching can’t imagine doing anything else.
There are certain attributes you need to become a Teacher, whether you want to work in junior, secondary, higher, special needs, language or sports education (see You’ll Need…, above right).
While this career could see you working with any number of different groups, there are certain skills and attributes that are familiar across all the sectors. One minute you’ll be the Teacher, the next you could find yourself giving career advice or personal support.
Your educational background and qualifications will dictate which field of teaching you can get into.
First steps in learning
Primary School Teachers are expected to have a good level of understanding of a range of different subjects in the National Curriculum, and the ability to teach the basics to their young students.
These include maths, English, science, history, geography, religious education, art and drama.
Moving on up
From secondary school up to higher education levels, Teachers and Lecturers will need to be experts in their chosen subject, educated to degree level or above, and knowledgeable about all the latest developments in their area.
While teaching within the fields of tertiary (post-secondary school) or adult education takes a specialist approach, you could also be teaching students who were failed by the school system or are on day release from apprenticeships.
This means that you will need to take a radically different approach to your work than that taken by a Primary or Secondary School Teacher, for example.
A little patience
Sometimes, a job in teaching would try the patience of a saint, especially if you’re in charge of a group of unruly adolescents or juvenile offenders.
The trick is to know how to manage different behaviours and learn how to retain control and order in the classroom – sometimes easier said than done.
To manage any classroom, you need first -rate communication skills and the ability to present information with confidence. Standing in front of 30 or so students will seem daunting at times, so the ability to hold your own is crucial.
Another important skill is the ability to deliver information in a passionate way. After all, how are you going to get other people excited about your subject if you don’t appear to care yourself?
Having enthusiasm for your subject area and a desire to share your knowledge with the next generation will stand you in good stead for a long and rewarding career teaching the next generation.