BECAUSE Not only is this a profession that offers a job for life but it also gives you the chance to make a big difference!
Let’s face it, teaching doesn’t always get a good press but this is a job where, with skill, you can inspire and when it comes to job satisfaction this is one that’s high up the scale. And there aren’t many careers that offer you that. You will also have the chance to make the next generation enjoy learning.
Once you’ve decided teaching is where your future lies, the next step is to find out the different options you have for getting into the profession.
You’ll need a degree if you want to train to teach in the UK. You can gain a degree and qualified teacher status (QTS) on a three or four-year course, combining academic study with learning practical classroom skills. Visit getintoteaching.education.gov.uk for more information and advice.
Although the basic principle of teaching is the same across all areas of the education system, the way it is done depends on the circumstances in which you are teaching.
As a Primary Teacher, you’ll inspire pupils by teaching a diverse curriculum that touches on a wide range of subjects. This can range from maths and science to literacy, history, physical education, performing arts and beyond.
Primary Teachers teach children from the age of five and prepare them for secondary school when they complete Year 6, at the age of 11. Then, they’re at secondary school until 16 or 18 upon completion of their GCSEs or A-levels.
This gives you the responsibility – and opportunity – to make a big impact on their lives and ensure they progress into secondary education with the confidence and enthusiasm they need to succeed.
If you’ve got a passion for a particular subject, then secondary teaching could allow you to share that with the next generation. Teaching from Key Stage 3 through to A-level allows you to help your pupils develop. Certain subjects, particularly sciences and maths, attract extra bursaries and larger salaries as there is a shortage of teachers in those fields.
Further and higher education teaching is provided by lecturers teaching students over the age of 16 in specialised areas in academies, colleges or universities.
There are also other areas of teaching which are in high demand. Special Education Needs (SEN) Teachers teach children with emotional, behavioural or learning difficulties and those with gifted abilities that need to be nurtured.
The widespread usage of English overseas has ensured a continued demand for Teachers of English as a foreign or second language. And there’s a need for educators teaching prisoners from vocational training and literacy to Open University qualifications.
You can receive ‘on the job training’ to provide learning support in the classroom, carrying out duties such as lesson preparation and working with small groups or individuals. As an apprentice, you’ll work under the close supervision of a class teacher.
Progress up the scale
Once you achieve QTS, you will be expected to follow a programme of continuous professional development which will help you on your path to becoming Head of Department, Head of Sixth Form (secondary schools only), Head of Year, Deputy Head and even the Headteacher or Principal.
Outside of the school system, the route is slightly different. Further and higher education lecturers, for example, can make their way up to Senior Lecturer, Curriculum Manager, Head of Department or Divisional Manager.
Career progression in certain areas of teaching can be quicker than others. For those teaching English as a foreign language, for example, the movement from Teacher to Senior Teacher to Director of Studies followed by Principal can be achieved in a shorter period of time – this is largely due to the comparatively small size of these language schools.