What is involved in a teaching career, and do you have the qualities necessary to make it into a profitable one? You first need to think about whether or not you’re comfortable teaching in a school, and what kinds of subjects you’d be qualified to teach; taken further, you need to consider how you’d progress from initial qualifications into a permanent post, as well as whether you’ll be able to deal with the uncertainty that often accompanies teaching work.
In terms of deciding whether teaching is for, you need to be able to commit to being part of a school; you also need to decide whether you’d be able to teach in a large, state secondary school with a diverse intake of students, or whether you’d rather focus on rarer posts in an independent or private school? There are a lot of factors that tend to dissuade people considering a teaching career, which can include their own educational experiences, and the prospect of dealing with disruptive students on a daily basis.
To qualify to teach in a state school, and to improve your chances of getting any other teaching position, you’ll typically need to complete an undergraduate degree in Education that includes qualified teaching training, or a one year post graduate certificate in education (PGCE) after an initial degree. Completing a PGCE means passing numeracy and literacy tests, and involves combining practical experience in schools with essays and coursework.
If you want to teach overseas, provide private tuition, or work in a specialist teaching college, you can also qualify to teach English as a foreign language through TEFL courses – this doesn’t require you to get a PGCE or other training, although it can always help to increase your options. Moreover, there are career routes that involve building on a PGCE with a Masters or a PhD in Education, or in a particular part of Early Years training.
Once qualified, you’ll be a newly qualified teacher, and able to apply for positions in state and other schools; however, you will need to complete an induction, or probationary period, before finalising your training. This induction involves teaching for three full terms, or an academic year, and doesn’t have to be completed consecutively – you have about 5 years to do this, while also being able to supply teach during the same time.
Supply teaching is one of the main challenges for newly qualified teachers looking for work – most teaching is allocated via supply agencies and online services, and can involve a lot of temporary work and gaps from job to job. You consequently need to be aware of the potential for uncertainty until you get a full time job. Once you do find work, though, you can expect to make about £20,000 a year as a starting teacher, which can progress through to £31,000, with further opportunities available for management positions.
When thinking about the kind of teaching that you want to do, it’s necessary to consider whether you’d be more comfortable being part of a primary or secondary school that teaches to the National Curriculum, or if you’d rather take a more specialist role. Independent, fees paying schools, and schools that include boarding, will provide a different experience in terms of the students and the amount of work and extra-curricular responsibilities that you’ll be expected to work on.
Teaching isn’t for everyone, and you need to consider whether you personally have a passion to teach, or if you’re suited to the particular demands of working with young people. On the other hand, you can build a rewarding career through teaching, and can benefit from extended holidays and job stability once you do get a position. As before, make sure you regularly check online resources like the School Recruitment Service, GSL Education, and the Times Educational Supplement for news and vacancies.
About the Author:
This article was written by Roxy, a secondary school teacher in the UK. She found her job through GSL Education providers of the best teacher jobs in London. Over the years she has had many different roles. She likes to blog about the different aspects of inspiring young minds.