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Insights on money, career and trading

Career Advice: How to be a Teacher in the UK

Posted on September 6, 2013 by Daniel at 2:11 pm


Teaching is an incredibly fulfilling career to choose, and there are many different rewards which will ensure that you enjoy your job. It can be a challenging job, but alongside the frustrations, there are many incredible moments. If you are interested in becoming a teacher in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter, you may be confused where to begin.

It is vital to ensure that you look at every aspect of the teaching job, and understand how complex it can be to achieve results. Spending time in different schools will provide an insight into what you may be dealing with on a day to day basis. You can offer your services as an observer, or volunteer, and participate in practical work experience.

There are several different taster courses that you can join, which are designed to help you decide what area of teaching you would like to explore. These one-day courses are ideal if you are unsure, and can be the gateway to your new career. Regardless of the level of school children that you want to teach, there are basic requirements that are needed.

You will need to have a good level of basic qualifications, and this includes at least four GSCE’s grade C or above. Mathematics and English are essential, and if you intend to teach in secondary school, you will require Science as well. You will also need a degree in teaching, after completing an initial teacher training course. Additionally, you’ll need to pass a background check to ensure you have no concerning criminal convictions. In the UK, this will be a DBS check, but it may be called something different in other countries that you may want to teach in. You will need to complete an afp police check if you want to teach in Australia, for example.

With a number of routes to start teaching, the process can be daunting yet incredibly satisfying once you qualify. It’s important to think about certain parameters, like the age of the children, the subject, and the type of institution you want to teach in (because some schools specialize in education for those with special needs). So, you should consider checking out various online portals for vacancies. Take, the example of Senploy; you could browse through numerous sen teacher jobs based on your qualifications, experience, and expertise to find the job that best suits your area of expertise.

In addition, alongside the degree that you need, you must achieve a qualified teacher status, which allows you to teach in the UK. This qualification will ensure that you can pass a basic skills test in information, numeracy and literacy. If you are convinced that you have what it takes to be a competent and exciting teacher, the teacher training courses are ideal. This could help you specialize in the subjects you’re truly interested in teaching. For instance, if you want to teach sports, you might have to clear respective Sports courses to set your path to success.

The courses all have different timescales and will provide you with different skills, ensuring that you are confident to teach. You will need a level of practical classroom experience to guarantee that you are prepared for what lies ahead. The main routes that people take to become a teacher are, postgraduate teacher training, undergraduate teacher training and employment-based teacher training.

Postgraduate teacher training is an intensive one year course that focuses on your skills in the classroom. This course will not cover the subject that you want to teach, but an overall look at teaching. You will need to attend 12 weeks of seminars in college, and at least 18 weeks of practical hands on experience.

Undergraduate teacher training is longer, and will provide you with a bachelor of Education degree that takes up to four years to complete. If you are only able to attend this course part time, it can take up to six years. You will need a minimum of two A levels, and a higher level of education to attend this course.

Employment based teacher training is ideal for people searching for a hands on approach, and need to embark on a second career. This course will take one year to qualify, and you will receive a salary, which is appealing to many people. You need to find a school that is willing to employ you throughout the training period.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in a dedicated field, you complete your teacher training through the postgraduate route. This course is typically one year course and provides you with the skills to become a better teacher. You will learn things that you may not have considered such as delivery and methodologies of teaching.

Mature students may find it easier to train and get their qualifications whilst working in a school environment. This will enable you to apply everything that you are learning immediately, and be involved with students from the start. Once you have fully qualified, your new journey can begin, and you can enjoy putting into practice everything you have learnt.

The first year of being qualified as a teacher, you will need to complete the induction year, where the starting salary is less. You may also be asked to work with education consulting services to ensure that you’re teaching is at the required educational standard. Lesson observations will become a commonality too! There are several financial benefits to becoming a teacher, and depending on where you teach will determine the pay scale. There are different grants available throughout your training period, which may enable you to study full time.

Becoming a teacher is not as difficult as you may think, however, remaining in the job can be a challenge, and the burnout rate is high. Some people end up hating the job, and others realise it is not as easy as they first thought. However, if you get a decent teaching position, and are realistic regarding the role that you have undertaken, teaching can be a fantastic career.

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