Advice on Becoming a Teacher
Anyone can become a teacher if they have the right qualifications but to be a really good teacher and to earn the respect of your pupils takes not only a knowledge of the subject (or subjects) that you teach but also the ability to command your audience and engage them in the subject being taught.
Becoming a Teacher via PGCETo become a teacher you first need to have passed English and Maths at GCSE or O' level. If you're teaching at secondary school you'll need a degree in a relevant discipline. For primary school teaching your degree should demonstrate some coverage of any of the subjects covered in the primary school curriculum.
The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), is a one year full time course, although some institutions offer it as a two year part time course.
Becoming a Teacher via B.Ed DegreeIf you do not have a degree to begin with, or you are looking at options following a' level, you can opt for the four year B.Ed (Bachelor of Education) degree.
There are teacher training colleges up and down the country. Most institutions will want to see some evidence of volunteer work in the classroom. This will also give you an insight into how classes behave and you'll get some practical advice from teachers.
Qualities Needed to be a TeacherIt is not just qualifications that make a good teacher; there is also the ability to engage your pupils in meaningful and enjoyable discussion and be able to impart information to them in a way which is fun and insightful.
Many teachers over the years have become disillusioned with the teaching profession and not because of the syllabus; there has been a distinct shift in the behaviour of children in education so patience and a level head are also very important.
Taking the time to talk to your pupils is a must; pupils who find that the teachers are simply reading from textbooks or from pre-prepared materials often switch off but will stay focused and attentive if the teacher talks to them and not at them.
Deciding on an Age Group to TeachThere are differences between the teaching of primary and secondary school pupils and these changes have come about because of the recent changes in the education reform bill. These changes include the introduction of means testing and key stage syllabuses for children in primary and secondary education so it is important to determine early on – if you can – which group you wish to teach.
The foundation stage is for pre-school and reception children; Key Stages 1 & 2 are designed for primary school pupils from the age of 5 up to 11. Key Stages 3 & 4 are designed for secondary school children from the age of 11 up to leaving school age.
Once You're Qualified as a TeacherIn your first year as a teacher – your so called ‘Induction Year' – you will undergo a three term assessment. This three term assessment is normally carried out within one school year after which your teacher status will change from NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).
During this time you will be monitored and assisted by an Induction Tutor who will help you formulate development plans and you will be required to enter into formal discussions with the head teacher at the end of each term so that he or she can discuss your progress and perhaps field any questions you might have.
During your induction year there is a ten per cent reduction in your school timetable to allow for personal development and the completion of any assignments you are set. Once you have completed your induction year you are then a qualified teacher and can commence teaching full time to your chosen pupil set.
Teaching is a worthwhile and valuable profession in today’s society and as a teacher you are required – not only to teach your pupils their designated subjects – but to also act as their adult mentors during the time they spend in your care at school.
Many pupils look back with fondness at their time at school and have favourite teachers – people who have not simply taught their subject – but who have also made a profound impact on their pupils.