Becoming a teacher can be difficult, and it is important before you make the commitment and begin to train that you are aware of what the role demands and the responsibilities that you may have as a teacher.
Not only should you consider this, but it is also important to be aware of practicalities, such as the pay levels and the qualifications that you need before you decide whether a career choice in the education sector is the right option for you.
What Will You Specialize In?
To become a teacher, you must:
• Gain a BA degree
• Take a teaching qualification
• Get classroom experience through placements
However, each teaching specialism has many different opportunities which can give you a different teaching experience and offer you different chances for growth, as well as each demanding different qualifications in order to apply for job posts.
For example, becoming a SEN teacher is a popular option, as this can allow individuals to work with kids and adults with special needs that need extra help to succeed in education.
All SEN teachers must have taken the correct teacher examinations, which includes an undergraduate degree and a post-graduate degree in teaching. You should then consider taking special needs teacher courses which can help you to prepare for the specific expectations of the role and help you to hone the skills that you will need to teach children and young people with a range of special needs.
You will then have to have experience in a mainstream classroom environment, with many positions seeking at least 2 years in this before you can obtain a position.
Do You Want A Meaningful Career?
However, if you want a meaningful career, teaching is one of the best options that you could choose, knowing that you will be making a direct impact on the lives of children, young people, and even adults through roles such as teaching night classes.
Unlike many office jobs, where dissatisfaction is on the rise, teaching allows you to stay engaged and invested in the results and outcomes of your class, actively changing their futures and unleashing their potential through engaging lesson plans and inspiring guidance.
Specific types of teaching, such as special needs teachers, have the added meaning of being able to guide those who may find school and education difficult and who may struggle to find education meaningful themselves without your aid.
Additionally, teaching is a great way to give back to your community by developing the academic abilities of young people in the area and helping others to succeed. There will also be many opportunities to get involved in events in your local area with your students.
Do You Have The Right Soft Skills?
However, as a teacher, it is important to consider the soft skills that are necessary for your role. For instance, it is crucial that teachers are able to stay patient with their classes, that they are able to inspire children and stay passionate about their subjects, that they can communicate effectively with both their class and their managers, and that they are able to problem-solve quickly in the cases of unruly students or those with behavioral issues.
The way to increase these soft skills is to get into a teaching environment as soon as possible in order to learn from those who are already teachers in their own right.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Teaching?
Teaching roles are incredibly demanding, with many stresses and responsibilities. This includes a lack of respect from students and parents, behavioral and communication issues in the classroom, and issues concerning the rise of standardized teaching in the classroom, which many believe stunts teacher creativity.
Becoming a teacher is also an extremely large commitment, both for your lifestyle and your emotions. What’s more, factors such as long hours and a large workload are some of the reasons that many teachers quit the profession.
A third of teachers quit the profession within 5 years.
However, rather than being worried about the time and commitment involved, it is instead important to look for ways to overcome and prepare these factors.
There are many perks to teaching that undermine the stresses of the role, such as teaching benefits and discounts, including retirement plans, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with many people, both students, and teachers, and even get a promotion, with there being ample chance for these in the sector.
You will also be able to promote a subject which you are incredibly passionate about, with many subjects to choose from when looking at teaching careers.
What Is The Demand For Teachers?
One of the main benefits of becoming a teacher is the fact that teachers will almost always be in demand across the country at all times of the year, with many openings occurring at the end of terms, especially in the summer months.
In fact, there is currently a teaching shortage, meaning that it is extremely unlikely that you will not be able to find a suitable role or that you will struggle with redundancy or unemployment in the future.
Although pay is not always the greatest for those that teach, job security is of the utmost importance to many, and there are many teacher unions that can help to support you in any struggles that you do face.
What Opportunities For Growth Are There?
As an individual looking at a career in teaching, there are many ways that you can advance your career and even achieve a pay rise.
The average teacher makes £29,500 a year in their mid-career.
There are also many Early Career Frameworks for teachers to allow them to get the training and advice they need to achieve this.
Not only can you choose a specialism within which to teach, such as special needs teaching, but you can also look at taking on leadership roles and responsibilities, such as becoming a headteacher or deputy-head.
You could also look at global teaching opportunities, such as the teach abroad schemes where you can teach English in another country for a year or more and achieve a TEFL qualification while you do so.
Teaching abroad can help you to:
• Understand different cultures and perceptions of teaching
• Allow you to gain classroom experience
• Learn from others from different countries
• Make connections for life
Although becoming a teacher can be a contentious subject, there are many positives to the role that you should consider before you make an ultimate decision.
Regardless of low pay and under appreciation, becoming a teacher can give you the chance to have a meaningful career with ample opportunity for promotion that can allow you to stay engaged and excited about your job role for many years to come.