Advice on becoming a Teacher
Teachers have one of the best-known but least understood jobs out there. Unless you’ve been home-schooled or were raised by apes in the jungle, everyone has a tale or ten to tell about teachers and teaching.
We only remember the extremes – the best and the worst – but all teachers need to be dedicated and versatile with great people skills and a passion for their work.
It’s not for the faint-hearted. Getting children (of any age) not only to listen to but also to understand what you’re telling them is a tough job. Throw in school trips, extra-curricular activities and the need to engage with children from all backgrounds and with all abilities and you begin to see why teachers need all those breaks. Oh, and there’s lesson planning, marking, report writing and Ofsted inspections to tackle as well.
Your own school background will have a major impact on your teaching career. What you studied at school and university (and how well you did) will shape what you end up teaching. As a general rule, primary school teachers are good all-rounders, whereas secondary school teachers tend to be more specialised. Remember also that there is always a shortage of qualified maths and science teachers for secondary schools.
Everyone is required to complete 18 weeks of ITT – initial teacher training – to become a qualified teacher. And to qualify for the ITT, you’ll need a degree and at least a grade C in GCSE maths and English. If you want to teach in a primary school, you’ll have to add a science subject to the GCSE requirements.
There is, however, another way on to the ITT if your grades aren’t up to scratch – an ITT pre-entry test.
Graduates can get on a postgraduate ITT course or the more hands-on school-centred initial teacher training course (SCITT) or even earn as they learn through a registered teacher programme (RTP).
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Other recommended resources:
Department for Education
The government’s base for education in the UK, the DfE website provides all the latest news and policy information to keep you up-to-date with practice and requirements. They also offer a number of links to getting you into the profession.
One such link from the DfE is School’s Direct, offering a route into the profession which leads to QTS (qualified teacher status) and provides a route to a PGCE (post-graduate certificate in education).
Hiring university students to complete an intensive teacher course and 2 years in-job training towards a PGCE qualification whilst being paid, offering a great entrance into the industry if you’re at or planning to go to university.
Graduate Teacher Training Registry
An organisation tasked with managing the admissions to postgraduate teacher training courses, including PGCEs and SCITTs. They offer application guidance and a course search for helping you figure out where, what and how to apply.
Skills 4 Schools
An online training resource linking you to courses and qualifications to get you into teaching. Their website offers a load of information to help you figure out if this is the job for you.
Times Education Supplement (TES)
A digital magazine bringing you the latest news in the world of teaching, as well as opinion and debate.