With all the uncertainty in the job market since Covid, you might be looking at teaching in a more favourable light, as a job that perhaps can provide stability and good benefits at a time of uncertainty in other professions. You wouldn’t be alone in this thinking, according to FE News, the number of graduates applying for teacher training schemes has gone up by 65% since lockdown began in March. However, with one in three teachers leaving the profession within five years of training, it’s important to really consider whether teaching is the right profession for you.
Would I make a good teacher?
So, what makes a good teacher? Most of us should be able to remember a few teachers at school who were really good at their job. For me, it was the teachers who were not only enthusiastic about their subject and what they were teaching, but those that also had a genuine interest in the children and young people they were teaching and were able to deliver their subject in a way that was easily understood. This Times Ed article gives a good outline of what makes a good teacher and would be good to read and consider whether it sounds like you.
Is teaching right for me?
The best way to determine whether teaching is right for you, is to experience school life by spending time preferably in a few schools, observing different teachers and seeing the reality of the job. In fact, many teacher training providers want to be sure that you’ve done this before committing to the course. However, with most schools only allowing essential external visitors due to Covid this might be hard to achieve. Some schools are offering virtual school experiences and you can find them on the government get school experience website. Hopefully, after vaccines have rolled out the situation might improve and in person experience might be possible. Many students find that an ideal time to do this is after the university year has finished and schools are in their summer term. In the meantime, the next best way to find out about teaching would be to speak to some, either through your own contacts, using Linked In or Bath Connection or by attending an event run by the Careers Service here at the university or a Get into Teaching virtual event. Websites such as Prospects, TargetJobs and Get into Teaching have lots of information on what teaching involves and this is a short interview with a teacher.
Alternatives to teaching
If when you've done your research or work experience you're not sure teaching is right for you after all, there are lots of other related careers, you could consider where you'd be working with children and many other roles within education to look at.
How do I train?
If you’ve done your research and decided teaching is for you, you can cope with the workload and think you have the resilience needed for life in the classroom, the next decision to make is how to go about training. There are two main routes – taking a PGCE post graduate qualification after your degree or one of the various on the job training options such as Teach First, Schools Direct or a teaching apprenticeship and we’ll look at these in part 2 of the blog.