Your Career in Teaching


Teaching is rightly considered an attractive career and a respected profession, there are various ways to start your career in teaching.

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There is no doubt that teaching has always been an attractive profession for many young people, mainly because it comes with a plethora of advantages.

These range from those long summer breaks to job security, and the lure of always being around young people, whose lives you get to influence. In addition to that, everyone knows that a teacher never gets bored and no day is quite the same as the previous one. Compare this to working in a cubicle and you will see exactly what I mean.
However, even if you’ve made up your mind that this is exactly what you want to do in life, you still have to get get started. Read on to check our tips on how to become a teacher which might come in handy:

Get into teaching – How to get started

Find out if you’re up for it. The best way to do that is to approach schools nearby and ask to observe classes and volunteer to do some work. This will give you some teaching experience, as well as a realistic insight regarding what the job actually entails. If you are a student, there is an option to access the Student Associate Scheme. This enables you to assist teachers for about 15 days.

Teaching skills and qualifications to become a teacher

You might already have the skills needed to become a teacher. These refer to having confidence in your knowledge, empathy towards others, being organised, sociable, approachable etc. Nevertheless, passionate as you may be about helping other people, communicating and shaping young minds, you’ll still need some qualifications to attest that you not only have the teaching skills, but also the formal proof they you can teach.
As far as the minimum requirements are concerned, you will need at least Grade C in GCSE (or equivalent) in English and maths if you want to teach ages 7-14.
You will need to undergo a teacher training programme to get a formal teaching qualification. This will give you a better grip of the teaching skills required in such a job.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education

The old-fashioned way to get qualified as a teacher is to attend a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). This normally takes a year to complete and costs around £9,000. The PGCE allows you to acquire the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to teach in maintained schools in the UK.  This route is traditional, expensive and only open to graduates.

Diploma in Education and Training

A cheaper and a faster route to get qualified is the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET). Completing this course takes around six months and costs under £2,500. This teaching qualification is considered equivalent to a PGCE.The Diploma in Education and Training would allow trainees to explore both underpinning theories and do research into effective teaching and learning, while developing their practical teaching skills.
After completing the Diploma in Education and Training, you can apply for the QTLS –Qualified Teacher and Learning Skills, which enables you to apply for jobs in schools and further education.
The main advantages taking the DET course is the lower cost and shorter length of the programme (six months rather than one year). Add to this the possibility of completing the course work in your own time, the constant support of the tutors and you can have best of both worlds.

No matter what qualifications for teaching you might choose, they will prepare you to embark on your newly-chosen career.

Blogger Claudia Boerescu – teacher trainer, educator, lead DET Tutor

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