Whether becoming a teacher has been a dream of yours for many years or you’ve recently been contemplating it as a career, here are many things to take into account. Continue reading for the most important considerations.
Consider what appeals to you most: teaching a range of subjects to younger children or focusing on one of two curriculum areas to older pupils? If you are a strong linguist, but struggle with mathematics and science, perhaps secondary teaching would be more suitable as you could play to your strengths. However, if you would prefer to have your own class and see them each day, being able to teach all areas of the curriculum through a topic (depending on your setting), for example, the Romans, means that primary would be more suitable. If you opt for primary, you can refine your choice even further by picking early years, key stage one or key stage two. However, even once you’ve chosen and trained in a certain age range, that doesn’t restrict you. If you are able to find an employer willing to give you a chance in a different area, there’s nothing stopping you.
No one will tell you that teaching is an easy profession unless of course, they’re not a teacher. Many people view teaching as being a simple option because of the long holidays. Unfortunately, what they don’t understand is how time-consuming the job is during term time (and many choose to work during the holidays too), plus holidays are not paid, rather the salary is divided equally between each month. The hours teachers are paid for do not cover the vast number of responsibilities they have. Before you decide that teaching is for you, evaluate how many current commitments you have and if you would be able to forgo any of them in order to fulfil your duties.
Some people choose to study for an undergraduate degree in education, which leads to qualified teacher status (QTS). Others choose to undertake an undergraduate degree in a subject of their choice, for example, at the University of Winchester, then complete a postgraduate certificate of education (PGCE). These are the two most common routes. However, there are other ways into teaching available, but all require an undergraduate degree, usually in a relevant subject or with a significant amount of relevant experience.
Before embarking on the path to any career, it is vital to take into account the financial implications. The majority of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) earn just under £24,000 if they have a full-time job and are not based in inner or outer London. Pay usually increases each year to a certain point if you are able to prove you have met certain standards and your performance management targets. Although for most, the salary may look appealing, you do need to take into account the number of hours you would work for that. Looking ahead, if you are hoping to go part-time, would this be enough to live off? More and more teachers are taking second jobs to make ends meet.
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