Becoming a teacher isn’t a decision you take lightly as it requires hard work, determination, perseverance, and passion, however, it’s a job that is never boring and is hugely rewarding. As a teacher, you will have to create an interesting and stimulating classroom environment, meet the individual needs of your students, organise and execute lesson plans, administer homework and assignments as well as mark them, evaluate performance, and give constructive and engaged feedback. You should be confident in your communication abilities and driven to see your students achieve their very best. Your responsibilities and duties will differ depending on the year, level and the subject you are teaching, for example, teaching secondary school kids maths will be very different from teaching primary school children. If this sounds like the career for you, how do you go about becoming a teacher?
Often, there are two routes to becoming a teacher: the traditional route where you gain the necessary qualifications as part of studying, and the non-traditional route of learning on the job, gaining experience, and picking up the skills as you go. You will need to complete a Bachelor’s degree, and also a teacher education program if you’re pursuing the traditional way. Once these core courses have been completed and passed to a high standard, you must then gain extensive experience in the field and learn to adapt to an interactive classroom environment. You can choose to complete online training courses and programs such as teaching graduate degrees online if going to an onsite college isn’t an option for you.
Every school is different, and you’ll have to decide which you’d ideally like to begin working in as a newly trained and qualified teacher after graduating. You can choose from options such as the following: junior schools, senior schools, boarding schools, religious schools, military schools, and special needs schools. Whichever you choose or are assigned to, your training and acquired skills will be paramount in helping you adjust and perform your job as well as you possibly can. It’s wise to keep an eye out for the chance to advance your career, so find out which courses and skills are transferable, and where teaching can lead you.
A passion for educating and helping people improve their skill set is going to be a real driving force in seeing that you’re successful in your chosen field. You will be responsible for inspiring young people (for the most part) to see the world and to question and comprehend what’s happening around them. Your role is extremely important in giving individuals the chance to grow, and realise their full potential, so it’s vital that you have a genuine love for your area of expertise and know how to engage others.
If you’re unsure of which schools appeal to you, or to which you’d be most suited, then consider getting some experience before actually completing your teacher training. If you’re reading this before having gone to college, then ask at your local schools and enquire into the possibility of shadowing teachers and volunteering. Pursue experiences that are related to the field of teaching and educating, such as tutoring in your spare time, volunteering, reading about your specialised topic, teaching English as a foreign language abroad, and running an afterschool club or society.