Whether you’re hoping for a career change or considering your options for university, becoming a teacher is sure to be a career step that changes your life. The thing is that getting a degree in education isn’t the only way to up your chances of securing yourself a job, and there is more to go once you’ve completed your masters. With new options on the horizon, there are more ways than ever to improve these prospects further.
Issues to consider
Aside from Brexit news dominating screens and newspapers in recent months, there have also been some key issues highlighted which reflect on the teaching profession. Namely, the changes to grade systems and the effects of austerity have affected teachers all around the country.
Studies have revealed that teachers are not getting paid what they should in the current economic climate; combined with the fact that teaching is listed as one of the most stressful jobs someone can enter into, there is plenty to consider before you begin your next educational journey.
Despite these obstacles, teaching is still considered to be an incredibly rewarding career path. Every day, teachers can educate children from all kinds of backgrounds with the skills they need to make it in further education and beyond.
Teachers are the people that children end up looking up to, and valuing for the rest of their lives. They can have a profound effect on vulnerable children, and make a huge difference to their confidence levels.
This isn’t to say that these challenges are not very real, but for many, this is precisely what makes teaching so worth it. Although these challenges cannot and should not be ignored, if teaching still sounds like something you’d love to do, you can go into work each day knowing you’re doing something to help the local community.
Getting hands-on experience
When you are applying for teaching roles after university, it always helps to have some teaching experience on your CV. This kind of experience is valuable, as it shows potential employers the kinds of skills you have picked up over the years. It may also prove to highlight the kind of passion and integrity many teachers need to succeed.
This is also thankfully a relatively easy way to increase your chances of becoming a teacher. Whether you ask for some work experience at your local school, or run sports workshops out-of-hours for kids, every bit of experience only serves your dream job better.
Just make sure you’re able to draw out the benefits of this experience when it comes to completing job applications. While this kind of experience will look great on your CV, it is also a great way of preparing you for what your future in teaching will entail.
Remember that attending university isn’t for everyone, and studying online is a credible option. You could choose to study the likes of a masters in education, UK distance learning if you’re keen to get your career off to a good start.
Your course will also require you to complete at least a few hands-on hours in the classroom as part of your degree, so you won’t miss out on vital practice.
Refreshing your skills
Becoming a teacher goes far beyond completing an education masters or taking part in Teach First. With the constant changes being made to the education system, you’ll need to keep your skills fresh.
This can be tricky when you are already dealing with lesson planning and marking, but it is not impossible. For example, maths teachers can bring new developments in the maths world into lessons. Not only will this cement your knowledge of the new specifications, but you will also be preparing your students for the same changes,
While teaching observations are not looked upon favourably by teachers, they can in fact be helpful with refreshing your skills. The next time you are to be observed, actively seek out feedback from your superior. This way, you will be able to learn exactly how you can hone your skills to become the most successful teacher you can be. This doesn’t just mean in delivering lessons, but by inspiring students too. Participating in peer observations may also give you ideas on how to run your lessons, based on how your peers are delivering theirs.
Managing stress at work
There’s being a teacher, and then there’s being a successful one. With the current pressures of teaching today, it can be difficult to overcome stress and deliver inspiring lessons every hour of every day.
With 75% of teachers feeling stressed in their jobs, you will likely not be alone in feeling like this. It also means that there are more tips and tricks out there to help you manage this stress and keep your passion for teaching burning.
The only problem involves filtering through the suggestions to find ones that can actually help. With tried and tested results, here are some stress management techniques you can always rely on:
● Find out what makes you stressed. There will be some parts of teaching that don’t stress you out, and some that do. Figuring out what these are will enable you to recognise your triggers, and then you can work to implement helpful coping strategies. Popular examples include frequent observations, marking work, and preparing for exams.
● Talk to a professional. There is no shame in admitting that your stress levels may have turned into something more serious. The priority is making sure you have someone on your side to help you get through it. Many professionals will offer talking therapies as a way of helping you let go of stress, so you can go back to doing what you do best.
● Make time for yourself. One of the best parts of being a teacher is the amount of holiday you get each year. While you aren’t spending this time marking, make the most of it by taking care of yourself. Going on long walks, indulging in weekend breaks- there’s plenty you can do to keep yourself calm. Some of these tricks you could even try during your regular working week.