But, what about if you’ve enrolled in higher education in order to try and help you go even higher with education? Because, chances are, they’ll be plenty of you reading this who would love to go on to use your education to educate others.
Well, if you’ve recently thought that
becoming a teacher could be the perfect career for you when you leave University, but you’re not entirely sure how to make sure you put yourself in good stead for doing so, here are a few tips that will help you to further your education in education…
1. Make sure you have the right qualifications
When looking to turn to teaching, it’s important that you make sure you’ve got the right qualifications for the kind of teaching you want to do before you set about finding experience and applying to placements.
Firstly, try to decide which avenue of teaching you’d like to pursue – whether you’d like to teach primary school children, secondary school children, or perhaps even university students like those in your position at the moment (scary to think, hey!).
Why exactly is it important to choose which education level you’d like to teach so early on? Because you need to make sure you’ve got the right qualifications in order to go about trying to do so.
All trainee teachers must have, at minimum, GSCE grade C (or the equivalent) in Maths and English. However, if you’d like to apply to teach at a primary school, then it’s vital that you have the same level grade in science too.
Now, as you’ve successfully made it to university, then chances are you’re already a clever clogs. But, if one of these subjects wasn’t quite your strong point when you were at school, then you may have to brush up on those skills again before you apply. There are plenty of ways you can re-sit a GSCE subject at university – often asking your course tutor for a little guidance, popping down to the careers centre on campus, doing a little bit of research on the internet, or even getting in contact with your former school teachers will all help you find advice on how you can do so.
2. Get some classroom experience
No matter what career you’ve decided you want to pursue after you’ve left university, the chances are your course tutors have gone on and on about making sure get some experience, right? Well, for those of you who want to continue with education, this advice couldn’t be more important.
During term times, take some time to write to local schools and ask if you could get a little bit of experience shadowing a classroom assistant or just helping out with school activities. Programmes such as the School Experience Programme can help you to get some classroom experience in your holidays, so you can find out firsthand whether or not a career in teaching is right for you.
You could also apply to the Student Associate Scheme, which recruits wannabe-teachers and provides quality training through the help of a paid 15-day secondary school placement. With the Scheme, you’ll be given training and support as well as a bursary of £40 a day to help you fund your teaching.
3. Suss out a postgraduate degree
If you started your university career reading a subject completely different to ‘teaching’, then you may worry that it’s too late to get into teaching. Well, fear not, because no matter what your university degree is, it’ll provide the perfect stepping stone for a postgraduate teaching qualification.
Many of those that decide to go into teaching start in exactly the same way – simply by enrolling in a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) course once they’ve finished their undergraduate university degree. A PGCE is usually a one year full-time (or two years part-time) course that focuses on developing your skills, knowledge, understanding and attributes required to teach in a classroom. And if your degree subject doesn’t link closely to the subject you intend to teach, you can again develop these skills through the help of an initial teacher training (ITT) course.
So, no matter what you read for your undergraduate degree, your opportunity to become a great teacher is never too late – once you’ve got the right experience and qualified in your PGCE, you’ll be able to use specialised education job finders such as
Randstad Education to find your perfect teaching career – and help use your education to educate future generations.