Becoming a Teacher can be a long process and it can be difficult to decide how to get into the industry, what age group you would like to work with and what you would like to teach.
In this Industry Spotlight, Jobulo talks to Lisa Batchelor, a Junior School teacher from Hampshire, to get her insight on the industry.
How Did You Decide You Wanted to Become a Teacher?
When I left University I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my Psychology and Education studies degree. My friend suggested I went into the school where she worked and I really enjoyed it. That’s when I believed teaching would be a rewarding and enjoyable career and decided to explore it as an option.
What Was Your Career Path Before Working as a Teacher?
Before I became a Teacher I had worked but didn’t have a career as such. When I was 16 I worked part time at a local store whilst I was at College and University. After University I volunteered at a school for a year whilst still working part-time. During the PGCE (teacher training) I wasn’t able to work at the same time as it’s a full time course but, at that time, the government offered a bursary to PGCE students.
Did You Do Any Work Experience?
I worked for a few days a week in a school voluntarily for a year in between finishing University and starting the PGCE course. It wasn’t essential but I really felt it gave me an insight of what the job would be like.
How Did You Get Into The Industry?
There are several routes you can take to become a Teacher. I did a 3 year degree, followed by a post graduate certificate of education (PGCE). Alternatively you can do the 4 year teaching degree and I believe there may even be a 3 year teaching degree being introduced. In addition, if a school sponsors you to become a teacher, you an can take the GTP route where you work at a school and learn this way. So, to answer the question, you would need a degree and possibly additional qualifications as well.
Is It Difficult To Decide What Age Group You Would Like to Teach?
To start with I thought I’d like to teach KS (Key Stage) 1 children – year 1 or 2. However after my two teaching placements I realised I would actually like to teach KS2 children – years 3, 4, 5 and 6. During my NQT (newly qualified teacher) year I was placed with year 3 children and have been there since! With each group comes different rewards and challenges but it’s really personal preference.
People Say The School Holidays Are a Benefit – But You Must Spend Time Marking?
Yes the holidays are most definitely a perk of the job and we are very lucky to get the holidays that we do. However it is most definitely not a 9-5 job. The hours you work during the week and at the weekend can be long and tiring. There is a lot of planning and marking involved after the school day ends. In addition there are parent’s evenings, discos, after school clubs, meetings – a teacher’s day never ends when the bell rings!
What Is The Most Rewarding Part of Your Job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing children understand something for the first time. It is lovely to know you have helped facilitate their understanding of something brand new. Some of my favourite days are the ones that the children will hopefully remember for a long-time to come. In year 3 we put on an evacuee day and that is one of my favourite days of the year, the children seem to really enjoy it and learn a lot from it too.
Is There Career Progression and Opportunities?
As a Teacher the career progression varies. It does depend on the opportunities at the school in which you work. You can become a Year Leader, a Subject Leader, a Deputy Head Teacher or a Head Teacher!
What Advice Would Give to Someone Wanting to be a Teacher?
I would say that teaching is a career that can be both very rewarding and enjoyable. My advice would be to prioritise your work load, otherwise you will exhaust yourself. You should ask for advice and help from others if needed as other teachers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to learn from.