What do you need to become a teacher?
Teaching can be a highly rewarding career – you could be teaching kids things that set them up for life. Whether you’re teaching at a primary school or a college the general requirements are the same. Here are just a few things you need in order to pursue a career in teaching.
Understand the personal qualities
Teachers need to have a wide range of personal skills. Being a good communicator is probably the top skill – whether you’re teaching kids or talking to parents at a parents evening, you need to be able to clearly convey what you mean. Written communication may be necessary as well as verbal communication in order to write reports and mark essays. You’ll need to be enthusiastic about your subject and you’ll need to be patient in order to deal with difficult students (remaining calm when provoked is very important and you need to have good negotiating skills to help solve conflict). Organisational skills are also needed – not only do you have a curriculum to follow with every class, but you need to be able to keep on top of paperwork and marking essays and various other admin that comes with the job. For more information on the personal qualities needed to teach, check out this site.
Get an education
If you think that you’ve got the personal skills, you should next focus on getting the qualifications. You’ll need to be competent at English and Maths on top of having some kind of degree in any subject (usually the subject that you’re planning to teach if you’re aiming for secondary school and beyond). An education is important for credibility – no school will want to hire you if you yourself didn’t pay attention at school. Aim for a 2:1 or above when getting a degree and consider choosing modules and extracurricular activities that show your passion for your chosen subject. It’s possible to gain teaching qualifications online nowadays (click here to see such a course). Be wary of teaching abroad as these qualifications may not be valid.
Complete a criminal record check
All teachers must complete a DBS check, which is basically a screening method to check that you don’t have any past criminal convictions. It is possible to become a teacher with a criminal record, but it will be very difficult as most schools will generally not hire you. It depends a lot on the nature of the crime – if it’s something petty that doesn’t affect your ability as a role model too much, many schools will be willing to overlook it.
Pass an induction year
Once you’re qualified and you’ve passed a DBS check, you can usually start an induction year. This is a year of supervised teaching in classes which will determine whether you have the skills to teach. This is the final hurdle, after which you will have the freedom to apply to any school. You can find information on completing your induction year here.
If you are hoping to become a teacher, what has drawn towards this career? Let us know in the comments below.