June 16, 2019

Getting into Teaching

Secondary school kids presenting their work to the class
School pupils in Greenford

As a teacher, you will use your knowledge and passion for your subject to inspire young people – rewarding hey?! If this appeals to you, read on about how to apply for teacher training. My first piece of advice would be to familiarise yourself with this website Get Into Teaching. I would also recommend looking on Twitter – Get Into Teaching , Facebook – Get Into Teaching and You Tube – Get Into Teaching. Happy reading and information gathering.

So you have done your research, you like what you see and and you want to be a teacher; now there are several stages to work your way through in order to make a successful application for teacher training.  When you know you want to teach, make sure you know the application dates and get in early – when the places are filled, they are filled. First of all you need to get some classroom experience – as much as possible. The minimum most institutions ask for is one week within a classroom setting, but I think you need more than that; the experience should not be about meeting the minimum requirement, but to actually check this is what you want to do and to really get a feel for the classroom environment and being in a school. Ideally you will spend time in more than one school.

Armed with enthusiasm and school experience, you need to decide how you are going to train. When it comes to training to teach, there is not a one size, fits all approach. You may find the following website useful Routes into Teaching. How you go about it will depend on your personal circumstances, qualifications, and the subject and age group you want to teach. The more informed you are the better as you need to make a decision on the right school or university to lead your training. To encourage top graduates to enter the profession, financial incentives are offered to trainees intending to train to teach certain subjects. These are also loans and grants available but there is information on the website Funding for Teacher Training which I would encourage you to read fully.

So you are at the stage of applying…your personal statement is your opportunity to let your chosen training providers know about your qualities, skills, expertise, and why you want to be a teacher; it’s very important. What do you think you should tell them? What do they want to hear? Your reasons for wanting to teach, evidence that you understand the rewards and challenges of teaching – based on your work experience, observations or previous jobs, your personal experience of education, any other work you have done with young people and the range of skills you can bring to the profession. Make it relevant and put what makes you stand out in the first paragraph – engage the reader!

As part of the application process, you will be asked for 2 references – make these as relevant as possible. If you have recently completed an undergraduate degree; one of your lecturers and the Head Teacher at a school where you have undertaken work experience?

Application done; now you need to pass the Professional Skills Tests before you start the course. To ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism, all teachers and prospective teachers must pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy Professional Skills Tests before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS). Most institutes set you a time limit when offering you a place in which to pass so it’s best to get them out of the way sooner rather than later.

And when you have done all this, you still need to successfully interview for a position. This process will vary depending on the route into teaching you have chosen but as with any interview, preparation is essential.  If we can help review your personal statement or discuss interview technique, please get in touch 0208 293 2020 or careerszone@gsm.org.uk

And all of this before you start to train. Good luck and do let us know if we can help with anything!

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