How do I know if teaching is for me?
I decided I would like to become a teacher before I came to university. However, it was a complicated decision process and was influenced by work experience in a nursery and various primary schools, many chats with my former teachers and many pros & cons lists!
So, I totally understand that deciding on whether to enter the teaching field may feel like a big decision and a daunting process. Firstly, I would just like to make clear that you do not need to know what career path you would like to take before university or even whilst at university. The university has various spotlight career sessions, a department-specific career advisor and many individuals who will be willing to provide you with advice. Yet, it is always useful to know your options and be exploring different career paths throughout your learning journey.
To know whether teaching is a job role suited for yourself, you need to take a step back to evaluate the type of individual you are and what you would like to gain from your career.
A few qualities a teacher needs are patience, communication skills, empathy, adaptability, the ability to be engaging, and many more. However, I believe the most important factor is for an individual to possess a passion to make a change to a child’s life for the better. This is important as teachers are role models to children and have a large amount of influence over their actions and paths.
If you have even the slightest feeling that you would like to work in the teaching sector, I would highly recommend gaining some the school/classroom work experience. Whilst this may have previously been a struggle due to covid restrictions, schools are now willing to take on volunteers seeking work experience. Personally, gaining work experience whilst I was in sixth form, in a primary school setting reading to children in years 2 and 3 solidified my interest in the teaching sector. It is also important if you decide to work within the teaching field, to choose the right age range. Recently, during a work-based placement module, I have been supported by my lecture to carry out 15 hours of work experience. This has allowed me to explore a different age group that I have not had experience with yet and use this to make comparisons. (Even if your department do not offer this as a module, I am certain your lectures and careers advisors would be willing to support you through the gaining work-experience process)
Additionally, recently, I have attended talk sessions, hosted by a government department called ‘get into teaching’. These sessions have been really useful to gain an insight into how apply for teacher training and general teacher life. I have attached the link to sign up here and also the ‘get into teaching’ main webpage: https://www.blackberryproductions.co.uk/teaching-events
Moreover, if you are especially keen on teaching, this department provides a support mechanism by which you are able to apply to get a personal advisor. When allocated, that individual can talk you through general information about the teaching sector, routes into teaching, as well as personalised advice.
I hope this helps you take one step closer to your decision on whether to go into teaching or not? Please message me if you have any further questions!
Until next time, Kaitlyn x