The government is always looking for new teachers as pupil numbers grow and the old hands retire. Not only are they looking to newly graduated and peppy 21-year-olds, but they’re also starting to look to more mature professionals too. People retraining as teachers tend to approach the entire educating process from a different angle. Although learning a new skill after being out of education for so long can be challenging, it also allows retrained teachers to emphasise better with the frustrations of learning in the classroom. Time management, ability to prioritise, and people skills developed in the workplace all lend themselves well to retraining as a teacher. If you’re interested, read on and see if the career change is right for you.
If you’re unhappy in your current career
Firstly, you’ve got to want to leave your current job. If you’re as happy as ever doing what you’re doing, there’s probably not a lot of point in retraining and shifting career. If on the other hand you’re thoroughly disillusioned with your current employment, this might be the right path for you. Many people feel concerned that their skill set is honed throughout their continued employment in one industry, making it impossible for them to leave. As teaching legally requires a full qualification, retraining is perfectly possible, making it a great career choice for people who want to leave a job they feel like they’ve done forever.
If you’re good with people
To teach effectively, you have to want to spend time around other people. If you’re quite introverted and find extended periods of human contact exhausting, it might not be the right path for you. If you take your energy from social situations, and enjoy meeting people from all walks of life, teaching if perfect. You can even work part time, or fit it around other jobs. Companies such as Simply Education allow people to become supply teachers throughout a region, meaning they’re not always tied down to one school and one group of people.
If you’re patient
As you’re probably well aware, children and teenagers can be really rather challenging. Not only can they be poorly behaved, but they can also need a simple concept repeating numerous times before they begin to understand it. Teachers have to have a really level temperament, the patience of a saint, and the ability to stay calm in frustrating situations.
So what’s next?
If all of these things apply to you and you reckon you’ll make a great educator, it’s time to go to the next level. It’s crucial that you spend some time in a classroom, either as a teaching assistant or just shadowing a teacher. Most schools are perfectly happy to allow people to do this for a week, although may require a background check to be carried out first. If you spend a few days in a school, witness the trials and tribulations of teaching first hand, and still decide that you’d like to teach, it’s probably time to put your applications in for retraining.
Teaching can be really rewarding – it’s never the same day to day, and you get to meet all sort of people from all walks of life.
*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog