Teaching in Scotland
Choosing Teaching as a Career
Most people can think back to a particular teacher that inspired them in some way during their time at school, or, perhaps more relatable, to one who undermined them. Teaching is a powerful vocation and is regarded as
being one of the most rewarding jobs one could have. It is after all, teachers that educate the future generations of the world and create all other professions. However, with work experience having been cut from many schools, it can be difficult for young people to know exactly what teaching entails and whether they would be suited to the profession. UCAS, the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admission Service, advises those who are thinking about applying for teaching to arrange some classroom experience in a local school or college. Observing what it is like to work in a school environment is the best way to gauge whether or not the
individual interested in the vocation is suited to the job.
Having school work experience on a CV when applying to university also gives an individual an advantage over other candidates. Although, this may not be necessary criteria to gain entry into a teaching course, being familiar with the school environment helps individuals to become more accustomed with what to expect when put on placement. When thinking about choosing teaching as a career, the first decision that is usually made by the individual is whether they want to teach at a primary or secondary level. For entry to primary teaching, the most common pathway is to undertake an Education with Teaching Qualification, which is a four year undergraduate degree. After graduating with a degree in primary teaching, individuals are allocated a one year teaching placement at a school. For secondary teaching, individuals normally choose to study a subject that they are passionate about at university and once graduated, apply for a teaching degree which is specific to the subject that they studied.
Many people often change their career later on in life as they become attracted to various elements that teaching boasts such as greater job satisfaction and a freedom to experiment that other jobs don’t necessarily
offer. However, that is not to say that sometimes the wrong people can be attracted to teaching not necessarily for the right reasons but rather because it boasts long holidays and a relatively stable wage. This is
understandable, especially in the current economic climate, however, as well as being rewarding, teaching is a vocation, and, like any other job, requires a lot of hard work and passion.
As well as being a full time 9 to 5 job, teachers have to attend meetings, make sure that they are accommodating the individual needs of each pupil, prepare for parents nights and keep on top of marking in the evenings and weekends. It is often these elements of teaching that some people can overlook, but those with a passion for the vocation take in their stride. Teaching is certainly a dynamic job that incorporates many different skills which means that no two days are ever the same. However, it is well known that the best teachers teach from their heart not from the book.
By Clare McLaughlin