Are you looking for a career that makes a real difference? Do you want a job that brings out the best in others and yourself? If so, you may have considered a career in education. Although it is endlessly rewarding, teaching has its hurdles and difficulties. However, with the right attitude and motivation, you might just find that a career in teaching is perfect for you, your family and your future.
Teaching boasts many attractive advantages, such as variety, job security, a decent salary, long holidays, and family-friendly work times. If these are priorities for you, teaching may be a great option. How do you know if a career in education is right for you? Check out these eight qualities that every aspiring teacher should possess.
A passion for your subject
Ultimately, teaching as a career should be a lifetime vocation. If you have a passion for a subject that you want to explore further in your career and pass on to others, teaching can be extremely rewarding as you watch your students develop their knowledge and self-esteem. As a teacher, you can witness students falling in love with Shakespeare’s sonnets, the French language, or Greek history, just as you once did, and you can encourage them to pursue their interests in their further education.
Teaching, perhaps more than any other profession, requires excellent communication skills. The ability to speak confidently and coherently and provide compelling lessons for students lies at the heart of being a successful teacher. Communication is crucial to building formative relationships with students that encourage their learning and participation in the classroom. Written communication is also a valued skill for a teacher, who is often responsible for writing reports, grading work and liaising with fellow teachers and parents.
To become a teacher, you will need a degree and an appropriate teaching qualification. If you are enthusiastic about studying and passionate about your subject, this will help you on your way to becoming a qualified teacher. Financial support is often available for those in teacher training due to the high demand for people to fill roles in education. You need to ask yourself whether you can dedicate the time and money required to become qualified before even considering the job opportunities that follow.
Opportunities for career advancement are also possible when you further your training with a master’s in education, which you can complete online. Institutions offering courses like these are widely accessible, such as Exeter’s two-year online master’s degree in education.
The value of patience in teaching cannot be stressed enough. When working alongside children of various ages, it is important to be able to “keep your cool” and maintain control in a classroom. Students will forget their homework, talk in class, and misbehave in the halls, but it is your responsibility to firmly but calmly guide them in the right direction without getting flustered.
It also takes patience to allow students to learn at their own pace. For example, if it takes a particular student longer to learn specific content or they need more assistance writing an essay. It is important to demonstrate patience that allows students to grow and develop at their own speed. Adults might also test your ability to be patient. Schools can be stressful environments, so you may find that last-minute schedule changes and tedious meetings can be frustrating.
Another skill that will make you suitable for a career in teaching is being prepared and well-organized. A large portion of your workload will be lesson planning, administrative work and grading, so time management is essential to ensure you stay on top of things. If you already have a flair for organization, you will be one step ahead when approaching a career in education.
Working with young people
It may sound a little obvious, but to work in teaching, you must be enthusiastic about working with children and approaching their education in a holistic way. Being a teacher is a huge responsibility as you must act as a guide and role model for future generations. You might be surprised by the number of teachers who don’t appear to enjoy working with children at all, thereby creating a negative and detrimental atmosphere for students’ development. Ensure that working alongside children 24/7 is something you can commit to fully before making any big career decisions.
Resilience and energy
Teaching is intellectually and emotionally demanding, and it comes with its fair share of challenges. As a teacher, you need the ability to manage difficult behavior and situations, all while handling the stress that comes with this responsibility. It is important to be able to deal with these events while maintaining a caring and thoughtful approach to your students and their wellbeing. A positive outlook is essential for a classroom teacher and creates a positive environment for learning.
The teaching profession is subject to regular change. Whether it’s a revised curriculum or a new schedule, you will have to be able to adapt and accommodate the frequent changes in your routines and methods as a teacher and stay up to date with new ways of learning. If a classroom’s environment is too rigid, it leaves no room for growth and discovery. The key is to find a balance between structure and excitement; it is important to be flexible when the occasion warrants it. This creates the opportunity to cultivate fun within the classroom and allows students to be proactive about their own learning.
Is teaching right for you?
Reflect on some of these ideas and think realistically about your future as a teacher. Do you have a passion for a subject that you want to approach in new and diverse ways? Do you value building relationships with others and encouraging original and unique ways of thinking? Would you like to help children reach their full potential as adults and achieve their goals and ambitions? If so, a career in education might be the perfect path for you.