There are countless myths about the big bad world of education and we at Impact are here to hook you up with fantastic teaching jobs in the UK and provide you with the truth about what you’re about to take on. From dealing with misbehaving students to some excellent teaching tips to help you excel, this article will prepare you for the amazing career you’re about to begin.
1. Other Teachers Will Save Your Skin
You may have heard that the teaching profession is a dog-eat dog-world and it’s every man (or woman) for themselves, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Something to always remember if you want to be a successful teacher is to help out your fellow teachers, because sooner or later you’ll need their help in return. Every child is different and therefore every child learns differently, so a little help from your colleagues could go a long way! So no matter how much teacher training you’ve done, you constantly have to learn as you go.
2. Relating to Students Really Matters
As well as boosting your students’ brain-power, it’s vitally important to reach out to them emotionally too by making them feel respected, understood and cared for with clear rules and boundaries. Ideally, pupils should be comfortable enough to come to you with any problems they’re having- whether they are occurring at school, at home or with friends. You’ll also need to brush up on the legalities of what incidents or difficult you must report and escalate to a higher educational authority, either within the school or an external organisation or individual.
3. Working with Parents is Tough
The majority of teacher training does what it says on the tin and focuses on how to educate your students and provide both academic and emotional support for them. Therefore, there tends to be little or no preparation towards working with the parents and/or guardians of your students; a crucial part of your job. You must always set boundaries with parents and guardians and make attempts to make them realise that you are as passionate about their child’s education as they are. But inevitably, you will encounter tricky situations so the best way forward is to always be professional, sensitive and honest, and allow parents and guardians to see that you utilise every procedure possible to do the best for their child and your student.
4. You’ll Rarely Relax
Break times are for rejuvenating and relaxing before you begin working again, right? Wrong. Teaching is to some extent, a 24/7 occupation. Whether you’re teaching in the classroom, teaching one-to-one, chatting with your colleagues or eating lunch, you need to constantly be alert and in full-on ‘teacher mode’. Also, you cannot allow your concentration to wander when in the classroom and you must keep on top of organisational tasks such as lesson planning and arranging meetings with parents and guardians. Schools are also all-hands-on-deck environments, so there will be a lot of collaboration between you and other school staff and you cannot allow your personal and private life to interfere with your teaching life. It’s definitely not your average desk job!
5. Your Students Will Distract You
Whether they’re 5 or 25, your students will find anything to pick on about you and the way you teach. These distractions usually come about to divert your attention from students doing something against the school’s rules. Your students may also take note of the little quirks, mannerisms and characteristics that you never knew you had. Whether it’s the odd way you walk, the fact that your socks don’t match, that daft pattern on your tie or the peculiar way to pronounce Sudoku , your students
, particularly if they’re young, will reveal them to you in no time!
6. You’ll Become A Child Again
As you spend more and more time at school planning lessons, decorating the classroom and having meetings with parents and guardians as well as your colleagues, you’re likely to feel nostalgic about your own youth, especially if you’re working in a primary school. For many primary NQTs, this often leads to watching countless children’s’ films, reading children’s books and effectively becoming a child in your spare time. Also, with all the organisational work teachers have to do, it’s no wonder many would rather say in and cosy up with a Disney movie and a mug of hot chocolate (complete with marshmallows of course) than go out clubbing with the rest of the young’uns!
7. Don’t Base Your Teaching Career on Your 1st NQT Year
It may be possible to have a perfect first year in the teaching profession, but for many this simply doesn’t happen. As a teacher, you will constantly be learning new tactics and skills to excite and educate your students, so your first year is likely to be a huge learning curve, so it’s incredibly important to take as much of what you experience, both good and bad, in as possible. Remember, students can smell fear so you must always focus on the positives of what you have achieved.
8. Everyone Will Expect Something From You
Teachers have a lot pressure to deal with, not just from
their colleagues and students, but also from the school’s community. Particularly, if you work in a local or single-form entry school, you may have to act as a shoulder to cry on, an authoritative figure, an educator, a nurse and even a friend. You will also be teaching pupils with varying levels of ability, concentration and appreciation for school and to become a truly successful teacher, you need to adhere to all your students’ educational needs
9. You Must Develop a ‘Teacher Voice’
Although you’ll need to wear many hats when teaching, a really important thing to remember is the authority you possess over your students. Although it’s acceptable to be compassionate and friendly towards your pupils you’ll need to learn to put your foot down and exercise your power. Behavior management is one
of the most important but trickiest aspects in teaching. A student’s behavior and attitude can completely control their educational path so it’s integral that as an
NQT, you find the balance between being a friendly teacher and an effective teacher.
10. Always Have A Plan B
Working with young people is never an easy ride, and you need to be prepared. Lesson planning is, of course necessary to conducting a successful lesson, but what you thought might engage your students may not, so you need to be on the ball to retain their attention. After all, when pupils are learning, most of the behavioral and discipline issues tend to disappear.
There are tonnes of factors to take into account before embarking on your teaching career but working as an effective educator shapes the careers of tomorrow and you will not find a more rewarding and satisfying pro
fession where you’ll be constantly learning as well as teaching. After all, as Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Learning never exhausts the mind.”