The thought of becoming a teacher passes through the minds of many people at many different stages of life. Some are fortunate enough to know exactly what they want to do from a young age and are therefore confidently decisive about their educational route to get to where they want to be. For others, they may be later to the party when it comes to discovering their passion and career path. Whichever route you currently find yourself on, the ultimate goal should be to be happy in whatever you choose to do, regardless of how long it takes to get there.
The point is, it’s never too late to change your career, especially if it’s going to change your life for the better. If you’ve considered teaching before but found the idea too daunting or difficult to get into, now might be time to change your mind.
Today we’re going to explore 10 great reasons why you should become a teacher. We’ve added some quotes from recent trainee teachers, who likely had many of the same reservations before getting into teaching.
1. Knowing you’re making a real difference to children’s lives
Teachers play such an important role in children’s lives. They’re there not only to teach them a specific subject, or a variety of subjects, but they’re also helping their students to develop vital life skills – and ultimately to develop as young people.
“The students are great and it’s all worth it when you find yourself making a positive difference.” – Mark Murphy, Trainee Teacher
2. Teaching a subject you love
Teaching a subject you love and inspiring the next generation of young minds to take an interest in your field is incredibly rewarding.
“The best aspect is the bit where you’re actually teaching (funnily enough). It’s a difficult feeling to describe, but I liken it to being on Oblivion for an hour. I haven’t got to a point where I’m not nervous before lessons, but I also haven’t stopped buzzing after they have finished. I hope that continues.” – Tom Dutt, Trainee Teacher
3. Every day is different
When you’re training to become a teacher you’ll soon realise that no two days are ever the same. There’s so much more to being a teacher than standing at the front of a classroom and talking. With lesson planning, preparation, after-school clubs, parents’ evenings, school trips and events there is guaranteed to be variety every single day.
“I’m currently training to teach secondary Computing. I’m a career changer with lots of industry experience. Please don’t think it’s too late to change. It’s been interesting, making the change to teaching. There’s lots of variety in the day. All days are different. Three school trips, three parents’ evenings and one ‘dress as your British hero’ day already and it’s only October! And then there’s helping with Robotics club and helping with bus duty. Lots and lots of variety.” – Mark Murphy, Trainee Teacher
4. Great pay
Teaching is by no means an easy job and you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking otherwise. Hard work and dedication are what makes a great teacher. In return, you will receive some great benefits. Early Career Teachers in South Yorkshire and beyond can expect to receive a salary of at least £25,714. This can progress to as much as £125,098 for a Headteacher role in Central London. Many schools are granted the freedom to reward teachers based on their performance rather than the length of service, meaning you can progress through salary brackets quickly.
5. Work-life balance
Working term-time only gives teachers a great work-life balance. If you have or want to have a family, having the same holidays as your children will give you the opportunity to be flexible with childcare arrangements as well as being able to spend lots of quality time together. Granted, a portion of your holiday will be spent preparing for the new term, but you will get lots of well-deserved time to unwind, relax, spend time with friends and family and travel.
6. You’re continuously learning
Every day is a school day for teachers too! It’s not only the students who are being educated every day. As a teacher, you will be continuously learning; perfecting your teaching style, updating your knowledge on your subject(s), keeping up with the latest research, and developing your career both on a professional and personal level.
“I learn something new each day working in a school and yes, it is hard work, but unequivocally worth it!” – Phil Cullumbine, Trainee Teacher
7. Financially supported training
Some people are fortunate enough to know their life calling from an early age, working their way to becoming a teacher directly from school. Whilst this can carry a financial burden for the cost of universities, it’s usually less of a concern for young graduates who tend to have fewer outgoings and responsibilities. This financial position differs massively when you’re thinking of changing your career later in life. You’ll likely have larger financial commitments which makes the thought of leaving your stable job unimaginable, no matter how much you dislike it.
There is some good news, as teaching is in such high demand it is amongst the few careers where there is financial support available to help you train. Tax-free bursaries, scholarships, and salaried training opportunities make it much more achievable to take a year to train.
8. Job stability
The future stability of a job is an important factor to consider. Teaching is regarded as an incredibly secure job. With more than 24,000 schools across the UK, and with teachers being in high demand, there is an abundance of opportunities to teach all over the country. Having the option to stay in a school you love or move from school to school, teaching is a career that sets you up for life. There are even opportunities to continue with your teaching career abroad, meaning the world really is your oyster as a teacher.
9. Progression opportunities
Personal and professional development goes hand in hand with becoming a teacher. Many teachers progress from an Early Career Teacher to the Head of Department, Senior Leadership Team, becoming a SENCO (supporting students with special needs), or even becoming the Headteacher of a school. You can expect to receive a lifetime of personal development and professional progression as a teacher.
“Teaching is about continual development and self-improvement, and this is where the weekly mentor meetings are invaluable. Many things are discussed, and I’m given all sorts of enlightening pieces of advice, encouragement and, most importantly, motivation. I’m yet to walk out of a meeting with my mentor feeling uninspired.” – Tom Dutt, Trainee Teacher
10. It’s fun!
Working with young people is fun! They bring so much energy, happiness, and laughter into your classroom. Seeing the lightbulb moment on your student’s faces when they really understand your lesson will never fail to put a smile on your face. You get the satisfaction of knowing you did that.
“The job comes with lots of rewards; acting as a role model to the students, building rapport and relationships with the staff and students, and a great sense of pride and responsibility that comes with being a teacher. I have found the role ensures you will laugh every day which is a huge bonus!” – Rob Sturman, Trainee Teacher
Are you ready to take the first steps to become a teacher?
Whether you’re just curious at the moment and would like a little more information, or you’re ready to apply to a teacher training course, we can help. The South Yorkshire Teaching Hub is running an online Get into teaching event on Wednesday 31st March, 6 pm – 7 pm. The aim of the event is to introduce you to your potential teacher training provider, answer any questions you have about the courses or teacher training in general, and hopefully help you make the decision to get into teaching with a provider that best suits you.
ITT Providers attending the event:
If you want to learn more about the teacher training courses available in Sheffield and Rotherham, and the support you’ll receive, please register for the event via our Eventbrite page here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/meet-the-itt-providers-tickets