I want to work in ..... teaching
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For an overview of the teaching sector, including job roles, qualifications, entry and training and current trends, see:
- Prospects www.prospects.ac.uk/teaching_education_sector.htm
- TARGET Jobs http://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/teaching-and-education
- The Teaching Agency www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching
Anyone who wants to teach in a state-maintained school in England or Wales needs to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). To achieve this award, you need to complete a period of initial teacher training (ITT), which will enable you to meet the professional standards for QTS; a formal set of skills and qualities required to be an effective teacher.
A copy of the AGCAS booklet Routes into Teaching, including information on making applications for a PGCE as well as the other initial teacher training routes, can be downloaded here
QTS can be achieved through various routes.
The “traditional” route – the PGCE
The PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) is a one-year course which focuses on developing your teaching skills. It is available at universities throughout the UK on a full-time or part-time basis, and includes time spent in schools on teaching practice. Applications for PGCEs should be made at the beginning of your final year through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) which is the equivalent of UCAS for these courses www.gttr.ac.uk.
Bursaries are available for PGCE courses depending on your subject of study and your class of degree – see www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/funding/training-in-england/postgraduate-funding for details.
- The Good Teacher Training Guide provides an overview and ranking of PGCE providers
www.buckingham.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/GTTG12.pdf (pdf file)
- Canterbury Christ Church University is the nearest provider of teacher training www.canterbury.ac.uk/StudyHere/Postgraduate/TrainToTeach/Home.aspx
The GTTR scheme will undergo a number of changes for 2014. The main changes are:
- Applicants will be able to apply through GTTR for places on courses currently within the scheme and for places available through School Direct.
- Applications will be submitted from 1 November, there will be no application deadline.
- Applicants will be able to apply to a maximum of three choices in Apply 1, the choices will be considered in parallel by the providers applied to.
- If unsuccessful in Apply 1 applicants will be able to add additional choices sequentially through Apply 2.
- Paper copy forms will be replaced with electronic pdfs.
- The time for decision making by institutions will be reduced.
For full details of the changes, see www.gttr.ac.uk/providers/conferences/2012gttrreview
“By 2015 well over half of all training places will be delivered in schools whether through direct provision, Teach First, School Direct or our new employment-based route” (Michael Gove, Education Secretary, June 2012) www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/speeches/a00210308/michael-gove-at-the-national-college-annual-conference
School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programmes
- These involve training in a school environment and are delivered by groups of neighbouring schools. Teaching is delivered by experienced, practising teachers, and is often tailored towards local schools and their teaching needs;
- All SCITT courses lead to QTS and many, but not all, will also award you the PGCE validated by a higher education institution.
- SCITT programmes in and near Kent include:
Graduate Teacher programmes
- The Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP), which allowed graduates to obtain qualified teacher status (QTS) by working in a paid teaching role while training, has now closed and been replaced by the School Direct Programme.
School Direct programme
- This is a new programme offering two routes (salaried and unsalaried) to qualifying as a teacher.
- Applications will open from early November from the Department for Education’s website at www.education.gov.uk/teachschooldirect
- School Direct places are offered by a school or group of schools in partnership with an accredited teacher training institution;
- Places will be available for primary and for priority secondary subjects (including maths, physics, chemistry and modern languages) plus a limited number of other secondary subjects;
- The School Direct Training Programme (salaried) is open to those who wish to change career and are a graduate with three or more years' experience of working life. Successful applicants will receive a salary on the unqualified teachers scale and the employing school will select an appropriate role.
- The School Direct Training Programme is open to all other graduates, who could be eligible for a tax-free bursary of up to £20,000. Bursaries are dependent on the subject taught and the degree class.
- All School Direct places will lead to qualified teacher status (QTS) and many, though not all, will also award a PGCE;
- The Government expects around 5000 places to be made available through this programme from September 2013;
- An applicant briefing guide for the new School Direct application system, giving an overview of the School Direct programme and explaining how and when to apply, is available here.
- Answers to some FAQs about School Direct from Canterbury Christ Church University www.canterbury.ac.uk/courses/prospectus/PGCE/School%20Direct%20FAQ%20sheet.pdf
- A “high-fliers” scheme, recruiting “exceptional graduates” onto a leadership development programme;
- Offers two years paid teaching experience in London leading to a PGCE and QTS;
- All participants also have the opportunity to work towards a Masters qualification in either Education, Leadership or Educational Leadership;
- The scheme also provides management training that allows you to develop the skills for a long-term career in business as well as education;
- About half of Teach First graduates remain in education at the end of the programme; the others are working in organisations in business, government and the charity sector;
- www.teachfirst.org.uk and http://graduates.teachfirst.org.uk
For further information, see the booklet Teacher Training – click here to download a PDF copy.
Which is best for you – PGCE or Schools-based?
How happy are teachers?
See our information on
- If you prefer to spend more time training in the classroom, putting theory into practice and gaining confidence through increased contact with the school environment, then a schools-based programme is a good option for you;
- If you wish to teach abroad at a future date, you should take a PGCE (or a SCITT course that offers the PGCE) as many countries (including Scotland) don't accept QTS on its own;
- Schools-based programmes offer more school experience, but they are harder work as you do much more classroom teaching and have many more lessons to prepare;
- Some schools prefer SCITT or GTP students when recruiting newly-qualified teachers, as they have more experience in schools. You get more time to focus on the theory and academic side in a PGCE;
- Because SCITT courses are still less well known, they may have less competition for places and fill up later than most PGCE courses.
- Most universities will require that at least 50% of your degree subject should be relevant to the PGCE subject. This is often interpreted flexibly: a Politics degree, for example, can be relevant to History as well as to Citizenship while Psychology includes elements of Maths and Science as well as the relevance of modules such as child development. If you have any doubts about the relevance of your degree to the course of your choice, check with the universities you are applying to;
- Most universities will look for at least a 2.2 (and the level of funding awarded may depend on your degree class) but experience is at least as important as academic achievement;
- To be eligible for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) you will need to have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above in English and Maths for Secondary courses plus Science for Primary courses;
- Some universities (including Canterbury Christ Church) offer equivalency tests in English, Mathematics and Science where applicants do not have the required GCSE or equivalent. The tests may only be open to applicants that are offered a place on the PGCE. At Christ Church the equivalency test is offered to History applicants and to all 7-14, 11-18 and 14-19 applicants.
PGCE Bursaries for 2012
|Subject||First class degree||2:1 degree||2:2 degree|
Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages
Primary, Art, Design and Technology, Drama , Economics, Engineering, English, Geography, History, ICT, Music, Biology, PE, RE
General science, Business studies, Health and social care, Psychology, Citizenship, Leisure and Tourism, Media Studies
"From 2012/13, Teaching Agency will prioritise primary courses that offer a specialism, particularly in the sciences, mathematics or modern languages. For 2013/14 we expect to adjust financial incentives for trainees to favour trainees on specialist primary courses with a good A-level in mathematics, a science, or a language, over those on generalist courses."
‘It’s only by gaining experience of teaching and the world of education that you can rationally decide whether teaching gives you the ‘buzz’ that will make all the hard work worth it. I would strongly advise any prospective applicant to build up a meaningful and broad portfolio of experience of school life before applying. This ideally should involve: inner city teaching v rural, secondary v primary, special needs, extra-curricular activities, pastoral (e.g. counselling) and the administrative and management side of teaching.’’
All PGCE applicants are expected to undertake a recommended period of at least ten days, preferably in a UK state school, observing the age group and curriculum relevant to the PGCE programme for which an application is being made.www.canterbury.ac.uk/courses/prospectus/pgce/entry-requirements.asp
It's very important to get experience in a school before you apply for PGCE courses or training programmes – selectors will expect to see some relevant experience. Without this experience (seeing teaching from the teacher’s point of view!) and involvement with children and/or young people in the relevant age range, your application is unlikely to be able to demonstrate the required motivation and knowledge of teaching. This will also help you to make sure that teaching is right for you and to prepare for interview questions about your experience of teaching.
Don’t leave it until your final year but start in your second year at the latest.
There are various schemes to help you get an insight into teaching – see www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/school-experience.aspx for details
- The School Experience Programme (SEP) www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/school-experience/sep.aspx offers anyone – student, graduate or career changer - interested in teaching maths, physics, chemistry or a modern foreign language classroom experience in a secondary school. The duration is flexible (1 to 10 days) and a contribution towards your costs will be made for placements of more than five days.
- The Teaching Advocate Programme www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/school-experience/teaching-advocate-programme.aspx can put you in touch with a practising teacher for first-hand advice
- Some PGCE providers organise “Teaching Taster courses” or open days to give an insight into teaching www.kent-teach.com/tastercourses/default.aspx Taster courses typically last three days and are aimed at shortage subjects or candidates from under-represented groups (e.g. men for primary teaching).
- The University of Kent Student Ambassador Scheme www.kent.ac.uk/ems/student-ambassadors provides students with the opportunity to work with local schools and colleges on a range of activities (including residential summer schools, mentoring and projects in Brompton Academy (the University’s Academy) and its feeder primary schools) both on campus or in the schools themselves
- Volunteering: see the Kent Union website www.kentunionvolunteering.co.uk for information on opportunities in local schools and with young people. Our Voluntary Work pages www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/voluntaryWork.htm are also useful
- You can also contact schools directly – try your own old school or search Edubase www.education.gov.uk/edubase for details of all the schools in your area
- A number of independent boarding schools offer gap year posts which allow graduates to gain experience before going on to teacher training. Responsibilities may include pastoral care, supervisory work, help with sports or arts activities – click here for an example job description. These posts are usually advertised on graduate job sites with a typical job title of “Assistant Housemaster/mistress” or simply “Gap Year Student”. The Boarding Schools Association www.boarding.org.uk also advertises these posts.
- Similarly, an increasing number of graduates are taking a year out to work in a school in a support role before starting their teacher training, such as:
- Teaching/classroom assistant can be a good stepping stone. TA's are the eyes and ears of the teacher. They support children and help teachers with classroom organisation and administration. No formal qualifications are required but NVQs and City and Guilds courses for teaching assistants are offered by some colleges. Use www.hotcourses.com to find courses in your area. Parents often get get a TA job via links with the school their children attend. Schools with many less able children have more TA jobs as many children need one-to-one help. Posts are advertised in local papers. Also approach schools directly.
- BBC Schools - Volunteering at your child's school
- LG Careers Teaching Assistant Information
- Skills4Schools www.skills4schools.org.uk/page.asp?id=63
- Teaching lab technician www.prospects.ac.uk/teaching_laboratory_technician_job_description.htm
- Learning mentor www.prospects.ac.uk/learning_mentor_job_description.htm
This not only builds up a higher level of experience than you can gain through short-term experience programmes but may help you to gain a trainee post in that school in the longer term. These posts are usually advertised on local websites or via recruitment agencies (see below)
- Teaching English abroad, as a graduate or on a year abroad during your degree, is an excellent way to get experience. See our TEFL pages www.kent.ac.uk/careers/tefl.htm
- Working in summer camps during vacations is also looked on as good experience – see the “Working Abroad” tab of our Work Experience pages for links to organisations such as BUNAC and Camp America www.kent.ac.uk/careers/vacwork.htm
- A CRB check is likely to be required for any work with children – for more information, see www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/JobProblems.htm#CRB
Competition is strong for places on all primary-level courses and for secondary-level courses in Humanities and Social Science subjects. You should ideally apply in September or early October of your final year, even though there is no official closing date for most secondary PGCE courses (the closing date for primary courses is 1st December).
The booklet “Applying for a PGCE” is a mine of information about the different routes into teaching, funding and entry requirements, tips on choosing a course, completing the GTTR application and going for interview. Click here to download a PDF copy.
- GTTR - full details on how to apply for PGCE courses, including personal statements, references www.gttr.ac.uk/students/howtoapply
- Applying for a PGCE www.prospects.ac.uk/links/pgce
- “Application Form Assistant” from the Teaching Agency
- Example Personal Statements for Teacher Training Applications www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/pgcestatements.htm
- Interview Reports on Interviews for Teacher Training www.kent.ac.uk/careers/ivreps/ivrepsmenu.htm
- A practice interview for teacher training www.kent.ac.uk/careers/interviews/mockivs.htm
- QTS Skills Tests. Anyone applying for an initial teacher training course starting after 1st July 2013 will be required to have passed numeracy and literacy skills tests before starting the course. The registration and booking system will be available from 1st August 2012 www.education.gov.uk/schools/careers/traininganddevelopment/qts/b00204001/qts-tests
We now have books on passing the numeracy and literacy skills tests with advice and example questions books and a general guide to both tests: ask at Careers reception to use this. See our Shelfari page for details of the books.
- Religious Studies
- Maths: the Mathematical Association www.m-a.org.uk. Maths teacher training scholarships are delivered by the Institute of Mathematics on behalf of the Teaching Agency. The aim of this scheme is to encourage individuals with 1st or 2.1 degrees, PHD/Masters or significant mathematical professional experience to become teachers by awarding a £20,000 Scholarship together with a variety of support from the wider maths community. See www.ima.org.uk/careers/teacher_scholarships.cfm
- Physics www.iop.org/education/teach/index.html information from the Institute of Physics, including their School Experience Programme.
Teacher training scholarships are delivered by the Institute of Physics on behalf of the Teaching Agency. The aim of this scheme is to encourage individuals with 1st or 2.1 degrees, PHD/Masters or significant physics professional experience to become teachers by awarding a £20,000 Scholarship
- Science: the Association for Science Education www.ase.org.uk
Teacher training scholarships are delivered by the Royal Society of Chemistry on behalf of the Teaching Agency. The aim of this scheme is to encourage individuals with 1st or 2.1 degrees, PHD/Masters or significant computing professional experience to become teachers by awarding a £20,000 Scholarship
- Computer Science www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20003327
Teacher training scholarships are delivered by the British Computer Society on behalf of the Teaching Agency. The aim of this scheme is to encourage individuals with 1st or 2.1 degrees, PHD/Masters or significant computing professional experience to become teachers by awarding a £20,000 Scholarship
- Languages: www.cilt.org.uk/training_to_teach.aspx
- Citizenship www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
- English www.nate.org.uk National Association for the Teaching of English
- Latin and Classics
- Friends of the Classics www.friends-classics.demon.co.uk “the society for anyone who is fascinated by the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans.”
- JACT www.jact.org The Joint Association of Classical Teacherssupports the teaching of classical subjects at all levels
- Association for Latin Teaching www.arlt.co.uk aims to encourage and improve the teaching of Classics and runs an annual summer school
- The Classics Library www.theclassicslibrary.com Online Community and Library for Classics Teachers
- The Classical Association www.classicalassociation.org
The National Curriculum for England
- Review of the National Curriculum www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/nationalcurriculum/
Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses
If you are interested in teaching Chemistry, Physics, Maths or a modern foreign language, have reached A-level standard in the subject but do not have a relevant degree, there are various courses available that can help to bring you up to the required standard before starting a PGCE.
- Teaching Agency www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/subjects-age-groups/age-groups/teaching-secondary/boost-subject-knowledge/ske-courses.aspx
- Canterbury Christ Church University www.canterbury.ac.uk/StudyHere/Postgraduate/TrainToTeach/SubjectKnowledgeEnhancement.aspx
Special Educational Needs TeachingIt is not possible to train and work as a special needs teacher from the outset (although Special Needs is offered as a subsidiary subject on some PGCE courses and there is a special educational needs element to all initial teacher training courses). The usual pattern is to gain a general teaching qualification and experience and then develop a career in SEN teaching through in-service training.
- Job profile www.prospects.ac.uk/special_educational_needs_teacher.htm
- Special Needs Teacher Career Guide www.myjobsearch.com/careers/special-needs-teacher.html
- TARGET Jobs http://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/teaching-and-education/areas-of-work/teaching-pupils-with-special-educational-needs
How to increase your intelligence
1. Seek Novelty. Geniuses like Einstein are skilled in multiple areas, they are constantly seeking out novel activities.
Only one trait out of the "Big Five" from the Five Factor Model of personality correlates with IQ: the trait of Openness to new experience. People who rate high on Openness are constantly seeking new information, new activities to engage in, new things to learn: new experiences. When you seek novelty, you create new synaptic connections with every new activity you engage in. Novelty also triggers the brain chemical dopamine which not only kicks motivation into high gear, but it stimulates the creation of new neurons & prepares your brain for learning.
Always look to new activities to engage your mind: expand your cognitive horizons. Learn an instrument, take an art class, be a knowledge junkie.
2. Challenge Yourself. Brain training games don't work: they don't make you smarter, they make you better at brain training games. Once you master an activity in the game, you need to move on to the next challenging activity. A study on Tetris players found that after that initial explosion of cognitive growth, they noticed a decline in both cortical thickness, as well as the amount of glucose used during that task. However, they remained just as good at Tetris. Once their brain figured out how to play Tetris well, it got lazy. It didn’t need to work as hard in order to play the game well, so the cognitive energy & the glucose went somewhere else instead. You want to be in a constant state of slight discomfort, struggling to barely achieve whatever it is you are trying to do.
3. Think Creatively. Creative thinking doesn't equal "thinking with the right side of your brain". It involves both halves of your brain, making remote associations between ideas, switching back & forth between conventional & unconventional thinking & generating original, novel ideas. Think about problems in creative & practical ways, as well as analytical, instead of just memorizing facts (teaching to the test).
4. Do Things the Hard Way. There are times when using technology is necessary, but there are times when it’s better to just use your brain. Walking to work helps you stay in good physical shape. To keep your brain to be fit as well try not using a calculator, GPS or translation software unless absolutely necessary.
5. Network. By networking with other people you are exposing yourself to the kinds of situations that are going to make the first four objectives much easier to achieve. By exposing yourself to new people, ideas, & environments, you open yourself up to new opportunities for cognitive growth.
Intelligence isn’t just about how maths courses you’ve taken, or how many big words you know. It’s about being able to approach a new problem, recognize its important components, & solve it, then take that knowledge & put it towards solving the next, more complex problem. It’s about innovation & imagination, & about being able to use that to make the world a better place. This is the kind of intelligence that is valuable, & the type we should be striving for & encouraging.
- Teaching in Wales
- Teaching in Scotland
- Teach in Scotland www.teachinginscotland.com
- General Teaching Council for Scotland www.gtcs.org.uk/home/home.aspx
- Teaching in Northern Ireland www.prospects.ac.uk/links/teachni
- Department for Education for Northern ireland www.deni.gov.uk
- Teaching in the Republic of Ireland.
- Teaching Council of Ireland www.teachingcouncil.ie
- Postgrad Ireland http://postgradireland.com/areas-of-study/teaching-and-education
For other countries, see our Teaching Abroad links www.kent.ac.uk/careers/tefl.htm#other
- Independent Schools Council www.isc.co.uk includes job vacancies and a search facility to find schools in specific areas. They also run teacher taster days and have a job zone with vacancies.
- The Good Schools Guide www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk useful links
- ISBI www.isbi.com search for independent and international schools in the UK and abroad
- The Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools www.iaps.org.uk school finder and online job search for teaching in primary-level independent schools
- Free Schools www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/freeschools All-ability, state-funded schools set up by a wide range of proposers, including charities, universities, businesses, educational groups, teachers and groups of parents
- Steiner Schools www.steinerwaldorf.org Steiner schools place emphasis on the whole development of the child as well as academic progress. Continuity in the pupil-teacher relationship is maintained, with pupils having one teacher from ages 6-14. There is a Steiner school at Perry Court, near Chartham www.canterburysteinerschool.co.uk
- Montessori Schools www.montessori.org.uk aim to stimulate children’s development through the provision of a range of constructive activities and equipment (“directed play”). Kent & Sussex Montessori Centre, Edenbridge, Kent offers both diploma and degree level courses in Montessori www.montessoricentre.com
- Alternatives in Education www.alternativesineducation.co.uk includes links
- Education Alternatives.
Superb booklet detailing the many alternative careers in education such as playworker, museum education, careers adviser, working with offenders, therapy roles and many others. Download here (PDF format)
- Further Education Lecturer job description www.prospects.ac.uk/further_education_lecturer_job_description.htm
- Getting a Teaching Job in Further Education (University of Greenwich) www.gre.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/394525/Getting-a-teaching-job-in-FE.pdf
- Information about FE teaching www.excellencegateway.org.uk/node/60 Information and advice service for those interested in teaching in the post-compulsory sector
- Funding for FE teacher training www.excellencegateway.org.uk/feta
- Institute for Learning www.ifl.ac.uk
- FEjobs www.fejobs.com recruitment platform from the Association of Colleges and Eteach.com
- FE Careers www.fecareers.co.uk job advertising site in Further Education and Work Based Learning
Subject to approval by parliament, from April 2012 schools will be able to employ, as qualified teachers, holders of qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) status. QTLS is the professional status for teachers in further education. Head teachers will have the freedom to employ the qualified teacher that best meets the requirements of the job, regardless of whether their background is in schools or further education.
For information on working as a lecturer in higher education, see www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/university.htm
- Booklet “Getting a Teaching Job” – click here to download a PDF copy
- Target Jobs http://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/teaching-and-education/getting-a-job
- “How to get shortlisted for a teaching job” – advice from the TES www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6008055
Teacher: What do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
Teacher: Can anybody give an example of a coincidence?
Teacher: If your mother has £20 and you ask her for £7, how much would she still have?
Teacher: Your story about “My Dog” is exactly the same as your sister's. Did you copy her's?
Mother: Your teacher says she finds it impossible to teach you anything!
Why did the physics teacher split up with the biology teacher? Because there was no chemistry.
- Times Educational Supplement www.tes.co.uk/jobs
- Education Guardian http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/jobs/education
- Teaching Vacancies in Kent www.kent-teach.com
- Medway teacher recruitment www.medway.gov.uk/teachingcareers
- Academics www.academicsltd.co.uk useful for teaching assistant jobs
- Edustaff www.edustaff.co.uk another site with a number of teaching assistant jobs
- ETeach www.eteach.com Online recruitment service with teaching resources and job-seeking advice
- Randstad Education www.randstadeducation.co.uk includes teaching assistant posts in primary, secondary and special schools
- Capita Education Resourcing www.capitaresourcing.co.uk/education education recruitment specialist with branch in Maidstone.
- ITN Mark www.itnmark.com
- Supply Desk www.thesupplydesk.co.uk
- Teachnetwork www.teachnetwork.co.uk
- Timeplan www.timeplan.com
- Teaching FAQs – click here to download a PDF
- TeacherWorld www.teacherworld.org.uk/index.html support for teachers, intending teachers and teacher recruitment. It focuses particularly upon black and ethnic minority members
- WorkinSchools www.workinschools.co.uk social network for Teachers, support staff and schools. Offers free teaching resources, resource sharing, teaching forums and jobs.
- Department for Education www.education.gov.uk
- OFSTED - the Office for Standards in Education www.ofsted.gov.uk
- TES Forums http://community.tes.co.uk
- Schoolsnet www.schoolsnet.com a good source of general information about school education – also include job search information
- The National Union of Teachers www.teachers.org.uk
- NASUWT www.teachersunion.org.uk advice for trainee as well as qualified teachers, with tips on lesson preparation, class management etc
- BBC Article Teachers: Nearly one in three trainees does not stay www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20340362
The Guardian Teacher Network www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network Resources and information for teachers
Playing calming music can help motivate students and improve concentration and study skills. Research at the London Institute of Education found that children doing memory tests whilst listening to classical music performed better than children performing the tests in silence or listening to jazz.
They also found that playing calming music such as Bach and Pachelbel's Cannon to disturbed children helped them achieve higher scores in maths tests
Like every other profession, teaching and teacher training have their own vocabulary. Here are some of the most commonly-used acronyms you will come across:
- PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education: a one-year, full-time teacher training course taken
- GTTR Graduate Teacher Training Registry – the clearing house for applications to most PGCE courses (i.e. the equivalent of UCAS)
- NQT newly-qualified teacher
- QTS Qualified Teacher Status
- GTP Graduate Teacher Programme – an employment-based route to QTS and/or PGCE. Now being replaced by the School Direct Programme.
- ITT Initial Teacher Training – i.e. a PGCE course, B.Ed or programme of recognised school-based training
- SCITT School Centred Initial Teacher Training
- Teaching Agency – the government body responsible for promoting, and providing information on, teaching in England. Their website www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching is the place to start for any information about teaching careers and qualifications
- B.Ed. – Bachelor of Education – an undergraduate degree which confers QTS, usually for primary teachers. You do not need to worry about this if you have a degree in another subject - the PGCE will be your route in
- OFSTED Office for Standards in Education - the government department responsible for school inspections and quality standards
- FE Further Education – education for students above the age of 16, vocational or academic
- SEN Special Educational Needs
A comprehensive jargon buster can be found on the TES (Times Educational Supplement!) website www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6000010
What makes a good teacher?
|The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward
School children who are classified as low achievers tend to become low achievers. If you treat an individual as she is. she will stay as she is. But if you treat her as what she could be, perhaps she will become that.
A good teacher is:
- A good communicator
- Able to inspire and enthuse
- Enjoys working with young people
- A good manager of resources, material and time
- Imaginative and creative
- A sense of humour!
‘Teaching is a demanding career, physically, emotionally and intellectually. It calls for energy, dedication, patience and enthusiasm. You must have enthusiasm for your subject, and, far more important, you must be able to form a relationship with and control the class. Class management skills are essential. You also need to be able to think on your feet. This is not a nine-to-five job. There will be a lot of preparation and marking to do in the evenings and week-ends. There are also exams to prepare, invigilate and mark. All this calls for good time management, self-discipline, administration and organisational skills as well as good supervisory and leadership skills.’
And the final word on what makes a good teacher should come from the most important people: the children!
1. Know the subjects very well
2. Be smiley
3. Be kind
4. Bond with the children
5. Not be boring, be a bit funny or tell some jokes sometimes
6. Be respectful
7. Have a good expressive reading voice
8. Know the children’s names
A teacher teaching Maths to Petra who was six years old asked her, “If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?”
Within a few seconds Petra replied confidently, “Four!”
The dismayed teacher was expecting a correct answer (three). She was disappointed. “Maybe the child did not listen properly,” she thought. She repeated, “Petra, listen carefully. If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?”
Petra saw the disappointment on her teacher’s face. She calculated again on her fingers. But within her she was also searching for the answer that would make the teacher happy. Her search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that will make her teacher happy. This time hesitatingly she replied, “Four…”
The disappointment stayed on the teacher’s face. She remembered that Petra loved strawberries. She thought maybe she doesn’t like apples and that is making her lose focus. This time with a twinkling in her eyes she asked, “If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many you will have?”
Seeing the teacher happy, young Petra calculated on her fingers again. There was no pressure on her, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile Petra enquired, “Three?”
The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained. Once again she asked her, “Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?”
Promptly Petra answered, “Four!” The teacher was aghast. “How Petra, how?” she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice.
In a voice that was low and hesitating Petra replied, “Because I already have one apple in my bag.”
“When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect don’t necessarily think they are wrong. There maybe an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion.”
Last fully updated 2012