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Career Ladder- Teaching.
This week SCAN spoke to recent Lancaster Alumna Elizabeth Beanland on working as a Primary School teacher. Teaching can take on many forms, from nursery schools to adult education and from the local high school to international academy in Europe. The options are endless and as soon to be graduates, you are in the perfect position to pass on your knowledge. Training can be a year’s extra study or can be completed on the job, and salaries start at £20,000 for a newly qualified teacher. For the full range of teaching and teacher training options in the UK, you can visit the official TDA website at www.tda.gov.uk.
Firstly Elizabeth, what degree did you do at Lancaster University?
I did a degree in History.
And what one aspect of your time at university (aside from your actual degree) would you say was most beneficial to your career?
My volunteering with LUVU. To do a PGCE you need at least one week’s work experience in a school before you apply (some universities will want more). I volunteered with LUVU as a classroom assistant for two years. This was enough experience to get me on a PGCE course.
What have been the significant challenges in your career so far?
The work load is huge! As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) I really don’t have a lot of time to myself. Still working at 11pm every night is not uncommon.
What is the best thing about your job?
The children – they are so funny and they will always love you no matter how often you shout at them. They also give you birthday and Christmas presents and Easter eggs!
And the worst?
Marking! It is very time consuming and does get boring but it needs to be done!
What are the possible career progressions for someone in your job?
There are lots of options for career progression for teachers- it really depends on what you are interested in. The most obvious one is working your way up the school management system and becoming a head teacher. Another area that a lot of people go into is working with children with special needs; this can be anything from working with children with behavior difficulties to children with physical impairment.
Can you recommend any useful websites if we want to get into teaching?
The Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) website is where you actually apply for jobs. The Times Educational Supplement (TES) website is also really useful and it has loads of teaching resources on it.
And finally, what three key pieces of advice would you give to students who think they may want to go into teaching?
- Make sure you really want to be a teacher. Don’t just do a PGCE because you don’t know what else you want to do because you will hate it.
- Read the Times Educational Supplement. At the interview you will be asked to talk about a current issue in education. Reading the TES will help you. [The TES is published every Friday, costs £1.50 and is available in the paper shop on campus].
- Find out about the ‘Every Child Matters’ initiative.
By Mae Dibley