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Tips For Pursuing A Career In Education


Careers in education and in particular teaching can be some of the most rewarding and enjoyable jobs on the market. As a result of this teaching jobs are becoming highly competitive and difficult to acquire. In a climate in which teaching technique and teaching technology is being constantly reinvented, especially after the covid pandemic, now is one of the most exciting times to become involved with the education sector. If you desire to make a difference in the world and influence the next generation and are an organized and resilient person, a career in education may be perfect for you. Just know becoming a teacher requires a lot of work and a lot of training, here are some things to know if you are considering joining, or even struggling finding your feet in, the education industry. 

Choose Teaching For The Right Reasons

Teaching can be rewarding in so many ways, but it’s important to be honest with yourself about why you want to pursue a teaching career. If you’re seeking a teaching position for financial reasons, it’s important to note that teachers are in general considered to be both overworked and underpaid. Starting salaries in the US for teaching usually begin under $40,000 per year with the pay fluctuating significantly depending on the state the job is located in. Often to earn a higher salary, teachers will have to depend on performance related pay bonuses which are dependent on criteria which is usually set in the Autumn term. High pay in the teaching industry is therefore attached to the experience of the candidate, quality of the education they provide and the place in which the school is located. 

Because teaching is usually a rather low paying job it would be wise to seek a career in education for reasons that are not related to finance. Instead it would be a better idea to enter the industry only if you are passionate about the work. The best and most well paid teachers are often the ones that are passionate and believe in the value of their career. If you have a personality which takes enjoyment in helping others and values the power of education it is much more likely you will find success as a teacher. If you don’t love teaching, and you don’t have respect for the students that you teach, it is highly likely that you will start to feel unfulfilled when working. The truth is, teaching is hard work, and it’s going to suck for a long time until you get better at it. It requires a strong character and belief in the service you provide to succeed in a teaching role. Even for seasoned veterans teaching is a job that is constantly providing new challenges and problems to be solved. If you remain invested in the work, then in theory you should never get bored of it. 

Know What You Want Before You Start Looking For A Job

If you’re just entering the market as a beginner teacher and you want to teach in a particular area, you may be tempted to simply sign up for every course and training program that you can find. Due to the variety of jobs in the market, it is best that you take your time in selecting the qualifications and training that is best for you and your aspirations. It may feel like you’re in a rush to start your teaching career, but rushing into a decision can become problematic. 

Becoming a teacher requires some serious commitment. You will require either a bachelor’s degree in secondary education or a degree in a subject you wish to specialize in before you can even start applying for jobs. If you wish to teach in a public school then you are likely going to need a state teaching license also. Make sure you know what type of teaching job you are interested in and what type of qualifications you will need to get the job you desire.

It is also worth searching for any schemes or foreign exchange programs that are taking place. These often provide excellent experience to younger teachers who are just starting their careers in education. 

The type of qualification you require will be dependent on the type of teaching role you are attempting to apply for. There will be slight differences in the application processes for a middle school teacher, a high school teacher, a special education teacher or an ESL teacher for example. Ensure that you are aware of all the different roles on the job market and that you know the differences in requirements between them in order to land your dream job.

Your First Days On The Job

The first days in your new teaching role are likely to be both daunting and exciting. Because of this It is worth preparing yourself for your first days on the job. Be prepared to make mistakes and be willing to accept and learn from them. Although your training prior to employment is likely to be thorough there is nothing quite like learning on the job. Your experience teaching, after all, will be dependent on the type of school you are employed in, where the school is located and the type of pupils you are assigned. 

Teachers often feel pressure to push their students to the best of their abilities, remember to find a balance between placing pressure on yourself and relaxing. The best teachers know when to push themselves and raise their own standards but they also know how to control their emotions to avoid a burnout. If you find yourself constantly feeling like you need to improve, take a step back and ask yourself what you can do to better yourself. This is an important step, as you may find that you have a tendency to look to others for direction and that you have a tendency to blame others for your own shortcomings. The best teachers are often the ones who can scrutinize their own work as much as they scrutinize the work of their students. 

Whether it be teaching adult classes or teaching younger adults and children the first few weeks of your first teaching job may prove to be a stressful time. Make sure you are as prepared as possible, it may even be worth investing in your own Teacher Survival Kit, to get you your first term. Consider everything you need before entering the classroom to avoid any unnecessary stress. Things you may need vary from teaching supplies, such as whiteboards, flashcards and other handouts to personal care items like deodorant or hand lotion.

Wrapping Up: Is Teaching for You?

Hopefully by this point you’ve done a little bit of introspection, done some honest self-assessment, and come to the conclusion that teaching is right for you. Remember that there are a ton of benefits to teaching jobs that make them easily one of the most rewarding jobs on the market. Teachers have, after all, one of the most important job roles within society. Teachers of the future members of a nation ensure that each child they encounter is granted a suitable foundation to build upon during their entrance into adult life, whereas teachers with adult pupils assist in helping people either find or change employment. 

Whether it be that you’re considering changing careers and going into teaching or that you are just considering your options, it is worth knowing the ways in which you can Set Personal and Professional Goals for Yourself in order to succeed in whatever path you choose to take.

Karla Urwitz
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