Teaching

secondary school pupils in science lab

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Teaching is a challenging but rewarding profession, with opportunities for graduates from all degree disciplines to work with different age groups in a range of settings from early years, to schools, colleges and higher education; STEM subjects are particularly sought after.  For information on the wide range of roles in Education outside school teaching, please see the Education - general sector pages.

Find out about teaching

Key resources

Research the sector and keep up with current issues by:

What skills do I need?

In addition to subject knowledge, you are likely to need:

  • communication and interpersonal skills
  • empathy, sensitivity
  • planning, organisation
  • listening, patience
  • integrity
  • motivational skills, commitment to children/young people
  • resilience
  • a passion for your subject.

Do you possess these skills and qualities? Can you demonstrate that you have them? Can you find ways to develop them? See the @York section for some suggestions.

Teacher training

There are various options for teacher training, and it is important that you investigate these carefully before making your application. As well as the university-led PGCE, there are now more school-based programmes.

You may also be interested in:

You will need to pass the professional skills test before starting your teacher training course, and complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.

Funding your training

You may be able to apply for funding to support you through your teacher training; a tuition fee loan (home and EU students) is repayable once you are in full-time employment and earning above £25,725 (2019). The UCAS website has information on finance and support, and you can find out about scholarships and bursaries for postgraduate teacher training on the Department for Education website.

There are different arrangements for funding Initial Teacher Education or Training programmes in:

Work experience

  • Classroom experience is essential for your teacher training application - apply for a classroom placement with the York Students in Schools programme
  • Look for other opportunities with children/young people, eg play schemes, after-school clubs, Cubs, Guides, youth work, sports coaching, learning mentor, department outreach programmes. Check our volunteering pages for ideas, or YUSU volunteering projects with children and young people
  • The Get School Experience service and Pathways to FE Teaching offer classroom experience to help you see if teaching is right for you
  • If you are looking for school experience after graduation, with a view to applying for teacher training, education recruitment agencies offer a variety of roles, eg Teaching Personnel, EduStaff, Yorkshire Education, i-teachers and others.

Finding jobs

Teaching jobs are advertised:

For teaching in different parts of the UK, check the registration information for:

The recruitment process

The recruitment process is likely to include some or all of:

  • application form and personal statement/covering letter
  • formal interview
  • lesson plans
  • teaching a sample lesson
  • scenarios
  • presentations
  • meeting with students.

Find more information on getting a teaching job from Prospects, and on successful applications for teaching jobs from Target Jobs.

Visits to the school are often offered for candidates interested in applying - you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity to find out more about the school, get a feel for the working environment, and show your interest in the post.  Research as much as possible about the school (from Ofsted reports, the school website and newsletters).

It is usual to be offered a job on the day of the interview, and for unsuccessful candidates to receive feedback.

Find out what you might be asked at interview on this Guardian blog.

What can I do @ York?

There are lots of things you can do right now, while at university, to help you develop the skills you'll need to succeed in teacher training and applying for teaching jobs.

  • Gain essential classroom experience through the York Students in Schools programme
  • Look for other opportunities with children/young people, eg play schemes, after-school clubs, Cubs, Guides, youth work, learning mentor, department outreach programmes. Check our volunteering pages for ideas, or YUSU volunteering projects with children and young people
  • Talk to teachers about their roles and responsibilities to make sure you fully understand the role of a teacher - what they see as positive parts of their jobs, what difficulties they experience etc.  Use York profiles and mentors - search Education (Primary and Secondary) and Education (FE and Higher)
  • Join a student society and get involved - as well as having fun, you'll be developing skills such as teamwork, organisation, project management and more.
  • Come to our sessions in the autumn term on the routes into teaching, applications and interviews - visit our events page for details
  • Prepare your personal statement and finalise referees for teacher training applications before the applications open
  • If you are looking for school experience after graduation, with a view to applying for teacher training, education recruitment agencies offer a variety of roles, eg Teaching Personnel, EduStaff, Yorkshire Education, i-teachers and others.