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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.

What you need to know

Find out about teaching

Key resources

Research the sector and keep up with current issues by:

Information for teachers from outside the UK

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 at 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 - would you prefer a university-led PGCE, or a more school-based programme? Both include study and classroom practice.

Apply for teacher training courses in England via the GOV.UK application service. Applications open 12 October 2021 for 2022/23 courses. You can apply for up to three courses. If your first three applications (Apply) are not successful, you can apply in a second round of applications (Apply Again).

You may also be interested in:

The training provider will assure you have the fundamental English and Maths skills needed either at interview or during the training course, before awarding QTS. You will have to complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check through your course provider or school.

If you have questions about the impact of Covid-19 on teacher training, please see the Get into Teaching FAQs.

Teacher training and applications are slightly different in:

Funding your training

The Get into Teaching website outlines ways to train, costs and possible funding sources.

You may be able to apply for a tuition fee and maintenance loans from Student Finance England. Scholarships and bursaries are available for some subjects. Find out more about funding your training.

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
  • Action Tutoring is recruiting volunteers in England, Scotland and Wales, to tutor online, giving extra support to disadvantaged pupils during the pandemic.
  • Get into Teaching suggests some ways to Get School 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.

Tutoring

Tutoring, online or in person, can be a good way of sharing your subject knowledge, gaining teaching experience, and earning some extra money. Some tutoring opportunities are advertised by agencies in Handshake.  

Careers and Placements advises that you check any tutoring opportunities carefully before entering into an agreement. Tutoring is often on a freelance or self-employed basis (rather than being employed by a company). High Speed Training has some good advice about setting up as a sole trader for tutoring. Note that international students on a student visa are not permitted to be self-employed. See also the advice on the Work while you study page.

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 getting your first job in teaching from TargetJobs.

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.

What can I do at 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.
  • Finalise referees for teacher training applications before the applications open
  • Prepare your personal statement and if you need feedback, you can request this by messaging the Careers Information Team in Handshake
  • 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.

More resources: people to follow, podcasts, blogs

People to follow

Connect with York graduates on York Profiles & Mentors

Find the full list of graduate profiles on York Profiles & Mentors.

You can also find and connect with York alumni working in this sector on LinkedIn.

Social Media accounts

Podcasts, blogs, event recordings

Podcasts

Blogs

Events

Look for autumn term events in Handshake, including a session on teaching and the Transform Society panel event (including TeachFirst). If you've missed them, find the recordings on our presentations page.