If you’re a bit of a bookworm and looking for an escape route from a boring office job, then you might find you’d make an excellent English teacher. Going into teaching later in life, can bring out skills you didn’t even know you had.
English is a compulsory subject in schools. This might give the impression that the education system has it covered, but think again. Research has shown that young people in England, have the worst literacy skills in the developed world.
Struggling with reading and writing at a young age, is something that can have lifelong repercussions. Illiteracy can cause problems when it comes to applying for a university course, or job. It can even make everyday things like communicating, difficult. It’s vitally important that children get the best support from their English teacher. With the right guidance, they can learn to read and write confidently and get extra help if they’re struggling.
Some children take longer than others to develop their English skills. Books aren’t in every child’s home and if reading only takes place within a pressured school environment, then it can easily become associated with negative thoughts. It’s your task to make books fun and help your students to engage with stories and learning, in a way that will go on to benefit them in every aspect of their lives.
Is teaching right for me?
I might be too old
There can be a perception that teaching is something that you only go into at a young age, or that it’s a lifelong career that if you miss the boat on, you can’t go back to. Both statements are simply not true. Some of the most effective classroom teachers, are those who came to teaching from another career. Bringing your experience from the world of work with you, can give you more to offer. If you want to make a difference, then you’ll find teachers of all ages and from all backgrounds, working in schools.
I didn’t enjoy school
You might be put off from becoming a teacher, because you didn’t have a positive experience at school. This is often a great reason to start teaching, because you already know what makes a negative learning environment. You’ll be able to offer the support to students that you didn’t have and encourage young people to pursue their career ambitions, even if they find school a challenge.
I’m not confident enough
One of the best things about teaching, is that there are many different school environments available. You’ll have the opportunity to find the right job for you. Train as an English teacher and your next step could include teaching overseas, in a primary or secondary school, in a college, as a tutor, or working with struggling students. You’ll be able to build your confidence as you train. You’ll also get plenty of experience before you’re expected to take the lead.
What if I don’t have my A-Levels?
Your career as an English teacher can still take off, even if you didn’t sit your A-levels, or don’t have the grades you need. At Stonebridge College, we offer the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education), with a teaching English pathway. This qualification is designed for anyone who wants to build a career as an English teacher, or apply for a degree course, that requires English language and literature units as entrance criteria. An Access to Higher Education Diploma is an alternative to A-Levels, that will help you to apply for a university course and go on to a new career.
Adapt your study programme to your life
You don’t need to wait until September to start studying. Access to Higher Education Diplomas can be started at any point during the year. You’ll also have the flexibility of being able to complete your course in as little as 9 months, or up to 2 years. Studying via distance learning, means that you can keep your job, whilst you learn and fit your assignments in around your life.
All the support you need
Working from home doesn’t mean you’ll be studying on your own. You’ll have help and guidance from a personal tutor, who will contact you by phone, email, or Skype. You can also access Stonebridge’s student forum, where you can ask for advice and share ideas.
What will you learn?
The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) covers a range of units, that will prepare you to start a university degree. You’ll develop the skills you need to confidently approach higher level academic study, including researching independently and writing essays. Prepare for teaching in a classroom and find out more about topics including theories of child development, behaviour problems, how language develops and the psychology of learning.
Government funding available
If you’re aged 19, or over, you can apply for a 19+ Learner Loan. This means you don’t need to pay anything upfront. You’ll only need to start paying back your loan in monthly instalments, once you are earning over £21,000 a year. The best part is that if you do get your degree, your loan gets wiped out.
Where can you take your career?
An English degree can lead to a wide range of careers, including in publishing, charity work, marketing, writing, or local government. You can also go on to teacher training, through a PGCE, or similar course.
Where can I find more information?
If you’re still not sure if teaching is for you, then there are resources out there that can help. Get an insight into what it’s like to work in a classroom:
Starting a new career as an English teacher might sound intimidating. By taking small steps towards your goal, you’ll build your confidence. Teaching is a career that can change the lives of young people. Improving literacy levels is key to making sure that children have every opportunity possible. You might even inspire the next generation of English teachers.