You're finally coming to the end of what has seemed like endless lectures, teaching practice and exams.
Now, it’s time to start browsing through the latest teaching positions needed. You come across one that grabs your eye…
“Would you like to come and work at our friendly Primary School nestled in a beautiful area of Lambeth? We are looking for graduate Teaching Assistants to come and join our team as soon as possible.”
Or perhaps you’re thinking about changing focus to a non-teaching position in the education sector.
Well, whatever stage of your teaching career, we’ve created this article to give you some tips on how to find the best teaching job in London and move up the career ladder.
We aim to give you a clear perspective on a secure career path for teaching positions that might interest you.
So, you want to become a teacher in London
There are few more rewarding careers than teaching. And as teaching makes up the largest proportion of employment in the education sector, there are always positions available.
And as you have the potential to make a real difference in your students’ lives, there are few careers like teaching.
In addition, being a teacher is a very varied and interesting career as no two days are ever alike. Not many jobs can say that.
Obviously, there are a lot of things you need to know before you can become a teacher. And that’s why we’ve prepared this article for you.
So, let’s dig a little deeper.
Tips to become a successful teacher in London
We’ve created a shortlist of things you need to know to become a successful teacher in London.
Let’s dive in…
Be sure about why you became a teacher
I’d hope by now that you fully understand why you became a teacher. However, it’s not uncommon for some teachers to not fully understand why they got themselves into teaching. Even three or four years into their careers.
It is also useful to fully be aware of what kind of school you want to work at. Also, be sure about what age of students best suits your style. And of course, you need to choose the right subject or subjects to teach. Yes, you can make changes into your teaching career, and many do.
But it will save you a lot of time, stress and worry if you make the correct choices from the beginning.
You need to be flexible
With all that said above, you still need to be flexible. The job market in London is super competitive right now. Therefore, it might be tough finding your chosen position in your preferred borough. So, you need to be ready to look for a variety of positions. If you’re too strict in your search, you’ll find it much harder to find a teaching position to get started.
And of course, it’s better to start building your experience, even if it’s not the exact path you set your mind on while you were still studying.
Your learning never stops
You might not be ready to hear this, especially after what seems like an eternity learning in the classroom, but as a teacher, your learning is never over. You don’t leave university knowing everything that you need to know.
Now you are a teacher, you will need to immerse yourself in courses to improve your skillset. As you know, technology is forever changing.
Just think about the type of phone you had when you started university to the one you now own. A massive difference, right? And the same is true in the classroom.
Most of the technology we are using in our classes today will be out of date within 3 or 4 years. It will be replaced with much more advanced technology. Therefore, you must be open to learning and embracing technology as a tool to provide a better service for all your students.
A tough first year
The statistics for new teachers aren’t great. In fact, 17% quit within the first few years. So yes, the first few years can be tough. But you should know that any career of any value is going to be tough in the first few years.
Please don’t judge your whole teaching career on what happens in the first couple of years. It is bound to take some time to work things out. Build your confidence. Develop a successful teaching style. There’s so much to learn in becoming a first-rate teacher, and that’s why it takes a few years to find your groove.
You need to earn respect
Walking into a brand new classroom, full of fresh faces isn’t easy. You can’t expect to turn up on the first day and instantly have the respect and attention of your students.
The plain truth is that you’re going to have to earn your students’ respect. This goes both ways of course. They have to earn your trust and respect, too. And that’s going to take some time.
You need to understand the pay structure
Let’s be clear. You know you’re never going to get rich on a teacher’s salary. But that’s not why you got into teaching. We’ve created a whole post on teaching salaries which you can find by following this link: https://teachlambeth.com/nqt-salary/
Training and becoming a teacher in London
Now that you have your degree, there are a few different pathways you can take in becoming a teacher in London depending on the subject you want to teach and your previous experience. Teacher-training courses involve studying outside of school and training in schools in order to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS).
Now that you’ve finished your degree, or close to it, there are a few different paths you can take to become a teacher. It all depends on the subject you have chosen to teach and your previous experience.
First, there are teacher-training courses which consist of studying away from your school and training in a school. Your goal being to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS).
Next, is the school-led training, which is basically a hands-on training in at least two different schools. You will need to bring everything you’ve learned up to this point together in a formal classroom setting. In addition, you’ll be learning lots of new skills at the same time.
The school-led training usually lasts a year. Then you’ll be awarded your QTS at the end. This usually includes your postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).
On the other hand, if you're a graduate or changing careers with at least a 2:1, you can study on the Teach First Programme. This is an employment-based teaching programme. Basically, you work towards your QTS while you’re earning a salary.
There is also an alternative to school-led training which is university-led training. If you decide to go this route, your training can be completed full-time over one year or part-time over two.
You’ll be required to complete a minimum of 24 weeks in a school placement. You’ll be given time to learn skills such as lesson planning. Just like the school-led training, these courses will lead to your QTS and PGCE.
Final thoughts on teaching jobs in London
here are a lot of websites on the internet showing job listings for schools. However, many of the websites are not updated on a regular basis. So you might find a lot of job listings which have been taken already.
That’s why we created the Teach Lambeth Jobs Board. You can find the latest jobs vacancies within the London Borough of Lambeth on this page: https://teachlambeth.com/jobs/
You should also take the opportunity to sign up to receive specific job alerts for vacancies that interest you. Just click the relevant button when you get to that page.
Spend your time wisely in this period of your new teaching career. Brush up on the skills you’ll need to get your dream teaching job, such as improving your interview skills. Be organised and make every day count.
Research the top few schools you’d love to work for. Find out as much information as you can.
Please remember not to be intimidated by your whole job seeking adventure.
By following the advice we’ve laid out here and all the advice throughout the Teach Lambeth website, you’ll have your dream job very soon!