Why do You Need a Degree to Become a Teacher?
Teaching is arguably one of the most challenging and rewarding careers available. It isn't a career to be undertaken lightly, as it requires a serious amount of time, commitment, and enthusiasm to be successful. Above all else, though, a teacher needs extensive formal training in order to enter a classroom well prepared. Read below to learn more about how a degree is an essential asset for people entering the field of education.
This article relates to those wanting to teach in state-maintained schools in England and Wales
Why do I need a degree to become a teacher?
Imagine walking into a classroom of 35 students on the first day of a new school year. They're chatting, some are yelling, others are running around the class. Still others are reading quietly in their textbooks while a couple of students appear to be napping. The key difference between a teacher thriving or drowning in this environment has almost everything to do with their training. Excitement, drive, and dedication only get a person so far when it comes to being an educator.
Aside from the benefit of receiving an education before launching into a career, it's also a prerequisite mentioned on any job posting. In other words, you can't get a teaching position if you don't have a bachelor's degree and haven't gone through a program of ITT (Initial Teacher Training). While the qualifications are different for public and private schools, all aspiring teachers are much more likely to be hired if they receive a degree from an accredited four-year institution and an approved training program.
A degree shows that you have the relevant capacity for learning, and in the case of secondary teaching that you have an in-depth knowledge of your chosen subject. Degree courses teach many academic skills, such as research, formal writing and effective communication that are essential pre-requisites to becoming a teacher.
Education courses (PGCE, BEd etc.) are very difficult and stressful, and teachers have a lot of strain both mental and emotional. Ensuring that all teachers have been through a relevant degree course helps to ensure that candidates have what it takes to meet the demands of becoming a teacher.
Qualifications for teachers
Teaching programs cover different things depending on which level of education and subject matter a teacher will be responsible for. In traditional teaching programs, primary school teachers are required to have GCSEs in English, Maths and Science, and ideally a degree in a national curriculum subject. Secondary school teachers are usually required to get a degree in their specific area of expertise, such as history or biology. All programs cover issues like teaching methods, psychology, forms of learning, national principles, and teachers' duties, legal liabilities and responsibilities.
A major component of a degree in education or teaching is a real-life internship where students observe in a classroom setting similar to the one in which they hope to one day teach. This allows them to apply what they've learned in their courses to an actual classroom, and some programs have observed teaching sessions as requisites for graduation.
Fitness to teach
All teaching candidates must by law satisfy fitness to teach requirements before they will be accepted on a course. Fitness is usually determined by a lengthy questionnaire and a recommendation from the college medical advisor, in exceptional cases a candidate may be required to take a formal medical examination.
Reasonable adjustments are taken to allow persons with disabilities to carry out their duties effectively. See (http://www.skill.org.uk/) for more details.
All trainee teachers will have a Criminal Records Bureau check. You will be required to declare any previous convictions, however the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act allows provisions for 'spent' offences.