Some Ideas about Teaching



Do You REALLY Want To Be A Teacher?

Occasionally, someone writes on the forum along the lines of 'I'm thinking of becoming a teacher - what do you think?'   These two replies explore the kind of person who would make a good teacher ... who would be happy in the teaching profession.

If this ISN'T you, GO NO FURTHER!




Do you want to be surrounded by teenagers six hours a day?
This is the key question.

Forget the ICT, and doing a worthwhile job etc etc cr*p cr*p cr*p.
Teaching is simply about working full time with children.

Do you LIKE children, because the job you're considering going into will surround you with children almost to the exclusion of adult company all day every day FOR THE REST OF YOUR WORKING LIFE.

You'd be surprised how many people go into teaching who don't really enjoy being surrounded by children, or who are a bit intimidated or shocked or horrified or nauseated by them.

Here is the acid test. Have you, up to this point in your life, ever voluntarily sought to do anything with children - have you asked to teach in Sunday School, run a 5-a-side football team, helped in a youth club, been a Scout leader etc.?
And if you haven't - haven't even the experience of being surrounded by children, never mind not sought to be surrounded by children - what makes you think that you might enjoy teaching them?

If you HAVE experience of youth clubs etc., then you will already KNOW whether you want to be a teacher or not for the rest of your life.
If you don't, then I advise you to go and spend time with children in a voluntary organisation before you commit your future to the teaching profession.

Posted on: May 15 2006, 07:51 PM




Interviewing for a PGCE

I once had the pleasure of interviewing potential PGCE students.

What struck me most forcefully was how few of them had any experience or knowledge of working with children. Here they were, proposing to enter a profession where they would spend the next 40 years of their lives surrounded all day every day by teenagers in groups of 30, and they had never volunteered to work with children, never taught Sunday School, never helped at a youth club or children's camp, never helped out the local jazz band or 5-a-side league, had no younger brothers or sisters, had never even babysat for the next-door neighbour! And you were left thinking, just how do they know they want to work with children then? And are we going to let them join a course for them to decide after a couple of months that, actually, they don't LIKE children very much! At least, my reaction was, go away and do a few things that involve children, and decide whether you want to immerse yourself in working with them for the rest of your working life!
So I would say that the first thing you have to do - in a proper way - is get across that you DO know what you are getting yourself in for, and that you DO like working with children.

The second thing that amazed me was how drippy so many of them were. Some of the girls looked as though they were about to burst into tears. Limp hand shakes all round. Dull young men mumbling into their shirts, timid, hesitant. And so many lifeless and BORING, BORING, BORING!!! For goodness sake, show a bit of life and enthusiasm - give the impression that you won't be eaten alive by 8N on a Friday afternoon. Communicate enjoyment and interest to the interviewers, and they will know that you will be able to do so to the pupils.
So firm handshake. Look them in the eye. Sit up straight. SMILE!!! Prompt, enthusiastic and lively with your answers - and make a mental list of some of the fascinating things you would want to tell your pupils about. some people will want to warn you not to be over-enthusiastic so you look silly - I must admit that the young man who got so excited when we admitted him that he offered to kiss us all alarmed me somewhat! But you MUST show that there's a bit of ooomphh there.

Thirdly, when you're being dynamic, PLEASE don't treat them to a lecture on your theories of education. You're there to learn how to teach, remember. What you need to convince them is that you're the right MATERIAL for the job.

Posted on: Jan 26 2005, 08:03 PM




To cite this page, use:   CLARE, JOHN D. (2005/2006), 'Do you REALLY want to be a Teacher',  at Greenfield History Site (