GLUB... GLUB... GLUB...
 
 

From University to Teacher Training

Moving on from university to the big world of work is often a serious step up and change of pace. There are exciting challenges, fresh opportunities and new anxieties. However, it’s important for the future workforce’s new trainers and employers to minimise the shock of this significant change. Doing this well can increase the morale of new employees, ease their transition and aid their development. Doing it badly can be damaging for both employee and employer.

Against a background of unprecedented hiring difficulties and high drop-out rates, these are important considerations to make. Training providers need to focus on making the transition from university to teacher training as smooth and straightforward as possible.

From education to vocation

On entering an Independent Teacher Training programme, most trainees coming straight from university will have had a long history of mostly theory-based education, where the objective is to familiarise oneself with a subject in the abstract. Moving from this kind of education to vocational training involves a change in working structure and objectives that can throw off even the smartest student-turned-trainee. Training aimed at understanding how to apply techniques in order to fulfil a new role can be a very new experience. Support in the new modes of learning and working involved in this can be valuable to the trainee, ensuring that they begin to realise their full capability as quickly as possible.

Useful and accessible mentoring programmes oriented around the personal, as well as the professional, needs of trainees can make all the difference in this stage. It can help people have a reference point for these new and unusual challenges, as well as a go-to guy or gal for the unique problems and questions that aren’t covered elsewhere.

Step changes and stress

The other major change is the increased level of stress that many new trainees, fresh from the potentially relaxed schedules of university, experience. No matter how supportive school centred training providers are, there will always be an initial shock of anxiety, but it can be minimised.

Having an individual to talk to on a personal level at work can help here; sharing issues of stress and anxiety can be cathartic, as well as aiding resolution. In structural terms, there are well developed ways of incorporating stress relieving techniques into work environments, such as teaching in a constructive way. Many of them are well documented online both formally and informally. These include mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and classic relaxation techniques, such as moments of quiet during a busy and noisy schedule. All of these help the trainee to feel and perform better, thereby aiding the institution.

When it Comes to Teaching, Age is Just a Number

Training to become a teacher through a SCITT is perfect for people of all ages, from recent graduates who have always known that they want to teach, to those in their forties, fifties and even sixties who are looking for a more fulfilling career.

It’s easy to think that people who are barely out of school themselves have the advantage due to being more familiar with modern trends, yet there are so many factors that work in favour of older generations and complement the role of an educator. Below are a few examples in case you’re worrying that your age will negatively affect your success in the world of teaching.

Life experience

The most obvious point is that the older you get, the more life experience you gain. From working in various jobs over the years and moving around (which is a great way to respond to new environments), to usually finding it easier to make friends and get along with a range of personality types, it’s amazing how life helps us to naturally adapt to unique circumstances.

Happier and more self-confident

As we get older, we tend to lose much of our negativity and stop constantly finding flaws in our own looks, behaviour and abilities. Simultaneously, we increase in self-control and look for more opportunities to help others, which in turn boosts self-esteem and makes us more capable of finding satisfaction in small wins as well as major accomplishments.

Brain plasticity

The phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has been abandoned as poppycock. In fact, the brain continues to produce fresh neurons and is able to reshape its functionality according to the information it assimilates. This means that middle-aged people are often able to adapt to change even faster than their younger counterparts, as their grey matter is more accustomed to transforming in response to its environment.

What’s more, whilst younger people use only one side of their brain for specific tasks, age results in both hemispheres being able to tackle a problem together, which is called bilateralisation. The result is greater power of reasoning and enhanced problem-solving skills, which will certainly not go amiss in the classroom.

Prioritisation

Becoming a teacher further down the path of life means that you’ll most likely have ticked a lot of boxes on your to-do list. You’re probably married and have kids of your own, along with a mortgage, a comfortable financial situation and a fair few travels under your belt. You will of course still have goals and dreams, but they’ll be easier to incorporate into a hectic work schedule, therefore allowing you to focus on career development without worrying about juggling too many things at once.

Higher work satisfaction

Because you’ve either had a few jobs over the years or worked in another sector for as long as you can remember, moving to a vibrant, interesting and valuable new career will prove incredibly rewarding. It’s certainly not a case of being able to sit back and put your feet up, as teaching comes with its fair share of challenges and stress, but your role as a worldly-wise educator will make everything very worthwhile, not to mention a lot of fun.

Are you entering a career in teaching a little later in life? Let us know about your experiences through social media by tagging in #BigPinkFish