Thinking of getting into teaching? I believe that there are a number of things to consider before looking into your options.
Firstly, BRILLIANT! You have made a conscious decision to enter the most rewarding profession there is!
Secondly, really mull over why you want to teach. Was it because you had great teachers at school? Perhaps you are passionate about a particular subject and want to share that enthusiasm with others. Musings aside, it really pays to consider why it is that you want to get into teaching. In my experience there are some who have gone into the profession without seriously weighing up the pros and cons. If you are nearing the end of a degree course and cannot think of what else to do then pursuing a career in teaching will probably not be the right choice for you.
Nevertheless, if you want to take your aspirations further or if you simply want to keep an open mind then getting some focused experience is the first thing you should consider. For those of you still at University it is highly likely that there is a student mentoring programme with arrangements made with local schools. This can be highly informative and really open up your understanding of teaching and education. Beyond this you can also contact schools directly, try to get in touch with the Staff Tutor, CPD coordinator or Head of Professional Development. The best opportunities will allow you to go beyond simply observing lessons and actually give you an opportunity to do some teaching. Take the opportunity and also talk to as wide a range of staff as you can, NQTs and long serving staff apiece. If possible, try to gain as broad a range of experience as possible. Visit maintained comprehensive and grammar schools and independent schools. Not only will this allow you to view a different schooling to the one you may have had, but it may also solidify your decisions if and when the time comes to apply for teaching posts. Reading into the teaching community of particular subjects that you might be interested in teaching will also be highly invaluable, for example ‘Teaching History’, ‘Teaching Geography’ and ‘Science Teacher Education’. These will give you a greater depth of understanding about how current practice is developing within subjects as well as giving you more of an idea about what it is that teachers do in the classroom.