Teaching is a very rewarding career, with plenty of options at all levels and subjects. If you want to work in the education sector but you don’t necessarily have to teach children or young people, there are also many careers available in the industry that don’t involve working in a classroom or lecture theatre.
Early years & primary teaching
A popular choice for prospective educators is working in pre-school (a.k.a. early years) education. A child’s early educational experiences are extremely important in their development, as it can shape their personality, attitudes and behaviour in later life. This area of education can be an incredibly enjoyable career choice, as the learning techniques tend to incorporate ‘play’. Education is not compulsory until the age of five, so a large number of the playgroups, nurseries and kindergartens are actually private institutions.
Primary education is another popular area to work in. This is where children begin their journey in compulsory education, and where the teaching methods become slightly more formal. Lesson plans, tests and a wider variety of subjects are introduced, and a child’s academic learning begins to accelerate. When you are teaching in this area, you will most likely be teaching quite a broad range of different subjects.
In secondary education, most teachers tend to specialise in one or two subject areas (these normally correlate directly to their degree subject). As a child grows older and their knowledge increases, their education becomes more specific, detailed and insightful. Teachers can also specialise in a different way. Rather than choosing a subject, they can choose to dedicate their time to the learning of students with special educational needs. Modern curriculums have even expanded to incorporate more vocational courses in addition to more traditional subjects.
Further & higher education
Teaching does not have to take place in schools. Further education courses tend to be taught in further education (FE) colleges. Often, these institutions offer a different range of vocational and academic courses. These colleges are also particularly helpful institutions for people who are less fortunate financially or socially.
Higher education refers to university education, where the lecturers and tutors tend to be experts in a very specific subject. Consequently, to work in this area of education you will first need to do postgraduate study.
Other jobs in education
Teaching and education can also be delivered effectively in the form of evening classes or private tuition. Moreover, education schemes within community and social institutions can be especially valuable for people who have not necessarily got the same opportunities to study as others, e.g. in prisons or in hospitals.
Teachers and students do not make up the world of teaching and education on their own. Supporting roles in education include: assistants, administrative staff, careers and student welfare advisors, librarians and I.T. staff. Other areas of education include professional training, team building, and even teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), either in the UK or abroad.