Dr Jane Moore, Head of School of Teacher Education at Liverpool Hope University, explains how teacher training courses can help you develop a whole range of skills beyond the academic.
Teaching is one of the most rewarding and challenging professions that anyone could consider. The years I spent as an English teacher in a number of schools are the most memorable, fulfilling and enjoyable of my working life.
I, like the rest of my colleagues, very much believe that teachers are formed and not trained and that teaching is a vocation and not just a job.
What a Teaching PG Qualification Can Offer You
As well as challenging you academically, a good teacher training course will help you develop your
Capacity for reflection
It’ll also as give you a new appreciation and passion for the subject or subjects you want to teach.
Academic study is just part of the whole teacher training process. You could be at the top of your chosen subject, but what matters is how you impart that knowledge to someone else – how do you inspire a group of children, and excite them about your subject? What was it about your subject that spoke to you, and can speak to them?
While the National Curriculum indicates much of what you teach, it is you who will determine how you actually do this.
The best teacher training courses encourage students to develop their own creativity in teaching their subject, whilst underpinning it with the latest academic research. Being well informed supports your capacity to make independent judgements and also builds your confidence in developing new ways of teaching lessons.
I’ve seen people’s confidence grow massively from the start to the end of a teacher training course, as they put into practice the theory they have learned and adapt it to suit the environment in which they are teaching.
Engaging a class of teenagers or young children can be just as, if not more, nerve wracking than presenting to a board room. Once you have done it, and you know that the pupils really learned something, the feeling is amazing. Seeing your favourite subject through the eyes of someone approaching it for the first time can also give you a completely new appreciation for it.
Learning from Mistakes
Learning from your mistakes is just as important. A teacher training course should place firmly in the minds of its students the fact that none of us ever stop learning. There is always a need to be flexible, whether that is to accommodate changes to the curriculum or subject, teaching methods or the specific needs of your class. Keeping an open mind is vital, and I would like to think that all of our students come away with this personal resilience, which can set them in good stead for the rest of their careers.
One of the other vital things that a teacher training course will give you is experience of being part of a real school community.
When you embark on teacher training you won’t just find yourself working with fellow trainees, but alongside subject leaders, senior management, pastoral support teams, parents, SEN specialists, outside agencies and more, all with one common purpose. The potential for your own development, by working with people right across the board, is huge. From the word go, the trainees on our courses know that they have the potential to make a real difference to real people’s lives, day after day – it’s a responsibility that can’t be taken lightly, but it makes it all worthwhile.