The Student Room Group

what should i know about becoming a teacher?

i really want to go into teaching. i'm finishing my A levels and going to uni to study modern foreign languages. if i don't change my mind after a 4 years course, i'm gonna go for a postgrad pcge course with a qts. ((i can't remember if there's an extra letter in the qts. i think i've seen a qtls before but i can't remember off the top of my head))

teaching is something that popped up into my head as a potential idea a couple years ago. i've given it lots of thought and it's stuck with me. i'm dedicated, i like to do things to a high quality, i'm passionate about the subjects i'd like to teach, i feel like i have a good foundation of communication and interpersonal skills to help me.

i know teaching is a lot of effort and it won't always be sunshine and rainbows, preferably i'd like to teach A level students since 90% of them are actually choosing to be there and put in the effort ((from what i've seen in both my languages classes and from what i've heard from my friend at a different college)).

i know it will be tough but i think it'll suit me well. so, to all the teachers, i'd like some advice on what it's really like. how do i make teaching a sustainable career ?
I’m not an actual teacher but I’ve tutored for 4 years now, so hopefully this will be somewhat helpful. But I find that understanding how my students feel is the best way I can work out what they need to know. So I personally always try to keep learning new languages and keep practicing being bad at things so I can remember what it’s like to be at the beginning stages of learning something, feeling vulnerable when I’m doing speaking exercises or having my grammar marked. Your ability to empathise as well as impart knowledge will make a big difference.
Original post by tiredgiraff
I’m not an actual teacher but I’ve tutored for 4 years now, so hopefully this will be somewhat helpful. But I find that understanding how my students feel is the best way I can work out what they need to know. So I personally always try to keep learning new languages and keep practicing being bad at things so I can remember what it’s like to be at the beginning stages of learning something, feeling vulnerable when I’m doing speaking exercises or having my grammar marked. Your ability to empathise as well as impart knowledge will make a big difference.

thanks for your input !!! tutoring is also an option i've been thinking about.

of course it's disheartening to get things wrong, but starting uni, i'm sure there'll be plenty of instances of that !! hopefully i can develop a a healthier mindset and see things as learning experiences, especially since everything is so new and i shouldnt expect myself to get things right the first time 🥲

do you have any tips about getting into tutoring ? when i get to uni i'm gonna ask if they have any connections to any tutoring / mentoring programs that accept uni students to tutor gcse or A level but, i still have no idea how any of it works !
Original post by charmaine.d
thanks for your input !!! tutoring is also an option i've been thinking about.
of course it's disheartening to get things wrong, but starting uni, i'm sure there'll be plenty of instances of that !! hopefully i can develop a a healthier mindset and see things as learning experiences, especially since everything is so new and i shouldnt expect myself to get things right the first time 🥲
do you have any tips about getting into tutoring ? when i get to uni i'm gonna ask if they have any connections to any tutoring / mentoring programs that accept uni students to tutor gcse or A level but, i still have no idea how any of it works !

There are lots of online tutoring sites. I’ve worked for MyTutor and Edumentors mainly, but others like Tutorful too. If you want to start tutoring in first year, there are a few things to bare in mind:

it is more work when you start than when you’re established and already have lesson plans etc you can lean on, so build up students slowly rather than all at once.

Whatever intentions you go in with, it’s really a job you have to learn by doing it, so your ideas and methods will change over time. Just keep focusing on what the individual student needs and what you think you need to do to get there, and you’ll be fine.

Tutoring companies give opportunities, but they are not always right. Keep their policies, especially safeguarding policies of course, but don’t stress about following their guidelines on how specific lessons should be structured - these guidelines can be a good baseline to start with, but as you practice you’ll get used to identifying what individual students do and don’t need.

Personally I’d recommend starting with MyTutor - there are a lot of problems with the company including the amount of commission they take, but it’s the site I’ve ended up sticking with the longest because it’s easiest to get tutoring opportunities. Tutorful is another one worth trying, as is Superprof, but I’d stay away from startups for the first few years, and I really wouldn’t work for Edumentors - I found them the least professional, least helpful and most demanding of all the sites I’ve worked for, even if there’s more flexibility with some elements like your prices. If your uni has a programme that’s also a good option - Cambridge has Stemsmart, for instance.


Good luck for your degree! I’ve loved mine but I have one class and one exam to go until I’m done. A degree in languages is definitely a degree that forces you to get comfortable with making mistakes and with managing being uncomfortable (for example the stress of speaking when you’re in first year - by forth year you’re really not fussed at all if you make little mistakes, and you speak all the better for it). It’s a degree that gives you confidence, life skills and lots of transferable skills too, so you can’t go wrong, really! And please, please do vocab. No one will force you to do it or test you, but if you don’t you’ll know about it during exam season. Anything else you can learn if you absolutely have to in the weeks before exams, but vocab has to be done over time. Even just 10 words a week is better than nothing.

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