As a teacher, you will have gone through years of training showing you how to teach children the information they need to take with them through school and into their adult life. Many of the skills you teach them will be academic and linked to maths, science, history etc but there is another side to teaching that should not be overlooked.
Teachers will often need to help manage pupils behaviour and also friendships. This is especially true for early years such as key stage one where some children may not have mixed with other children much prior to starting school. It is important to teach a child and give them confidence in how to make friends and start to explain to them what is important. Often teachers will do the tasks in which they ask the children what a good friend is and how they can be a good friend. This will allow the children to understand what they need to do in order to gain friends.
Teachers may also need to teach children how to deal with their emotions and what they should do if they feel that someone is not being very nice to them or they are being bullied.
As a teacher, you will probably have a TA (teaching assistant) in your class at least a few times a week. The role of a teaching assistant is to assist the teacher in whatever tasks they have to do. It is up to the teacher to give the teaching assistant duties that they would like them to be responsible for and to ensure that they are doing the job correctly.
Teaching assistants do not usually plan lessons or mark work unless they have a teaching degree but they are able to take a small group of children to work with on their own. If you have a wide range of abilities in the class then you may find it useful to split the class into smaller groups to allow you to set different work for them. The TA may be given a small group of children who maybe need a little bit more help and attention. This will allow you to teach the rest of the class as a whole.
If you have photocopying that needs doing or if you would like a display creating then you can often task this to your teaching assistant. They can also be your extra set of eyes in the classroom should you have missed a dispute or disagreement that has happened between other pupils.
If you have been in teaching for a little while you may consider applying for a role of a head teacher.
The role of a head teacher can be very different from a normal teaching role so you need to consider carefully if this is the right career move for you.
A head teacher is the most senior teacher and leader of a school, responsible for the education of all pupils, management of staff, and for school policy making. The role often involves quite a bit of administration work and often not a lot of teaching. You will often be required to work longer hours than teaching staff and are expected to attend the majority of events related to the school i.e school plays, concerts, parent’s evenings and fund raising events.
You will need to be able to delegate work to the correct people and oversee everything that is going on. You may need to get involved in disputes between pupils and/ or parents and members of staff to resolve conflicts.
The role can be very challenging at times but it can also be highly rewarding.
Starting out as a new head teacher can be quite daunting and if you are trying to change some of the school policies and procedures you may be met by some resistance.
The job of a teacher is to teach the children academically and also some life skills that they will need to succeed. Often class sizes are in the late twenties or early thirty’s and so it can be hard for a teacher to be able to spend time one on one with the children on a regular basis.
It is vital that you are able to have control of the classroom at all times to ensure that everyone has the chance to learn what is being taught and that all the pupils remain safe. The children need to be able to respect you and for you to know that if there was a fire for example, they would do as you tell them to and so you can all exit the building safely.
If you have one or two pupils that often are disruptive then you need to make sure that you keep them a part. Children often play up more when they are with other disruptive pupils. You may need to ask your TA to keep an eye on them at a time when you cannot to ensure that they are not disrupting other people who are trying to learn and get on with their work.
It is important to take a fair but firm stance and to show the pupils what level of behaviour you expect from them right from the beginning.
As a teacher it is your job to teach the students the curriculum as set out byt the government, but along with the academic side of things, there are also some important life skills that you need to teach them too. In reception, children may have a wide range of abilities and so you may need to tailor your lessons to allow for smaller groups.
Friendships is always something that causes issues right from reception class, and it is vital that children learn what an acceptable way of treating people is, and what isn’t acceptable. They may need to be taught to share, or to vent their anger in a different way. All of these skills are used throughout our lives and can help children or adults.
Punctuality is another skill that can be discussed at school. Teaching pupils why it is important to be on time to things and the effects it can have if people are late. This is something that is often very important later on in life when you have a job.
Taking pride in your appearance is another skill that children should be taught from a young age. Knowing what is acceptable to wear at school and at home can help a child understand that different things are ok for home that may be for work or school.