Teaching is one of the most important professions in the UK today. It is a rewarding yet challenging career path, which requires enthusiasm, dedication, confidence, self-discipline, patience and stamina. You will also need a sense of humour — as many teachers will tell you, children can ask the funniest questions! In this blog, we’ll look at exactly what the role of a teacher is, and what you’ll need to perform in the role!
The Role of a Teacher
As a teacher, your main function is to plan and teach lessons to meet the requirements of the national curriculum and the needs of your class. This gives you enormous scope to use your imagination to instigate the learning process and inspire young minds, and forms the essence of why teaching can be such a stimulating and unique career.
In addition to your subject knowledge and teaching skills, you will also need to have strong supervisory, leadership and time management skills. Pupil development is central to your role as a teacher. Forming a relationship with your class and with individual pupils is crucial. You will need to manage and maintain control of the classroom within the framework of school and national policies on discipline. Teaching is not a 9 to 5 job. In addition to teaching classes you will need to plan lessons, mark homework and record pupil development. Although some school time is allocated for this much of it will need to be done outside of school hours.
Reports and Lessons
You will need to write detailed reports on pupils’ progress and attend parent-teacher evenings. It is also likely that you will be involved in the administering, invigilating and marking of tests and/or examinations at certain times of the year. In addition to this you will attend training days to keep your teaching practice up to date. This is known as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and is essential to your role as a teacher.
As a primary school teacher you will generally have your own class of around 25 to 30 pupils. Your average working week will comprise about 21 to 24 hours of lesson time. The division of this time into individual lessons varies from school to school, with lessons generally lasting from 30 minutes to an hour. The lessons you teach will comprise the core subjects of the national curriculum:
- Religious Education
- Design and Technology
- Information Technology
- Physical Education
You may also have to teach other subjects too. This is dependent on your training and the school in which you teach. You will be responsible for the complete delivery of your class’s education, including writing detailed reports on attainment levels. You will also be required to undertake duties such as taking a register of attendance first thing in the morning and in the afternoon, playground monitoring at break or lunch-time, assembly duties or running an after-school club.
Guiding your pupils
Your role as a classroom teacher goes beyond teaching. You will provide a pastoral function, supporting the development and well-being of the pupils in your class. You will need to interact with your pupils’ parents on a daily basis as well as at parent-teacher evenings so good communication skills are essential. As a secondary school teacher you will generally teach one main subject to pupils between the ages of 11 and 18. Depending on the size and nature of the school, you may teach your subject to pupils of a particular age group. You may also teach another subject, in addition to your main subject, to the younger pupils within the school. It is likely that you, your pupils, or both will move around the school for lessons rather than remaining in the same classroom.
Your average working week will comprise about 24 to 25 hours of lesson time. The division of this time into individual lessons will vary from school to school. However it’s likely that you will teach longer lessons than a primary school teacher. This is to accommodate the increased depth of the subject and attention span of the pupils. You will be required to plan and deliver lessons in your subject to cover the national curriculum requirements and prepare pupils for examinations.
Marking and Evaluation
Marking, evaluation and report writing are key elements of the role of a secondary school teacher. Much of this will need to be done outside school hours. It is also likely that you will be expected to take on some pastoral functions within the school. For example, you will be responsible for taking a register and overseeing the personal development of pupils within your class.
As a secondary school teacher you are able to teach a vast array of subjects. Each subject provides considerable scope to explore topics of interest to both the teacher and pupils. The core subjects taught at secondary level include: English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Design and Technology. Plus Information Technology, Modern Foreign Languages, History, Geography, Art, Music and Physical Education.
To find out more about getting in to teaching please click HERE.
Want to become a Teacher? We’ve got the perfect guide for you. This comprehensive guide will tell you EVERYTHING that you need to know about how to join the profession, and give you more crucial info about the role of a teacher!