Who's a Teacher?
All of us know teachers. Some of us see them as disciplinarians, some look up to them, and some see them as the all-knowing gurus who teach you all the interesting stuff you need to know.
As a teacher, you’re the primary source of knowledge for students from kindergarten to college. You’re the one who introduces them to basic concepts across different subjects; you help them grow up to be leaders in their profession or people who change the world. This is why teaching has always been seen as a noble profession – you devote your life to helping others succeed in theirs.
Are you passionate about teaching? Want to pursue it as a future career option? Explore a day in the life of a teacher – Paolina Chand (Part I)
What will you do?
1. Teaching topics listed in the syllabus
The educational board decides the syllabus for each grade and subject. You would go through the syllabus and make sure every topic is covered thoroughly in class. You would make lesson plans to decide how you will cover each topic, save time for student queries, and conduct tests to check if your students have understood the topic well.
Example: If you’re teaching mathematics, your lesson plans would depend on the complexity of each topic. Teaching students a topic like fractions, which require them to apply basics (addition, subtraction, division and multiplication), can be covered in one or two classes. Introducing them to newer concepts like angles and geometry may require some more time.
2. Checking on your students’ progress
Are your students understanding everything you’re teaching them? Find out how much they have learnt by regularly giving them homework, projects and tests. Rate their performance to understand each student’s progress, and plan your future classes accordingly.
Example: Say you taught a class on Human Evolution. You could arrange for a quick quiz or small test to see how well your students have understood the concept.
3. Participating in staff training activities
The world is changing dynamically, and so is your profession. You need to keep learning to keep up. Schools and colleges often conduct workshops for teachers to help them learn about the latest teaching methods. Participate in all staff training activities and submit assignments as required.
Example: Schools often hold workshops on using technology for everyday teaching. These sessions will help you master audiovisual presentations, which will help you keep your students engaged during a lesson.
4. Solving student queries
When you’re introducing students to new topics, they’re bound to have a lot of questions. You should know how to answer each one and share examples to clear their doubts. Create an atmosphere where your students feel comfortable and even the shy ones feel confident enough to clear their doubts.
Example: Set aside the last ten minutes of every lecture for a Q&A session to ensure your students understand all the topics better.
5. Applying different teaching methods
As a teacher, you need to make the class interesting and get your students to pay attention to the topic being taught. Try using different teaching methods and techniques like screening relevant movies, discussing the right novels, etc.
Example: If you’re teaching history, ask your students to read books or magazines published by historians and get a better idea of the event.
6. Bonding with your students
There are plenty of students in each class; try and get to know each one of them. You can do this by remembering their names, favourite subjects, or even accomplishments. This helps them trust you, and makes it easier for them to approach you.
Example: Use your first lecture to get to know the class better. Ask students to write a short summary or introduce themselves to each other in class.
7. Helping them choose their future paths.
At a higher secondary level, students start thinking about what they want to do with their lives. They may look up to you for further guidance. If a student is interested in the subject you teach, they are more likely to approach you for more information.
Example: Say you’re an English teacher and one of your students is interested in pursuing a career as a novelist. Recommend the right reading material, connect them to any novelists or professors you might know, or suggest graduation courses to help them enter this career.
8. Hosting parent-teacher meetings
You will meet students’ parents, take them through their child’s progress, and prepare a comprehensive report that highlights areas where the student excels and ones that need further improvement. Discuss how parents can help students work on areas that require improvement.
Example: If you think one of your students is good with studies, but not very forthcoming during class activities, talk to their parents and work with them to help the students build their confidence.
Take the Mentoria career assessment test, to find out how well-suited you are as a Teacher.
Where will you work?
On an average, teachers work for more than 50 hours every week. Most teachers work at educational institutions like schools or universities.
With the steady rise in coaching classes over the years, a lot of teachers also teach at these classes.
Alternatively, some teachers also hold private tuitions. These are either held at a common centre (sometimes their homes) for a couple of students, or at the homes of individual students.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
AdaptabilityAs a marketer, you will deal with different types of customers. You could be working with a manufacturing company that sells paper to businesses, or a company that sells chips to the masses. Your skill will be measured by how you deal with different consumers.
You need to perform research on the eggs, sperms and embryos you obtain from the patient. This will involve some long hours of research.build this skill
The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.
It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.build this skill
You will be working on a lot of cool projects and will be meeting a lot of potential clients and customers on the job. And so, a big part of your job will involve interacting with these people. You could be great at coming up with ideas, but that is only one part of your job. You will need to talk and meet people, build a rapport with them, to establish your credibility. Especially if you’re a freelancer, you will need to have certain social skills.build this skill
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
Teaching is a highly profitable career option, especially in India, where there aren’t enough teachers to cope with the rising population of students in the country. The need for qualified instructors has risen over the last decade. This profession requires training and specialisation in a particular subject, and a certification to start work in the field. The cost of a B.Ed ranges from INR 30,000 to 60,000. You can either pursue it full-time or through correspondence, which might extend the generally two-year course to two and a half years. If you pass this course with at least 50%, you can pursue the two-year-long M. Ed course, costing a further INR 10,000 to 25,000. Even after your degrees, you need to pass the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) to teach in a government or private school. To teach in a college or university, you have to clear the National Eligibility Test (NET).
Does teaching fascinate you? See what a day in the life of a Teacher- Paolina Chand (Part II)
It can be much harder to work as a teacher in countries like the US and UK, who often prefer hiring native English-speaking teachers (people with English as their first language/mother tongue). Other non-English speaking countries, especially third-world nations, often require English speaking teachers, but cannot afford to hire them from first-world countries. That’s where your degree comes in handy. Some international governmental organisations, like the British Council, have Teach Abroad programmes that prepare you to study and teach in countries around the world. Acquiring a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate can open up more teaching opportunities rather than simply working as an educational volunteer.
How much would you get paid?
The exact amount you earn as a teacher will depend on where you’re working, your education and skill-set. As a private tutor, you can charge subject-wise tuition fees or a yearly fee. Gauge the market, see what your competitors are charging, and set an amount accordingly.
What are your career options?
Preschool or Kindergarten
As a preschool teacher, you would focus on teaching children from nursery to senior kindergarten. You will need a diploma or certificate course in Nursery Teacher Training. Children are very expressive at this age; you should be able to handle their moods while helping them develop basic educational skills.
A B.Ed degree can help you secure this job. As a school teacher, you are not only responsible for imparting education; you will also organise co-curricular activities, prepare test papers, monitor your students’ growth and development, handle examinations, etc.
College or University
If you wish to teach in a college or university, you would need an M.Ed degree. Having a doctorate can further enhance your chances at this stage. Your work would involve preparing lecture notes, organising practicals, conducting seminars, handling examinations, monitoring placements, etc.
Teachers are also required for areas like learning or language centres, soft skills training academies and so on. These areas of teaching are highly rewarding, and teachers get to work with students at different levels from varied backgrounds. A degree in B.Ed is enough to pursue a vocation in this field.
Special Needs Education
Educational institutions are starting to recognise the need for additional assistance for students with learning disabilities. As a special needs educator, you will move beyond the regular modes of teaching to help children with special needs learn and grasp concepts. You would need a special education degree and – in some cases – a state certificate to qualify as a teacher. The responsibilities can be demanding; this role requires huge amounts of patience and dedication.
If you wish to teach students outside a school, you could start your own coaching classes. As a tuition teacher, you will ensure that your students have thoroughly understood the concepts being taught in school by providing further assistance to their learning process. The more teaching experience you have, the more you will earn in this field.
Examiners are hired to check board exam papers to make sure students have answered the questions correctly and according to the format prescribed by the education board. An added benefit to becoming an examiner is that you can incorporate your insider knowledge as an examiner into your teaching and help your students do well in their exams. If you want to become an examiner, – you will need to complete any undergraduate degree followed by one year of teaching experience in a particular subject.
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