Although the majority of students on a teaching degree course are school leavers, there are an increasing number of mature students embarking on teacher training courses in universities across the nation. This could be due to people wanting to retrain and begin a different career path or some may be adults returning to work after maternity or paternity leave whatever the reason the route to becoming a teacher as a mature student can be an exciting and fulfilling prospect.
If you decide that teaching is the choice of career path for you it will be necessary to have a degree that would be relevant to teaching or be working towards gaining one. Many primary teachers choose to study for a Bachelor of Education degree as within the course there will be a higher percentage of time spent on developing the student’s teaching skills rather than on specific subject knowledge however should you be considering a teaching career in a secondary school then a deeper subject knowledge may be required and so many students decide to undertake a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree or even a one-year Post Graduate Certificate of Education qualification after obtaining a degree in their chosen subject previously. Newer courses that allow study whilst working are also becoming popular.
During the teacher training degree course students will be given the opportunity to work in schools, alongside the class teacher, on teaching practice. This is a useful way of finding out if you enjoy the challenge of working in school and to see for yourself the responsibilities that teachers undertake on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. Whilst in school it is important to find out as much as possible about the career advantages and to discuss with senior management about progression if this is something that you are interested in. Students are given more and more responsibility for the class and the work that is set for the pupils at each teaching practice they do culminating in the final year where they are responsible for the planning, teaching and assessment of the class under the supervision of the class teacher who may also be their mentor whilst they are in school.
The majority of mature students who train to be teachers do extremely well in their studies and are often more focused on the final outcome when they will be a fully qualified professional teacher.