As a teacher, it is your role to plan lessons in line with national objectives and record and support the progress of their class. Daily activities may include marking, pastoral duties such as 1-2-1 support, communicating with parents/carers and maintaining a strong, up-to-date subject knowledge. For almost all teaching roles, you are required to have a QTS (qualified teacher status) and there are a number of paths to this qualification such as the university led PGCE or school-centered initial teacher training SCITT. Let’s take a look at insights taken directly from graduates in the teaching field…

1. Day-to-day tasks

“Tutorial with form 1 (yr7) tutor group. 6 lessons involving classes in form 1 – sixth form. Meeting after school about raising attainment/netball practice with form 2 team.”
Maths Teacher/Subject Leader of Maths, at Teach First
“A typical day is quite difficult to explain as your day can be hugely varied. Most weekdays will involve running workshops within local schools to support children from the community and raise awareness of Explore Learning. Most days include some kind of marketing or sales event within the local area, whether this is in a local shopping centre or working with community groups. The vast majority of my evenings are spent holding parents meetings and working with the children.”
Centre Director, Tuition at Explore Learning
“You are responsible for the maths education of around 150 students from year to year. This involves planning and teaching lessons as well as marking assignments and tests. You interact with school children all day. In addition, you are also part of a faculty team and a wider school community.”
Maths teacher, School at Oxfordshire County Council

2. The best and worst things about your job

“Teaching is an extremely rewarding job. Interacting and supporting the learning of young people, often from difficult backgrounds, gives me a real sense of purpose and fulfillment. Working with young people is also very enjoyable and is highly varied. The job can be very stressful and is a huge commitment – both emotionally and in terms of time. One can also feel a little limited in terms of career development opportunities in the teaching profession.”
Class Teacher, at Teach First
“The people development, training and support are incredible at Explore Learning. The support structure is fantastic to ensure that you have a team that you can go to for advice, and feel that you are supported every step of the way. Explore invest a lot of time in the people they employ. They always prioritise making sure employees are happy and supported and are incredible at motivating teams to succeed. The role is hugely varied meaning that you develop a huge skill base far beyond anything that I ever learnt in any other job. The hours are slightly more antisocial that other jobs, but the day does go incredibly quickly!”
Centre Director, Tuition at Explore Learning
“POSITIVES – The students are (generally!) fantastic and life is never dull. You have a lot of responsibility from day one, particularly when you enter the profession through TeachFirst or GTP (Graduate Teacher Programme). NEGATIVES – Managing behaviour can be very difficult, it is exhausting and sometimes very frustrating given the limitations you have by virtue of parents not always supporting the school.”
Head of Department, ‘Challenging school’, North London at Teach First

3. Average working hours

8am – 7pm

4. Average salary

£21,000 – £23,000

5. Interview tips

Application Advice: Show ability to think and act quickly. You need to prove that you will be reliable and willing to treat this business as your own. Obviously good academic qualifications are essential.
Interview Advice: Provide an excellent cv, arrive on time, ask questions and generally be enthusiastic.
Teacher, Rochester at Bright Young Things
Application Advice: Show as much well-rounded experience as possible. Really research the company and think about exactly why you want to join.
Interview Advice: It’s all about the people skills! Show off how friendly and confident you are and everything else will be secondary. Most of the assessment is judging how personable you are.
Centre Director, at Explore Learning
Application Advice: In terms of the interview process, I advise that you make sure you know the company well- look at the website and take up any opportunities to meet with the graduate recruitment team. Try and do some general reading before the summer (I’d recommend ‘how to be an outstanding primary school teacher’ and ‘teaching with poverty in mind’). I have been able to use a lot of my pre-summer reading in my assignments, which has saved a lot of time/stress. Be as organised as you can from the word go- be clear about when your deadlines are and what you need in place so that there are no last minute panics!
Teacher, at Teach First

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