Teaching 101: What you need to know about the teaching profession


teaching degree

If you're contemplating studying a teaching degree, you've made an incredible choice. Not only is this an incredibly rewarding profession, it's one that gives you a chance to shape the minds of future generations.

Whilst you have several choices when it comes to which teaching degree you study, there are a few universal truths that seem to apply. This is regardless of whether you choose to pursue foundation phase teaching or intermediate teaching - we'll discuss these further, below.

Want to become a teacher? Here's what you need to know.

You don't have to be a perfectionist

Although the profession always seems to attract many perfectionists, you don't have to be one to succeed. All you really need is passion and a dream to change the lives of young people. We recommend that you don't strive for perfection in teaching. Instead, we suggest aiming for flexibility. This is a key factor that many successful teachers attribute to their happiness in the classroom. There's nothing like a difficult student to rattle the perfectionist teachers out there. The reality is, there are several things that could go wrong on any given day. Flexibility in how you manage the situation can make all the difference.

On the other hand, we're not saying abandon teaching if you are a perfectionist. But rather focus being a perfectionist in areas that are relevant, e.g. being on time, your personal grooming, sticking to your lesson plans and even the decorating of your classroom. These are things that will enhance your experience of being a teacher. Add flexibility, and you'll do just fine.

There's no limit on how good you can be

The only way you'll ever fail as a teacher is when you stop striving to become a better one. The more we improve our teaching skills, the more we will increase the potential for students to learn. This is why teaching is considered a profession where you'll never stop learning. You know you were born to teach when you're motivated to keep improving your skills to help your students achieve great results. This often means putting in effort to improve yourself. From additional qualifications to weekend courses and the odd conference, it all adds up to making you an educator that changes lives.

No two teachers are ever the same

If you think back to being at school, you probably liked several teachers for different reasons. From personalities to their subjects and the way they taught them, we're guessing you had your favourites. Studies have shown that students tend to respond to educators who are authentic. This means that trying to imitate or embody another person's style of teaching won't get you far with students. Yes, learn from the other teachers that you respect and admire but develop your own style of teaching. Your students will be captivated by the way that you teach them in your classroom.

Your qualification is your ticket to the top

Your B.ED Degree is a foot in the door of the teaching world. This means you should choose an accredited qualification by an accredited institution. At The IIE's Varsity College, students have a choice of two programme options to help them pursue their dreams. The IIE Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching and the IIE Bachelor of Education in Intermediate Phase Teaching by The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE).

IIE Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching:

Without this vital stage of learning, none of us would have been able to complete our schooling. This degree is aimed at enabling teachers to educate those from grade R to 3. This involves laying the very foundation for lifelong learning. If you think that you'd be perfect for Foundation Phase, please click here.

IIE Bachelor of Education in Intermediate Phase Teaching

If the thought of teaching the older kids sounds much more exciting, then you might want to consider Intermediate Phase. This qualification will allow you to teach grades 4 to 7, an age bracket that's fun and interesting. If this sounds like something that appeals to you, please click here to read more.

There will be ups and downs

Like every other career and industry, there are good days and bad ones. This is particularly true in teaching where you have so many students to contend with. Then of course there are the parents and school procedures are well. This shouldn't overwhelm you though. It's part of a working world where several factors come into play. Regardless of the job you pursue, it's something you'll need to manage wherever you go. Every teacher will tell you that the number of great days far outweighs the terrible ones. So there's really nothing to be afraid of.

Welcome the challenges

In teaching, there are situations that test your abilities as a person and as an educator. These will ultimately improve your skill set. It's easy to get worked up by hurdles on your path to success but we're telling you that they will pass. We're also telling you that Rihanna herself swears by the motto, "never a failure, always a lesson". In the teaching world, this couldn't be truer! By seeing challenges as a way to up your own game, you'll be a world-class educator in no time. You'll be a stronger person for it too.

We believe in you

At The IIE's Varsity College, we know that you've got what it takes to be a stand out teacher. With your determination and an accredited IIE B.ED programme, there's no reason why you can't fulfil your teaching dreams. From our state-of-the-art campuses across the country to our dedicated lecturers, we offer all the tools for a bright future. All we need is for you to seize them. For more on how we can take you further faster, please visit our website today. Don't forget to hit "Call me back" if you'd like a student advisor to get in touch with you. https://www.varsitycollege.co.za.