Work experience in teaching

There are many ways to get work experience as a teacher, including lecturing while a postgraduate student or working as a sub.

No matter how you gather experience in your chosen teaching profession it will be of value to your career. There are a number of ways to acquire work experience in teaching:

  • Part of your course of study while training as a primary or secondary teacher.
  • Lecturing experience while studying for a Masters or PhD or doing postdoctoral research.
  • Substitution experience – some people do this before taking a teaching diploma.

After you qualify

Getting experience in a teaching role after you qualify is an important first step in a teaching or lecturing career. This may be the first time you have a variety of subjects to teach to classes of varying levels at various stages of study. It may take a year or two as a full-time educator to build your foundation of resources and preferred teaching strategies. You will add to these tools year after year.

During the early stages of your career in education, getting involved in a wide range of tasks is a good idea. It will give you a full picture of the life of a teacher and will also help you build an impressive CV that you can use to secure more long-term positions.

Skills gained from teaching experience

Writing good lesson plans and achievable learning objectives, managing discipline in a classroom and writing high quality examination papers and marking schemes are just some of the skills you will develop during training and in the early stages of your teaching career. You will improve upon and develop these teaching skills throughout your career.

Apart from gathering experience directly relevant to the classroom/lecture hall you will also get experience in tasks such as supervision, team meetings, departmental meetings, and may be involved in organising or helping with class excursions, progress meetings and report writing. Writing new syllabi and practical manuals are tasks typically carried out by lecturers and look very impressive on an educator’s CV.