Is teaching right for me?
The best way to decide whether teaching is for you is to gain experience in a school. Observing lessons will help you gain an awareness of teaching and pastoral work, the day-to-day school life of a teacher and give you the opportunity to watch a range of lessons and age groups being taught. It'll also make your teacher training application much stronger providing valuable insight and a great focus point for your application and interviews
Having experience in primary schools – even if you want to teach at secondary level – is also looked on favourably, as it shows a breadth of awareness of teaching and how children develop. In England, you can gain classroom experience by applying for the School Experience Programme.
Alternatively, you can arrange to shadow a teacher you know, or get in touch with schools in your local area. It’s useful to visit more than one school to gain experience in different teaching environments.
Primary or Secondary?
You can train to teach primary or secondary. Primary teaching may be right for you if you have a passion for engaging with younger people and you want to teach the whole curriculum. There are few science graduates teaching in primary schools, so you could make a real difference as a science subject leader to guide the science teaching in a whole school.
Secondary teaching may be right for you if you have specialised in one subject area and want to use that knowledge to teach and inspire young people. You’ll teach a range of classes, of varying ages and abilities. With the lower age groups, you will likely teach Physics and Biology alongside Chemistry.