Being a teacher is a great profession to get into and it is a career choice that will reward you greatly. Teaching may not command a high salary but it will give you the opportunity to be a key part of shaping the minds of young people and playing a part in their progress to becoming adults.

Educating people is not easy and there are a lot of skills which are required to do so, we spoke to Peter Benedict St Andrews head master to find out what kind of people should teach and just what it takes to be able to do so.

Hard Working

The life of a teacher does not just start and end when the bell rings and it requires many more hours of work than just that. As a teacher you will be responsible for lesson planning and marking which will occupy a great deal of your time away from the classroom. Unless you have a solid work ethic then you will never be able to become a successful teacher.

Knowledgeable

There is a great difference between knowing about a subject and knowing enough about a subject to teach it. In order to teach a subject you will need to have comprehensive knowledge so that you can not only educe your pupils but also answer any obscure questions which they may have. Despite the fact that you will more often than not be teaching from a set syllabus, you will still need to understand your subject completely in order to best help your students. If you lack knowledge and the students are aware of that they are far less likely to respect or listen to you.

Flexibility

Each student will learn in a different way and at a different pace than another and it is your responsibility to work out how each student can learn best and then adapt your style to help each pupil. You will need to have a teaching style which works for the majority whilst you are teaching the whole class as well as having the capability to alter your style when helping pupils on an individual basis. Much of this will come from years of experience but you ought to have an idea from the get-go around how you will inspire various types of characters.

Caring

In order to be a teacher, you have to care, you must care about how much knowledge your pupils have, you must care about them as individuals and you must care about their future. If you do not care sufficiently for your students then you are doing them a disservice and you will not be able to teach them to a high enough standard whether it be on the topic that you have chosen or on the topic of life. Your role as a teacher is to educate your pupils and prepare them for life after education, if you don’t care then you cannot do help your pupils be the best that they can be.