Teaching is said to be one of the noblest professions in the world. It is also one that proves to be highly rewarding, stimulating, challenging, promising but above all things, teaching is a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students and mold the future citizens of the world. A teacher is the person who facilitates the education for students. The role of the teacher is vital in the formal setting and it is usually on-going.
In most countries, any person who wishes to assume a teaching role or become a teacher, especially at government supported schooling institutions, should first and foremost get professional qualification usually through an accomplished degree from a university or college. This generally includes studying pedagogy or the science of teaching. Teachers also have to go on with their education even after they have already got a teaching degree from a university or college. Teachers can teach on literacy and numeracy or some other academic subject. Some teachers provide instructions on practical matters, such as craftsmanship or vocational training. Other teachers teach on the Arts, religion or spirituality, civics, community roles or life skills. There are also distinctions in a teacher's role depending on the country's culture.
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Usually, formal teaching is only allowed to be carried out by teaching professionals who also enjoy a recognized status in society that can be comparable to other professions such as physicians or attorneys at law. As such, special licensures and accreditations are required in order for a person to be a certified teaching professional. All across the world, prospective teachers are required to get specialized education, training, knowledge, code of ethics and internal monitoring.
There are many different kinds of organizations that were set up to inculcate, conserve and bring up to date the knowledge and the professional standing of teachers. Governments of the world run colleges for teachers. They were set up to serve and guard the interest of the public by means of certifying, ruling and enforcing the standards for the practice of teaching. These colleges for teachers function to set out clear standards for practice of teaching and to provide the continuous and ongoing education of teachers. These colleges for teachers also help accredit teacher education programs.
The U.K. government is driven to raise standards across their education system and the teachers are at the heart of this drive. They believe that the economic and cultural future will depend heavily on the high academic standards among English schools and their teachers should help make this happen. In England, it is required that teachers in government supported schools must have at least a Bachelor's Degree, must have completed an accredited teaching education program and must also be licensed.
For government supported schools in U.K., the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is a requirement for teaching. This can be obtained by completing a preliminary course called the Initial Teacher Training (ITT). Graduates of the ITT will then take the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course. Those who are said to be "mature entrants" have the option to train on the job through the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP).
Those who take the PGCE courses full time will need one academic year to complete it. For part timers, it may take as long as two years. Primary trainees will spend a minimum of eighteen weeks placed in schools while secondary trainees will need to spend a minimum of twenty four weeks. These trainings must be provided by institutions for higher education and their local schools.
The schools who have been accredited to offer post graduate ITT are referred to as providers of School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT). Training takes place usually around the schools. The teacher training programmes are designed by an association of schools, the Local Education Authorities (LEA) and the Higher Education Institutions (HEI).
The one year PGCE courses have been designed for people who possess ample knowledge for a subject or field of expertise at a degree level - since there will be little time to cover new topics. If the person does not have ample knowledge in the subject or field he or she would like to teach on, then the two year PGCE or Conversion Course should be the better option. Conversion Courses are usually available for secondary subjects where teachers are short on.
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In order to bring trainee teachers to a QTS standard, the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) provides the opportunity for one to follow a personal training program. They will work and be trained at schools that will help devise this training plan for them. They can even earn from this endeavor. The trainee teachers must secure the employment themselves but the help, support and guidance can be provided to them by the LEA and HEI.
Entry to an ITT Course requires "a recognized degree from a U.K. institution or equivalent, or a QTS from a country in the European Economic Area (EEA)" [www.internationalgraduate.net]. The degree of an entrant must have the necessary foundation in order to teach in the stages and subjects intended. A Grade C or above in the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) for Mathematics and English are also required. "Primary entrants born after 30 August 1979 also need C or above in single or combined science subjects" [www.internationalgraduate.net]. These teacher training providers prefer that their entrants have passed the science GCSE requirement. For those trainees or candidates who do have these requirements, the teacher training providers are allowed to establish and require their own set of pre-qualifiers that could be deemed equivalent to the above.
In the case of foreign trainee teachers, they must check their qualifications with the Department for Education and Employment. They will need additional training to become qualified in the U.K. This is made possible through the GTP along with flexible and modular courses.