A career in education/primary and post primary, is it for you?

Careers in education can be very rewarding, and have been seen as a secure pensionable job for life, with lots of free time. However, you need to ask yourself, “Is this the career for me?”

Are you looking for a job that offers security, stability and flexibility?

Who in your life do you look up to who is working in education?

Can you see yourself in the classroom?

Do you have a lot of patience?

When you think back to your days as a primary school pupil, what was it about the teacher that interested you most?

Do you find that other students naturally call on you to help them with a subject as they see you as someone who is caring, or good at explaining, or are you someone who is always willing and wanting to help out?

Do your peers see you as a leader?

Are you good at persuading people to come around to your way of thinking?

Some of these traits may point to the fact that a career in education might be a good option. Have you had any relevant work experience, did you choose to work with teenagers or young children as part of your Leaving Cert Vocational Programme or TY programme?

Primary school teaching in Ireland requires you to have higher level Irish at a H3 or H4 level, depending on the college, and also to have an O4 or H7 in both English and maths. When working as a primary school teacher in the classroom you will be exposing the young students to not only the three subjects mentioned above, but also over the course of a week you will be teaching science, geography, history, art, religion, sport and all of the subjects that you would have studied at junior cycle.

For second level teaching you would need to have a love for a particular subject. Many subjects have a large practical element as well as the theoretical, for example art, construction, technology, engineering, etc. Are you drawn to those subjects in secondary school, or do you prefer subjects that are more theoretical and do not have deadlines before the State exams? For all teaching careers being a good reader, having an inquisitive mind and being someone who works quickly and accurately would be very important attributes. Also time-management is a very important skill, both in terms of subjects taught and the time to teach them. School starts generally at 9am and finishes at 2.30pm, 3.30pm or 4pm. Classes are for a certain duration so managing time is a skill that must be mastered. Record keeping is also a must as when parent/teacher meetings come around parents want to see how their child is performing over a period of time, not just in the previous week or month. There are lots of things to bear in mind.

Good websites for further research include: Qualifax.ie Careersportal.ie

College websites and CAO.ie


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