There are many different types of teachers, and others who work alongside and in support of teachers.
Teaching skills are valuable for anyone who is in a position of helping others to learn, from parents and youth workers to supervisors in a workplace and formal professions including pre-school teachers, primary and secondary school teachers, adult education teachers, vocational teachers, specialist teachers, volunteer teachers, and others.
Teachers may work in a classroom setting; or outside the classroom. They may deal with large groups, medium size, small groups, or teach individuals.
Developed countries tend to have a relatively well structured education system, where most teachers work in large mainstream traditional schools. Sometimes though, teachers may work in alternative or experimental schools or other settings. The scope and nature of where and how teachers work has changed over recent decades, and many would predict that even greater changes are likely to occur in the future. Example: Some developed countries have been moving toward situations where even primary and secondary school students are spending less time in the classroom, and undertaking an increasing proportion of their studies by distance education. This might be described as a “blended learning model.
Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Teaching is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
HOW TO REMEMBER THINGS
A core part of teaching is helping people to remember things.
To remember something for more than a few seconds, you need to transfer the information from the short term to the long term memory. The following have been found to be important methods for memory improvement:
- semantic organization
- retrieval processes.
Rehearsal – Repeating information over and over again to remember it.
Semantic organization – Semantic organization is the encoding or process of information in our long term memory, based on its meaning, for example, lining all words related to animals together. Rehearsal can be simply called mimicry or imitation. However, semantic organization is thought to add recall and improve memory.
You have two groups of words:
Group 1 shoe, boat, cat, pea, cup
Group 2 spoon, fork, knife, plate, cup
The second group of words will probably be easier to recall as the words are semantically similar – i.e. they have similar meanings and fall into a general classification of tableware. However, semantic organization is more difficult to use.
Elaboration - Elaboration involves the linking of two words/things together to aid memory. Eg. The Japanese word for one is pronounced ‘itch’, and number two is ‘knee’. By imagining an itchy knee, people might be encouraged to remember the two words.
Retrieval processes - Semantic organization, elaboration and rehearsal are all ways of storing memories. Retrieval processes are the way we retrieve things from our memories. It would be no good being able to store memories if we could not retrieve them.
OPPORTUNITIES TO USE TEACHING SKILLS
Opportunities for teachers vary from place to place; and future opportunities are likely to be influenced by largely unpredictable trends and developments in education.
The following facts unlikely to ever disappear though:
- People of all ages will continue to need teaching.
- The things people need to learn and the way they learn will keep changing
If you want ongoing opportunities in teaching, you need to recognise these facts; and in doing so understand that you must first learn how to teach; then foster a capacity to teach a wide variety of different things; and finally be prepared to adapt to changing opportunities –If opportunities are in a classroom; embrace those opportunities; but if traditional teaching opportunities fade for you; be sufficiently creative and adaptive to embrace and thrive on those changes.
This course is an excellent starting point for a career in teaching; without having to commit yourself to full time study in a university course over a number of years.
Becoming a Trainer -one pathway into a career in education.
Trainers (and assessors) are people who teach specific skills; commonly for the workplace. People who don't initially intend becoming a teacher; may often find themselves evolving into this type of job. Others intentionally set about becoming a trainer.
In today's fast changing world it may be wise to take small steps; developing teaching skills to a certificate level first; and developing some experience (even if only as a teachers aid or volunteer). Over time you can then increase your qualifications and broaden your experience, adapting to changes as they occur in the education industry.
Trainers and assessors will carry out similar tasks to a teacher, such as educating people about particular topics, but they will tend to focus on specific areas. For example, a trainer may offer training sessions in multicultural awareness or supervising staff or motivating staff or colour therapy. Often a trainer has been experienced or qualified in the area in the area in which they train, so they are able to offer their support and experience to others. They may offer training over a day, week or few workshops.
Assessors can be slightly different. Assessors will assess a candidate’s work. They may do this by asking them to complete projects or research to be assessed. Or they may assess a candidate’s work in their work place or observe them performing certain tasks. For example, a plumbing assessor may observe a plumber changing a ballcock in a toilet, then given them feedback on their performance and suggest ways they may improve. Someone working in care may be observed changing a dressing or helping someone out of bed etc, again the assessor will give feedback on how the candidate performs.
Trainers can work in a variety of fields. Firms will use trainers to come in and train their staff on a particular area of work. Colleges use trainers to teach classes.
A firm may pay for a trainer to come in and talk to staff about time management.
Trainers can offer courses to firms and individuals in a quick, short way. For example, they may offer a day’s training in a topic, so people have an intense update of their knowledge without taking a more detailed course.
Trainers may work within an organisation as an employee, or they may be freelance and go round different firms and businesses offering training. Or they may do training sessions and sell places to members of the public who are interested in what they train on.
Assessing can also be on a freelance or paid basis.
If you are a freelancer, you can also work in a way that is suitable for you. For example, if you only want to work one day a week, you can organise your diary in a way that suits you - as long as you are flexible for your customers.
Risks and Challenges
Because of the nature of work, trainers may not have guaranteed work. For example, you may offer training to a firm for one day and they never use you again because the staff can pass on that knowledge to other staff. So if you work for yourself, it is important to network and market yourself appropriately to ensure you maintain a sufficient level of business for you.
At times of budget cut backs, training, particularly from external trainers can be one of the first things to cut back.
With training and assessing work, you may also be required to work long hours or unsociable hours. For example, if you are assessing a member of care staff, you may be required to carry out assessments when they are working shifts.
You also need to keep yourself up to date on changes in your industry. It is no good training people with out of date knowledge.
How to become a Trainer or Assessor
To be a trainer or assessor you need to be very experienced and knowledgeable in the area in which you are training or assessing. The qualifications required will really depend on what you are offering training and assessing in, so it can be useful to determine the experience and qualifications required before planning to become a trainer or assessor.
Undertaking a course and gaining experience in education practices and teaching is useful to ensure you are fully aware of how people learn and how to present information.