Why teaching? Rewarding career with attractive benefits
Teaching is a difficult job with greater scrutiny on the profession now than in the past
Primary and secondary teaching are very different beasts and primary teachers have a lot more flexibility within the curriculum. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images
Teaching in Ireland is a very different ball game to in the United States or United Kingdom. Here, teaching is a very prestigious profession and the pay and conditions for the people educating the nation’s children are generally fairer.
Young people want to become teachers and the points for primary teacher training courses are at the higher end of the scale.
Is it for you? Do you like, ideas, projects, learning and explaining things to people? Is there a subject that you love and which you would like to share with young people?
Primary and secondary teaching are very different beasts and primary teachers have a lot more flexibility within the curriculum.
Primary teachers study in one of the teacher-training colleges which include St Patrick’s Drumcondra and the Church of Ireland College of Education (both now part of DCU’s new Institute of Education), Mary Immaculate in Limerick, Marino Institute of Education in Dublin or at the Froebel department in Maynooth University. It’s worth bearing in mind that, with the exception of Froebel, the colleges all have a religious influence.
Don’t discount Hibernia, a private online college, which has worked hard to build up a sterling reputation for itself and offers qualifications that are at least as respected as the traditional providers.
Second-level teachers train through a postgrad qualification which is two years long and students can learn this at Trinity, UCD, NUI Galway and DCU. There are more direct routes, however, with a physical education teacher-training course at UL, a science teacher-training course at DCU and home economics at St Angela’s College in Sligo.
The fairly long (paid) holidays are a fairly decent perk, and it’s a fairly family-friendly career but most teachers who get into the profession know that it isn’t the easy job it used to be, and bad teachers are more likely to be held to account than they were in the past.
The gutting of middle-management posts have made the prospect of career advancement more difficult and younger teachers are up in arms that they are on a completely different pay scale than their older colleagues, based purely on when they entered the profession.
A demographic bulge which is already being felt in primary schools means that the State will need to employ more teachers at second-level and there will be more jobs.
Salary scales vary based on when the teacher entered the profession, how long they have been there and what professional qualifications they have.
The three main teachers’ unions are the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland and Teachers’ Union of Ireland and they have pay scales available on their websites.