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Over a fifth of teachers believe that the increase in teaching applications is positive, because the so-called credit crunch teachers are bringing new skills and experience with them, according to a recent survey by Hays Education. However, current teachers have also questioned their motives and 33% are concerned that they dont realise how difficult teaching is and wont stick with their newfound careers when the economy picks up.

Martyn Best, Managing Director of Hays Education, said Interest in teaching jobs has increased during the recession. Naturally, people are looking for the added job security, but they are also taking stock and assessing what they really want from a career particularly if they have been made redundant and feel let down by their previous employer.

The government has recently attempted to attract redundant workers into teaching by offering fastrack PGCE courses. The incentives also include golden handshakes to those chosing to teach science or maths.

Stuart MacKenzie is a former graphic designer who turned his back on commerce and retrained as a teacher. Stuart, who is now Head of Design and Technology, says I was a graphic designer working with clients such as Cadburys and Rolls Royce before becoming a teacher. Real-life experience is really helpful in the classroom and adds to the breadth of knowldege that you can pass on to a class.

The vast majority of respondents (84%) confirmed this, with the belief that recruiting teachers from a wider cross section of backgrounds including commerce would benefit the teaching profession. Interestingly, it also seems the tide is turning against some of the common misconceptions of teaching with 59% of teachers stating that they were happy with their work-life balance.

Our advice is to contact your local school and get some practical experience. See how schools have progressed and find out whether the reality of a career in the classroom would suit you. Then take a PGCE course and explore which side of teaching you prefer. A positive attitude, good communication skills and patience were rated most highly by current teachers. Many people will have learnt these skills in the private sector and once they have the relevant qualifications will find that teaching is a career they can excel in concludes Martyn Best.


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