- Job satisfaction. From your very first day, you'll put your knowledge and passion to work-and make a real difference to the young people in your class.
- Competitive salary and benefits. You'll start on £19,878 (from April 2007). And although you might not be thinking about it right now, there's also a great pension.
- Long holidays. Take the time to travel, indulge your passions, recharge your batteries or simply fit your job around your family commitments.
- A guaranteed job when you graduate. As a new teacher who trained in Scotland, you're guaranteed full-time employment for your first year. You'll pick up valuable classroom experience under the guidance of your experienced mentor, in an Induction scheme that's unique to Scotland.
- Career progression. Whether you want to stay in the classroom or move into management, this is a job where good people get the recognition and rewards they deserve. And Continuing Professional Development ( CPD) means you'll be able to pick up new skills.
What does a career in teaching involve?
CARRIE MUIR - 27
ST BRIDES HIGH SCHOOL
So here I am in my second year of secondary teaching and enjoying (nearly) every minute of it. Moving from engineering would appear to be a big change, but many of the skills I used as an engineer are similar to the ones I require as a teacher. Communication, organisation and time management are all skills I believe are essential in becoming an effective teacher, but most importantly you have to be able to relate to young people.
GRAHAM PARRY - 23
It can be quite funny at school. There's always something different happening and you never know what's going to come up - the day flies by and you always wonder where the time has gone. When you get cards, presents and personal thanks from the kids, that's when you realise that you're really touching the lives of young people. It's nice to actually see that you are playing a part in shaping an individual.
LYNNE HANNAH - 24
I have to say, teaching is the most rewarding job ever. When you look back over your day, you think of all the good things that have happened. You can see the pupils come on in leaps and bounds, and that really makes you believe you're doing a worthy job and having a positive impact on young people.
What makes a great teacher?
It might sound obvious, but it's really important that you enjoy working with children and young people. You'll also need to have a real passion for your subject - backed up with in-depth knowledge. It is also important to find ways of making your lessons relevant, creative, interesting and accessible. And a good sense of humour will always help.
Young people need adults they can relate to and trust so you'll need to be a good role model, always fair and well balanced. Discipline is also important to make sure your pupils get the most from each lesson. Students must see that you're in control and thoroughly prepared.
How many pupils will be in my class?
We want you and your pupils to get the most out of each other. That's why there are nationally agreed maximum class sizes for both primary and secondary schools. The numbers ensure that whatever class size you're working in, you'll be able to enjoy a rich and varied teaching experience.
And the good news is that the Scottish Government is working towards reducing single stage and composite classes in Primary 1 through Primary 3 to just 18. This means there will be a lot more places available on primary teacher training courses as well as more jobs available across Scotland.
How much will I get paid?
Teachers should be rewarded for the important work they do, so there's a generous salary on offer in Scotland. From April 2007:
- Classroom Teachers at the top of the scale will earn £31,707
- Chartered Teachers can earn up to £38,868
- Head Teachers can expect to earn from £39,207 to £76,527
Scotland has a salary scale for Classroom Teachers:
FROM APRIL 2007
Pay negotiations are pending for April 2008
All teachers are placed on Point 0 for their first year in teaching. After this probationary year, most teachers move one point up the salary scale for every year they've been teaching.
Will I get paid more if I have experience outside teaching?
Yes. If you've got relevant career experience you can jump up to four points on the salary scale after your probationary year. Your employer will talk to you about this.
Is there extra money if I teach in a remote part of Scotland?
Yes. If you teach on certain islands or in a remote school, you might get an allowance on top of your salary:
Distant Island Allowance: £1,659
Remote Schools Allowance: £1,074 or £2,010
What hours will I work?
You'll have a 35 hour week, and the most time you'll spend teaching is 22.5 hours. This means you'll have enough time in the working day for classroom preparation, marking and Continual Professional Development.
What about holidays?
Every year you'll get 13 weeks holiday at full pay. That means your total working year is 195 days over 39 weeks, with five days for in-service training.
What about the pension?
You might not be thinking about your pension right now, but the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme is very generous. It's a final salary pension, where you pay 6.4% of your salary (there's tax relief too). There are also extra benefits for you and your dependents.