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Your teacher training journey

Your teacher training journey

Starting your teacher training journey is a very exciting challenge. It won’t always be an easy ride and there will be times when you may question what you have taken on, but if you approach it with openness and a sense of adventure it will be one of the most rewarding experiences you have. Here are some things you can think about to ensure you’re equipped for the journey ahead!

Your motivations for teaching

Having a clear view of the underlying reasons which fuelled your motivation to get into teaching will help to establish your base philosophy in relation to the role, as well as highlighting your core values, both of which are important to remember when you come across challenges in your career. Your initial answers will tell you something about your motivation which, in turn, will influence the sort of teacher you become.

Recent research (Chiony et al., 2017) revealed the following as being the top five reasons why people choose teaching as a career:

Top 5 reasons why people teach

  1. Making a difference to others' lives

  2. Thought they would be good at it

  3. Interested in teaching their subject

  4. An opportunity to make a difference to society

  5. A desire to work with young people/ children


Can you relate to any of these? Having established your key motivation, have a think about what type of teacher you are or would like to be:


  • Practitioners: Teachers motivated by a desire to teach and work with students

  • Moderates: Teachers influenced by a broad range of factors

  • Idealists: Teachers who want to make a difference to society

  • Rationalists: Teachers who weigh up a combination of pragmatic, personal and social justice-related factors

The learning journey

A teacher training course has been compared to a rollercoaster and students frequently talk about going through numerous emotions within one day. The academic year provides a structure for your learning journey, so here are some key points to remember when encountering each timeframe:


  • A busy time as you are just coming to terms with the academic side of the course and the practical aspects of teaching.

  • Also the time when you will have energy and enthusiasm, so make the most of it by getting into some good habits.


  • By now, you should have established some patterns and routines and started to prepare yourself for the final part of the journey.

  • There will be a number of deadlines to meet so stay strong and allocate time for your academic work as well as for planning your teaching.


  • A period of hard work as your teaching will be at its most pressured and you will have a number of deadlines to meet.

  • It is at this point that you may experience challenges you weren’t expecting, so try to break down the challenge and work out the specific aspects of it.


  • The point when you are meeting final deadlines and the end is in sight so it tends to be a positive time of the year.

  • This does sound like the end of the journey when in fact it is really just the beginning of another.

Taking control of your journey

Mark Twain quote

To some extent, your route through teacher training is already planned, however you are the one who controls how much you get out of the experience and it is up to you to make sure it is a success. As Mark Twain said, ‘the dictionary is the only place where success comes before work’, so take control of the journey before it takes control of you.


*This is an edited extract from The Trainee Teacher's Handbook