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Is it time for a return to teaching?

20/11/2019 Anthony

Do you miss inspiring the next generation? There is no denying that teaching is a challenging job, but it’s one that many people take on because of the rewards. You may have left teaching to pursue other personal or career goals, but whatever the reason was, it’s likely that you never lost your enthusiasm for it. If a full-time teaching role is no longer a viable option here’s the good news - there are other ways to fulfil your passion without committing to a whole working week.

No matter how long ago you left the classroom your ability to teach remains; it’s just a case of dusting off the cobwebs.

Teachers are more in demand than ever

The number of pupils in the UK is on the rise and as a result it’s projected that within the next four years 47,000 more secondary school teachers are needed. Inevitably, the UK will also need more primary teachers, part-time teachers and supply teachers. And as more children enter the education system the effects will extend beyond schools; we expect the demand for tutors to continue rising too. So, teaching will remain a career with an abundance of job opportunities.

Challenges of getting back into teaching

The thought of returning to teaching may leave you feeling a mixture of both apprehension and excitement. Just think of it as getting back on the bike - you may be a little unsteady at the beginning but once you get going it will begin to feel natural again. The skills that you developed during your time teaching - like critical thinking and social perceptiveness – haven’t gone anywhere. If you are ready to put these skills back into use, then a great place to start is by refamiliarising yourself with the national curriculum.

Not quite ready to commit to a full-time job? Here are some alternative options:

Part-time work

Working part-time will allow you to still be involved in students learning, but since you won’t be required to commit as much time you can achieve a better work-life balance. Your time off can be dedicated to family life or you can allocate those hours to studying for a masters.

Job-sharing is a type of part-time work that is becoming more common in teaching, particularly in primary schools. The agreement must be made between two teachers and presented to administrators of the school district for approval. Splitting the job means that benefits, holiday days, and - most importantly - responsibilities are shared.

Supply cover

This style of teaching can be made as temporary as you like with contracts ranging from emergency cover to longer-term absences. And you can decide how long you want to take off between contracts. If you’re conscious of maintaining steady work, you can arrange it so you start a new contract immediately after you finish one; or if some time off is what you need, you can give yourself a break. Since supply teachers tend to have shorter contracts this significantly reduces the number of administrative tasks required of them. Plus, you’ll get to work in a variety of schools and teach a range of subjects, meaning that truly no two days will be the same.

If full-time teaching is your end goal, supply cover can help you build relevant experience, decide which type of school you want to work in, and ultimately decide if it is the career for you.


If you’re not quite ready for the classroom this is a great alternative. The demand for tutors is only increasing as pressure mounts for students to achieve high grades in their examinations, with one in five 11-year-olds receiving private tuition. One-to-one teaching gives you the opportunity to help pupils on a more individual basis, and it’s a chance for you to think creatively and identify the best learning style for each student.

A huge benefit of tutoring jobs over the other teaching styles is that it is considerably more flexible, making it a great option if you have other commitments such as your own children to care for.

Rediscover your passion with Teaching Personnel

Whether you’re looking for a full-time, part-time or supply cover job Teaching Personnel can help you. As the UK’s leading education recruitment agency, with over 20 years of industry experience, we’re well placed in the market to help you find the right job - view our latest vacancies here or register with us to receive personalised updates. Are you interested in private tuition work? Teaching Personnel provide a range of tutoring opportunities in schools and through local authorities.

Alternatively, if private tuition at pupils homes is something you would like to consider, why not register with Fleet Tutors who, like Teaching Personnel, are part of the Supporting Education Group.

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