Economics teacher

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Brendan Carter teaches economics in Glasgow. Economics is all about using data from a variety of sources to look at business trends.

Can you describe your role?

I teach S grades, Intermediate 2 qualifications and H grades (equivalent to GCSE and A levels in England and Wales). I make sure that lessons take account of different abilities and cater for every pupil's needs. I try to find the best way to teach a topic to make it interesting, easy to understand and, where possible, fun to learn. I have to set and mark assignments, homework and tests.

What else do you do?

I get involved in school life as much as possible. I train a rugby team and take them to games, run a 5-a-side football league, and take students on trips abroad.

I am also head of the Social Studies faculty. My tasks include doing administrative work, buying resources for all seven subjects in the faculty and ensuring that all the teachers in the faculty have everything they need to allow them to teach well.

How much maths do you use in your teaching?

I use maths in my teaching a lot, as it is a part of economics. For example, I use graphs and tables to make data easier to understand and to look at trends in areas such as inflation.

How much work do you do other than teach?

Quite a lot. I need to spend time preparing and planning lessons and there is always work to mark.

What qualities does a teacher need?

Patience is very important. Sometimes pupils find it difficult to grasp an idea. You must listen and take the time to help.

Enthusiasm for your subject is crucial; otherwise your classes will become dull and boring and your pupils won't learn as much as they should. You need humour which helps you to build links with your class and create a relaxed atmosphere. And you must be a caring and helpful person.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I like discussing new topics and ideas with pupils, opening their minds and helping them to challenge themselves. I am enthusiastic about economics and it is great to see pupils enthusiastic about the subject as well.

Brendan's route to his career as an economics teacher

  • Degree in economics, politics and sociology.
  • PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate of Education).
  • Attained an ATQ (Additional Teaching Qualification) in Economics and moved to present school to teach economics.

Brendan's teaching tips

  • Find out what it is like to work with young people by doing some voluntary work.
  • If you decide teaching is what you really want to do then stick with it.
  • The more you do, the more interesting it becomes.

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Salary of an economics teacher

  • The starting salary for a qualified teacher in England and Wales is £18,105.
  • The main pay scale rises to £26,460.
  • After this, you can move to an upper pay scale if you meet performance standards.
  • This upper scale rises to £33,150.
  • The pay rates are higher if you work in London.
  • If you are promoted to senior teaching posts, the pay scale is £31,299 to £40,401.

How to become an economics teacher

  • Teachers in schools need to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. This means they usually have a degree that includes a teaching qualification or a degree followed by a one-year full-time teacher training course.
  • Entry requirements are at least two A levels and three GCSE (A-C) grades in other subjects. At least one A level should be in a subject that the applicant wishes to teach.
  • In parts of the UK there are other routes into teaching, including employmentbased routes. For instance, the Graduate Teacher programme offers an individual programme of training over a year at a school, which also pays a salary. The Registered Teacher programme is similar but is aimed at those who have completed two years of higher education and you will usually be expected to complete your degree. Further information is available from the Teacher Training Agency (see useful addresses).
  • In Scotland, to train as a teacher you need H grade in English (C or above) or a National Qualification Course award at higher level at C or above in English and Communication, or an equivalent qualification.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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