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Reasons to become an RE teacher

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Reasons to be an RE teacher

Bored at work? Not challenged or stimulated enough? Fancy a change and think a new desk in a new office is all that it will take to sort out your career fug? Think again… the people who are happiest in their work are actually the people who base their career on something they like to do.

Think about it…what really grabbed your attention at school? At university? And what about now? If you’re looking for a career move, why not take stock of what you love doing and make a life changing – and truly life enhancing – step to professional and personal fulfilment.

It’s what Laura did…

Former RAF Aerospace Systems Operator Laura Clark took stock of where she was, and then figured out where she wanted to go. And now, after a nine year stint serving Queen and country, Laura is about to start her training to be a specialist secondary school teacher in RE!

At school, Laura had taken both GCSE and A Level RE, but plumped to study photography when it came time to go to university. As time passed she realised that she wanted to work and be more challenged, so she swapped study for work and signed up with the RAF. But now aged 33, she felt it was time for a new challenge.

Why did she become an RE teacher?

As Laura explains, “Briefly at the start I’d favoured primary teaching. But the more I chatted to colleagues, friends and family about which direction to take, the more I realised that a lot of people have a really outdated view of RE. It might sound odd, but this made the challenge of teaching it more attractive to me.

“The general perception is about as far from the truth as you can get – RE is exciting, stimulating and even fun. Once I had seen how dynamic the subject is when it is taught really well, and how passionate the pupils can be when discussing such huge questions, I didn’t want to do anything else!”

And on her journey she has found an energised community of RE teachers who support and nurture each other, much of it via social media, including Nottingham department head Lynsey Wilkinson. Lynsey is currently at the centre of a campaign to present RE teaching as a career that is far from ordinary, and communicates the breadth and diversity of RE in schools today.

Lynsey admits that teaching is not a soft option, but the benefits far outweigh everything else. “Where else do you get to discuss the biggest issues in life with a room full of engaged young people who challenge and stimulate you in equal measure?”

I don’t know if I’ve got the skills to become an RE teacher…

You don’t need a theology degree to become an RE teacher. Cultural Studies, Law, Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, History, Philosophy, Politics, Social Policy, Humanities, or Criminology can fit the bill.

Nor do you need to have any faith, and if you do have one it doesn’t have to be mainstream. Great RE teachers come from all walks of life.

Coincidentally, in a recent Esquire magazine cricketing legend Freddie Flintoff said he has used his RE studies more than any other subject since he left school, and that it has helped him no end.

So when you are next looking out the office window towards your own future horizon, why not consider a job where you can inspire inspirational people like Freddie.

A sustainable career

Specialist RE teachers are a scarce commodity at the moment. So you will be able to find a job, and manage your career with more independence than previous generations of teachers. So a good RE teacher can expect to see advancement come along pretty quickly too.

For more information about RE teaching, visit the Teach:RE website.

And for information about how to get a bursary to train as an RE teacher or about teaching in general visit the official GOV website.

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