You have decided now that you want to build your career in teaching; you have already communicated your intentions in your circles, i.e., friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues.
Now, the next question comes:
- Which all subjects to teach?
- Which grade to teach or
- Which age-group to teach?
Here I will help you decide “Which subjects to teach?”
Relax. Just Look back and think:
- Which subjects have always interest you in the past or school or college days?
- How have you spent your idle or leisure time, what kind of topics interests you when you are not working or studying, what you would like to explore?
- Which subjects have helped you achieve a higher grade, without much effort?
- There is always natural inclination for one or other topics. You may find history to be highly tricky in scoring marks, but Math and Physics have been very easy for you. You find fun in solving complex and analytical career.
Teaching is a nuanced art, and you need to be an expert in whichever subjects you decide to teach.
If topics like English or Art don’t interest you, you will not end up teaching well; you will get bored soon and will not be able to instill further confidence in the minds of students or parents.
Teaching is the art of delivering the same contents and explanation again and again with different examples and scenarios, and you will be able to offer if subjects interest you.
I do remember my finance professor used to tell us that I teach the same topics year after year, but I find new creative juice and energy each time and new perspectives.
Teaching can only happen if you are genuinely interested in education; else, creative power will never flow.
How you spend your leisure time?
Reading fiction books, doing a drawing, or solving complex problems or playing instruments or discussing.
Leisure time is the time in which you are not bound to do any particular things, but you are free to do anything, so most likely you will end up doing those things which are there in the sub-conscious mind. Try discovering those abilities and try reflecting those moments.
Go and take out record cards or old books or notes and reflect. Most likely, wherever you have scored good results, it may have to interest you in the past. Whether that is inspiring or motivating as of today or not.
If yes, you have got the answer. There could be scenarios where you have not scored good marks, but that subjects interest you. The result could be because of error in judgment like science and math if your problem statement is right, you will score high marks, but the same does not go with language papers like English or History.
Marks could be a relative indicator but not an accurate sign of your judgment.
Now, suppose you are finding that you are good at English, History and teaching Physics. Read further for this area and slowly in a few days or a few weeks, your reading habits will change, and your preference will get changed.
You will realize or notice that for some subjects you are devoting more time and for others, you have been completely ignoring. It happened with me, too; I wanted to learn new skills and diversify my expertise.
So, I started taking random photos for stock photo sites and started learning Word press and technical language like PHP. Moreover, after a few days, I have stopped doing it. It’s because I was not getting many ideas as I did not have an interest in it.
If you have an interest in English, you will end up reading more fiction books. Also, it will stop solving the analytical problem. So, it’s essential to devote ample time to discovering which subjects to teach or else you will be successful.
I am here to help you become a great teacher, not a mediocre teacher.
Step 2: Now, you have decided which subjects to teach. Now, it is highly critical to analyze further which age group or grade of students you want to teach
Schooling or teaching divides into further sub-groups:
- Primary schools or young Kids (5-10 Years)
- Middle Schools (10-14 Years)
- High School (14-16 Years)
- Senior Secondary (16-18 Years)
- College Students/ Working Adults (18 Years+)
Every age group of students should be handled differently. Young kids require a concept to be developed in super-facial manners but need your entire time and energy to make it interesting, fun, and lively.
While College students are matured, adults. They may not be requiring full supervision, but you have to approach these students like a guide and mentor and requires expert subject knowledge and should be able to teach or guide in-depth.
It requires a deep root understanding of subjects and each topic. Many of your concepts or ideas will be questioned or ridiculed, and students will come with a completely different perspective.
You may not be able to handle students of different age-group altogether.
Let me relate to an example:
A few weeks back, a start-up decided to start a workshop on Robotics under the name Pinwheel Robotics and wanted to teach, how to build Robots under the DIY model (Do it yourself).
Since it was his first project, so he invited students of all age-group right from 7 years old to 15 years old. What he noticed that students of 7-11 years old were not interested in understanding concepts or facts doing under DIY, but instead, these kids required finished products to play.
While 12-15 years of age group were exciting in understanding concepts and were able to relate with theoretical concepts which they were studying in class.
My brother who runs Pinwheel Robotics was highly interested in little coach kids, but after this experiment, he realized that it’s highly challenging to grab the attention of 7-11 years old kids and now he coaches students of age-group of 12-15 years or college going kids.
What I wanted to convey is that different age groups have different interests and different expectations. If you have just started your teaching career, you may not know it.
However, if you experiment it early, you will soon realize which age-group is most suitable for you to start building your teaching experience.
The same subjects are handled differently by different age-group of students.
If you want to teach multiple subjects like English, Science, and Math, then most likely you will be able to teach various subjects to younger kids or kids going to middle school.
As in higher standard, requires an in-depth and deep-rooted understanding of issues and topics. It’s challenging to teach Math and Chemistry for a tutor who is studying in Standard 11 and 12 or Junior College.
Further, teaching also gets further specialization whether to teach Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, or Physical Chemistry. Maybe Math professor only teaching Calculus or Trigonometry. Biology tutor taking only Botany or Zoology.
In a higher section, specialization is the key to becoming an excellent teacher. So, you have to decide whether you want to be a specialist or a generalist.
Moreover, if you’re going to excel as a tutor, develop your niche, fine-tune your niche, and become a specialist. Though you will limit your choice at the same time, you will increase your depth. It will be difficult for anyone to challenge your subjects.
Above two factors were internal (Which subjects to teach and which grades to teach)
There are external factors like Geography or place you stay:
There could be high chances that topics you would like to show is not on high demand or zero demand in your proximity. You have to research your geography to find out whether the subjects you are interested in teaching, will you get a sufficient number of students or not.
Many subjects like Math, Science, and English always have higher inquiries in whichever places you stay in. However, few areas have limited learning needs like teaching the Portuguese language, the Russian language, or teaching Bharatnatyam or making people study Philosophy.
Then, the next question, should I start to pursue where there is a requirement, or I seek what love teaching is.
The idea is always to continue what you love teaching, as you will be able to deliver your quality and excellence. So, don’t limit your choice, start exploring online and building rich- profile in your domain of expertise.
Though you will find a limited number of the student that limited number will help fetch another pool of students too.
So, to conclude:
- Decide what subjects interest you
- Which age group of students you are willing to handle
- And, where do you stay