The growth of information technology drives the need for the public to understand how to use it. Some knowledge can be picked up through day to day interactions. However, it is more efficient to attend formal classes to learn the material you need to learn, and you may not be able to learn the IT skills you need to learn for the job without learning from a professional instructor. This creates massive demand for information technology teachers. For prospective IT instructors, the next question is: what does it take to become an information technology teacher?
Determine If You Have the Right Personality to Be a Teacher
You may or may not be called to be a teacher, though that’s certainly good motivation. However, you must have the right personality for the job. For example, seven out of the top ten characteristics of good teachers are related to personality. They include patience, creativity and humour.
You have to have “with-it-ness”, an ability to stay on top of the classroom and manage various competing facets of it. You have to be able to use your time effectively while adapting to the needs of your students. You can’t just stand at the front of the class or behind the camera and lecture everyone. You have to answer their questions and solve their problems. This makes good communication skills essential.
After all, you’re articulating complex ideas to students struggling to learn them; you must be able to explain things clearly and in whatever way is necessary for your students to understand it. It also means good listening skills are essential. You can’t rush to a specific answer until you have all of the information.
Learn What You Would Teach
If you were going to teach basic computer skills, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in computer science. In these cases, you’ll have to meet necessary standards in English, maths and information communication technology. To teach more advanced courses, a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is often necessary. Regardless of what you will be teaching, you must know the content you’ll be teaching your students.
To be an effective teacher, you must know the curriculum that teachers typically follow to maximise what students learn. Know the educational aims and values, because you’ll be seen as a failure if students didn’t learn what they came to learn. You need to understand classroom management and organisation.
Note that teachers have to commit to lifelong learning to remain relevant in the classroom, whether they are in person or online. This is especially true in information technology, given the rapid rate of change there. The best teachers engage in self-development and professional development so that they remain effective teachers.
Earn the Right Certifications
Nine in ten British households have a computer, and technology has become a fact of life. The number of people needing to learn basic computer skills is increasing. Almost everyone needs to learn about the hardware and software they required by employers whether it is word processing, office IT skills or programming.
The challenge for prospective students is finding good, qualified teachers. They offset or outsource that vetting process to credentialing organisations. This means that IT tutors need to have the right certifications to win over these prospective students.
You could teach basic IT tutorials without a degree or certification. There’s some room for self-taught experts who love technology. However, if you want to teach more advanced areas like network administration or cyber-security, you must have credentials that demonstrate your expertise in this area for anyone to even speak with you. But what certification should you get if you want to be a qualified information technology teacher? You can earn them by completing accredited PTLLS courses.
The level 3 award in education and training prepares would-be instructors with the skills they need to teach information technology. This prepares you to work as an IT instructor for local authorities, become a teacher at further education colleges, or work as an independent tutor. Once trainee teachers have completed accredited PTLLS courses, they will be able to work as instructors in their own right. An assessor can watch you teach a class and give you feedback. Eventually, you’ll deliver a micro-teaching sessions and portfolio of evidence certified through the HABC. If you want to learn more about PTLLS courses, you can visit (https://www.findcourses.co.uk/search/ptlls-qualification-courses).
Even if you are working as an IT tutor now, there is good reason to earn a qualification. IT teachers with qualifications are paid more than those without. The only exception is when you’re paid based on experience and you have a ton of it. However, you will eventually hit a pay ceiling without qualification. This is especially true if you’re working in a training centre or as a tutor.
Share Your Experience
You should have experience and credentials at this point. Start crafting your CV as an information technology teacher. List the programs you have mastered. List the programming language you know, the IT maintenance skills you have, and the projects you’ve completed. For example, you’ll stand out as an instructor in app development when you can rattle off the multiple successful apps you’ve developed. Describe your industry experience on your CV, especially if this is the primary thing that you’re relying on to find work teaching IT. This helps to prove your credibility as an IT instructor. It will also justify the rates you want to charge as a private tutor.
Search for Your First Job
You aren’t really an information technology teacher until you have students. There are a number of ways of ending up at the head of a class. You could work at specialist schools that hire industry experts. They’re likely to hire those with a lot of experience in the industry, and they hire quite a few people to teach basic business IT skills.
You could also work for academic support organisations. These organisations are a clearinghouse for students who hire private tutors. A benefit of working for these organisations is that you aren’t freelancing. You’re an employee, and they’ll try to keep you busy. They also provide the opportunity to move up in the organisation.
If you’re the entrepreneurial type, you could open an IT training centre. Note that you can start small with a classroom in your house. Scaling up requires a dedicated venue, computer hardware and an investment in software licenses.
Be the Teacher Your Students Want You to Be
Show potential students your passion for the subject. Potential students will flock to your classes. Be willing to go the extra mile, and your students will love you. This typically results in word-of-mouth referrals that lead to more prospects queueing outside your door. Recognise that marketing concepts apply to your industry. Consider giving short, free tutorials for prospective students to gain a chance to get to know you, increasing the odds they hire you.
A good tutor will care about their students and their needs. Take a step back and try to understand the underlying reason why students don’t understand something. Give them the opportunity to overcome their challenges, but provide support so that they can learn the challenging concepts, complete the task at hand or finish their assignment.
There is no secret recipe to becoming an information technology teacher. Learn what you need to teach and how to teach, earning the credentials along the way that help you sell yourself to students and employers. Then your career as an information technology teacher is underway.