We as people and also all living species on earth are surrounded by geography anywhere from inner cities to remote rural locations.
Geography includes hills & mountains, rock formations, sand dunes, deserts, farm fields, landscapes and rivers flowing through valleys & gorges.
School teachers teach pupils a variety of interesting facts about the local area, the earth and how we use & interact with the world’s geography.
11-16 secondary school pupils in UK are compulsory taught geography resulting in demand for experienced geography teachers and initial teacher trainee specialists with a government bursary available in England.
Demand for UK school geography teachers
Geography is one of a number of UK secondary compulsory school subjects pupils must take at KS3 & 4 in state school & study at independent school. Classroom teachers of geography are in demand full or part time to teach secondary geography lessons to school pupils mainly from 11-16 years old and sixth form at 16-18 years old.
As geography is a UK national curriculum subject taught in Wales. N Ireland, Scotland and England at secondary age level schools must teach geography topics over 4 academic years at different age levels.
Shortage of trainee and experienced geography teachers
There’s an ongoing UK shortage of trainee geography school teachers choosing a teaching career in secondary education. Indeed, in England trainee teachers that are geography specialists are eligible for a bursary during initial teacher training.
England Education Department provides trainee teachers bursaries to attract graduates into teaching where there’s a shortage of specialist subject teachers at present and in the future.
UK secondary teachers are choosing to leave education early or experienced teachers retiring leaving recruitment & retention of qualified teachers an ongoing issue.
3 days before the start of the new English schools term in the first week of September a list of classroom and head of geography & humanities jobs are advertised, which remain unfilled.
Both private independent & state run secondary schools have full time permanent, part time, maternity cover and supply teaching vacancies available in English schools.
Geography job vacancies are available mainly before the start of the school year, although each year vacancies remain unfilled resulting in a temporary non specialist subject teacher to teach secondary school children.
Postgraduate geography teacher bursary funding
Each area of the UK from N Ireland, Wales, England & Scotland has its own funding for people entering the teaching profession.
For graduate teacher trainees in England postgraduate bursary funding for secondary school geography subject specialists for initial teacher trainees is available.
The amount you receive is free, non taxable and doesn’t require being paid back.
Why is there a UK geography teacher shortage?
- Graduates choose one of the many alternative career options in the private business sector. Higher salary & benefits packages, better career and promotion options are available in business than school teaching, although secondary teacher is a more stable job and career option.
- People can use and apply skills & interests in the field of geography doing something else directly in & outdoors instead of talking about geography what school teachers do in a classroom on a daily basis.
- Working for a company is more interesting and varied career choice interacting with the world’s geography at work through research in the field or team work at a private company.
- Experienced geography teachers are moving and teaching abroad at an international school. Some trainee teachers are qualifying then deciding to leave teaching or move abroad to the Middle East, Asia, Australia or Canada.
- Discipline issues arise with some secondary pupils that people don’t wish to be around or deal with.
- Geography graduates are put off teaching as they require too further study & train for 2-3 years to fully qualify as a secondary teacher instead of starting a career and earning a good salary straight away.
Type of geography teachers secondary schools want
As you’ll be teaching secondary school pupils aged 11-18 years old UK system of education requires a geography teacher to have in-depth subject knowledge ranging across the entire national curriculum.
Ideally, as a qualified specialist geography school teacher you have experience, up to date knowledge and teaching & learning skills for KS3, 4, 5 delivering engaging lessons to pupils in class or on field trips.
Specialist subject teachers with a degree in geography or very similar humanities subject qualification at undergraduate or postgraduate degree level or wanted by both UK independent and state schools.
As a class teacher you should be a confident speaker, organised and be able to deliver inspiring geography lessons that keep pupils interested, also motivate all learners to achieve good grades.
Trainee teachers of geography are also desired by UK secondary schools through initial teacher training by school direct or university degree program.
Each year teachers are promoted, leave the profession or retire so new geography class teachers are desired in both private schools and state secondary comprehensive education sectors.
Secondary school national curriculum
National Geographic Society states
“Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it.”
You’re expected to teach a broad core of topics on geography in the world to classes in KS3/4 and possibly sixth for AS/A Levels/Highers.
Key stage 3 & 4 curriculum topic areas include:
Places and geography skills through map skills & qualities & qualitative date reading.
World climate and weather with weather patterns, storms, cyclones, air pressure, rain & clouds, rural & urban climates.
Cold and environments teaching pupils about glaciers and the ice age.
Development teaching about unequal world, water, food and infrastructure,
5 cotenants around the world teaching about differences.
Population and urbanisation looking at how many people live in towns, cities or rural areas.
Natural hazards including structures, seas, rivers and volcanos.