Author of " Every Way of Earning a Living," "Our Sons and Daughters," etc.
In dealing with the profession of a schoolteacher, our readers must not take it that we are advising them to be schoolteachers. At the time of writing (December, 1910) there are many qualified elementary school-teachers out of work, and, altogether, the day has gone by when this career was looked upon as a street paved with gold. Many good posts, however, are still available.
The information given here is taken, with the permission of his Majesty's Stationery Office, from their official publications.
The first step towards entering the career of an elementary school-teacher will, in most cases, be an appointment as bursar or an engagement as a pupil-teacher.
Girls are not recognised by the Board as qualified to spend any part of their time in teaching in a public elementary school until they have been recognised as bursars or as pupil-teachers. Until they are eligible for recognition as pupil-teachers (that is to say, in general, until they are sixteen years of age), such girls should, if possible, continue to receive a general education, together with, and under the same conditions as, girls intended for other professions.
A large percentage (at least 25 per cent., as a rule) of the places in every secondary school which receives the higher rate of grant from the Board are open without payment of any tuition fees to pupils who have previously been educated at public elementary schools. In addition to this general provision of free places, many local education authorities offer special advantages to girls who intend to become pupil-teachers or bursars, in order to enable them to continue their education until they are old enough to obtain recognition as such. In many parts of the country arrangements have been made by which girls intending to become pupil-teachers of bursars can receive a course of instruction extending over a period of from two to four years in a secondary school, or in the preparatory classes of a pupil-teacher centre, free of charge. In many cases local education authorities have established a system of scholarships tenable at secondary schools by intending pupil-teachers or bursars, and in some cases these scholarships not only provide free education, but are supplemented by
The Board of Education, too, make grants for bursaries for intending teachers, entitling the bursar to free education at a secondary school for one year, and in some cases a maintenance allowance. The Board also make grants to county councils (except London) in aid of the travelling and other expenses of pupil-teachers and bursars.
The parents or guardians of girls who think they would like to enter the teaching profession, or the managers of public elementary schools, or the principals of private schools in which there are such girls, should apply in the first instance to the local education authority for the area in which they reside for information as to the advantages offered by that authority to those who intend to become teachers in public elementary schools.
Pupil-teachers are girls and boys who receive training in teaching in public elementary schools, together with suitable instruction with a view to their becoming qualified for recognition as teachers in a higher capacity.
Pupil-teachers must, as a rule, be over sixteen, but not over eighteen, years of age at the close of July 31 previous to their period of recognition. The date on which recognition begins is August 1st in each year, and the period of recognition is, in general, two years. Candidates over seventeen years of age may, with the approval of the Board, be recognised for a period of one year. In rural districts candidates between the ages of fifteen and sixteen may, with the special consent of the Board, be recognised as pupil-teachers for periods of three years.
The parents of girls who desire to obtain recognition as pupil-teachers are recommended to communicate in the first instance with the local education authority for the area in which it is desired that the candidate should be employed.
The Board no longer require candidates for recognition as pupil-teachers to have passed a qualifying examination, but it rests with the local education authority to take what steps they think fit to assure themselves that each candidate's attainments are such as to afford a reasonable prospect of her passing her leaving examination in due course.
Before they can give their consent to the recognition of a candidate as a pupil-teacher the Board require to be satisfied that the candidate is suitable in respect of character, health, and freedom from personal defects, that she has been vaccinated, and that she has made a formal declaration of her intention to become a teacher in a public elementary school.
During the period of their engagements, pupil-teachers spend part of their time in receiving instruction, if possible in a recognised pupil-teacher centre which is part of the secondary school in which they have received their previous instruction, and part in teaching or receiving training under supervision in a public elementary school. Salaries, the amounts of which vary in the case of different local education authorities, are paid to the pupil-teachers in respect of their services in the public elementary schools. The instruction received by pupil-teachers during their engagements is tested by a leaving examination, which may be either the preliminary examination for the elementary school-teachers' certificate or one of the other examinations qualifying for admission to a training college for a two years' course of training. A copy of the regulations and syllabus of the preliminary examination for the elementary school teachers' certificate will be sent on application to the Board.