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Preparing for Teaching

Prepare for a career in teaching by learning the qualities of a good teacher and reflecting on your own experiences of education.

14,484 enrolled on this course

Preparing for Teaching

Discover the world of teaching and learn how to be a good teacher

A great teacher can totally transform a subject and inspire a classroom of students to succeed. But, learning the most effective teaching strategies doesn’t happen overnight.

This course is an ideal starting point before beginning a formal teacher training course. It will give you a sense of the most important teaching skills and help you explore your own preconceptions of teaching.

On the course, you’ll learn about all the different qualities that make a great teacher and what knowledge and teaching skills you might need when you enter the classroom.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds Welcome to the course Preparing for Teaching. This course is suitable for anyone thinking of teaching as a career. The course will encourage you to think about teaching in a different way to how you may have done in the past. Allowing you to make the transition from being a learner, to being an educator yourself. I work at the Faculty of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University. Where we nurture students from all walks of life to become teachers in all sorts of different settings. We work with a huge number of education partners, including primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, and specialist settings. We know exactly the sort of things that you need to consider before applying to teacher training.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds When you complete this course you will be able to make a more thoughtful and informed application to teacher training courses. This course is supported throughout by one of our recently qualified teachers, Skeena. Skeena knows exactly what it is like to have applied and successfully completed teacher training. And in this course, she works with some of her wonderful pupils to tell us exactly what she wishes she’d know before she first started. The course is also supported by a wonderful selection of our teacher educators here at Manchester Metropolitan. They have shared some of their expert advice to help you in your development.

Skip to 1 minute and 40 seconds The course concludes with you developing your own plan of action should you decide that teaching is the profession for you. We really hope that this will be the case, and you will see what a rewarding and valuable career teaching is. And that this course will be the first step on your successful journey into becoming a fantastic teacher of the future.


  • Week 1

    What makes teaching exciting?

    • What makes a good teacher?

      The purpose of the course and how it will help those who complete it

    • What makes good teaching?

      What makes outstanding teaching and learning and some of the controversy around defining such a concept

    • What does learning sound like?

      Start to transfer your thinking to an actual classroom environment by listening to a conversation between a teacher and pupils

    • Developing your view

      What makes a good teacher

    • Reflections on Week 1

      Reflect on the weeks learning

  • Week 2

    How to 'see' in the classroom

    • Welcome to Week 2

      An introduction to the week, how teachers interact with pupils and the terminology used

    • Observing and discussing teaching as a professional

      Professionalism within education and good practice in educational research around ethical issues

    • The professional language of teaching

      The use of labels and terminology in observing lessons

    • Classroom management in schools

      Lesson observation and the importance of behaviour management

    • What would you do? How beginning teachers can already think about classroom management

      Think about different ways of viewing classroom interaction, and classroom management

    • Planning for positive classrooms

      Start to develop further your ability to move from observations to thinking about practice.

    • Reflections on Week 2

      Reflect on the weeks learning

  • Week 3

    Developing your philosophy of education

    • Welcome to Week 3

      The philosophy of education and becoming a successful teacher

    • How are different schools structured?

      Reflect on your own educational experience and consider different approaches and structures to schools.

    • What is the purpose of school?

      The origins of school and how the structures have developed

    • What subjects are taught in schools?

      Subject knowledge

    • How to apply for teacher training

      Applying for teacher training

    • Final Reflection

      Final thoughts on your learning and preparedness for applying to train as a teacher

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the attributes and skills of good teachers.
  • Reflect on how teaching can be 'measured'.
  • Explore how teachers manage classrooms.
  • Discuss different approaches to managing behaviour in classrooms.
  • Compare school structures and different types of schools.
  • Explore how your own experience of education has influenced your views of schools.
  • Design an action plan to move into a career in teaching.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone who is interested in teaching or who wants to become a teacher in the future.

It’s suitable for learners of any age and from anywhere in the world, as it takes a global perspective on teaching.

Who will you learn with?

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Education and have been teaching more years than I care to remember!
I love all things in education technology and trying to predict how teaching will develop in the future.

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Education at Manchester Metropolitan University, a Governor at Calderdale College, and have worked in many different schools around the UK. Education is immensely important!

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Education at Manchester Met. I love working with students of all ages and watching them learn new things. No day is the same and you never know what is going to happen next!

Who developed the course?

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Met University has a driving ambition to discover and disseminate knowledge and make higher education as accessible and beneficial to all those with the passion and ability to succeed.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.



Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks



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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible


$189.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
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  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year

Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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