Why you should become a Grade R Teacher

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If you’re passionate about something, be it drawing, reading or numbers, it’s likely a teacher inspired you at an early age. Children approach the world with a sense of innocence, curiosity and wonder.


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If you’re passionate about something, be it drawing, reading or numbers, it’s likely a teacher inspired you at an early age. Children approach the world with a sense of innocence, curiosity and wonder. They need direction. It’s no surprise the field is a deeply fulfilling path. Shaping and motivating a future generation is a wonderful opportunity to make a direct impact in society.

For Cherise Muller, a KwaZulu-Natal-based Grade R teacher, a special moment cemented her desire to guide children to greatness.

“A crèche was looking for a teacher assistant. As I walked out after my interview, a little girl with muddy hands came running up to me and gave me a hug. I had mud all over my white pants. But, it was then, I knew I wanted to work with children.”

Enjoy a rewarding career

Besides being a satisfying calling, becoming a Grade R teacher is a financially viable career option. According to Payscale, a special education Grade R teacher can earn as high as R233,835 per year. Our government strongly believes in recruiting top talent and has made strides to ensure Grade R teaching is attractive for future teachers. In 2014, for example, Grade R teachers in Gauteng were given a significant increase in their salaries.

Experience strong job security

While South Africa’s economic growth may be slow, the teaching profession won’t feel the pinch. During recessions, being a teacher is a stable and secure career. More and more children are also being given the gift of education, creating new positions for education specialists. The number of local children attending Grade R classes, for example, increased from an estimated 686,000 in 2010 to 1,222,000 in 2015.

Feel valued every day

Being a Grade R teacher gives you a powerful sense of purpose. You are pivotal to providing knowledge and developing a child socially, physically and emotionally.

“Each child is unique and we, as Grade R teachers, play a very important role in their lives,” says Cherise. “We help build their foundation.”

It’s a huge responsibility. But, it’s a chance to make a lasting impression on a child that will carry with him or her throughout life.

Embrace your “little” people person

Children are social creatures. They’re always ready for songs, dances and to ask as many questions as possible. If you have a vibrant personality, being a Grade R teacher will keep you engaged. With children, no one day is the same. You’ll go home with a smile and an amusing story to share with a loved one.

Work anywhere in the world

Grade R teachers are in huge demand overseas. Having the right qualification can give you the ability and confidence to teach all over the world. If you like to travel, Grade R teaching is ideal to get you exposed to new cultures and fresh perspectives.

Get more “me” time to do what you love

Grade R teaching is demanding but the working hours offer a superb incentive. Finishing off before 4pm allows teachers to get in well-deserved family and personal time. Being given paid time off during school holidays is also a bonus!

Explore your Grade R teaching ambitions

Potential Grade R teachers have several education options to gain their dream career. Arguably, distance learning is the best. Being able to study when and how you want, brings flexibility and convenience to your life.

A distance education leader for over a hundred years, Lyceum College, has prepared thousands of teachers for the challenges of the classroom. With a dedicated Academic Advising Centre and qualified tutors, its students enjoy constant academic support.

“I am proud to say I studied through Lyceum,” says Cherise. “The education is of a high quality and I use what I’ve learnt every day in my teaching.”

You can enrich young lives with Lyceum College. Mid-Year registrations are now open giving you the chance to explore their Diploma in Grade R Teaching. Visit www.lyceum.co.za or call 0860 100 705 for more information.

By Rasvanth Chunylall

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