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Things to know before choosing a career in teaching



Published Apr 26, 2022


Do you wish for a dream career in teaching? If so, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) shares a few tips below.

Teaching is a profession that requires passion, commitment, tolerance, perseverance, character and the dedication to make a difference in the lives of a diverse group of young and older children, depending on your choice of phase specialisation.

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This profession will afford you the opportunity to nurture and mould young and growing minds and to develop a variety of vital lifelong skills in children. Contributing to the academic and social development of children is a fulfilling experience that you should embrace. Go ahead. Make a difference in the lives of children. Choose teaching as a career!

You may follow one of three routes in becoming a teacher:

  • A four-year Bachelor of Education degree (BEd).
  • A three-or four-year Bachelor’s degree.
  • Or a one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Once completed, the three routes lead to classification as a professionally qualified teacher. On qualifying, you will be required to register with the South African Council for Educators (Sace).

You will need to consider the age range that you would like to teach. The age ranges are clustered into phases. Please note that the age ranges indicated below only serve as a guideline. There will be instances where a slightly younger/older child forms part of a particular phase.

The phase specialisations are as follows:

Foundation Phase: (±5 to 9-year-olds): Grades R to 3.

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Intermediate Phase: (±10 to 12-year-olds): Grades 4 to 6.

Senior Phase: (±13 to 15-year-olds): Grades 7 to 9.

Further Education and Training (FET) Phase: (±16-18-year-olds): Grades 10 to 12.

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Some Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) allow for a combination of phase specialisation. In these instances, you could specialise in two consecutive phases.

For the Intermediate, Senior and FET Phases, you will be given the opportunity to choose the subjects you wish to specialise in, which include the fields of languages, maths, the sciences, technology, business and management, and the humanities.


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