Increasingly, prospective academic employers want proof of teaching experience on your CV, and you can always expect teaching-related questions in interviews (unless the position is solely research-based). Gaining teaching experience is a good way of finding out if you are interested in an academic career and also provides a valuable opportunity to work on your own skills.

Here are some different ways of going about teaching:

  • Pro-rata undergraduate teaching: Many universities offer some pro-rata teaching. Generally speaking, language work and grammar are the initial ways in, and, unless you are on a teaching studentship, you will probably be reliant on your supervisor to help you get this teaching in the first instance. Sometimes you can co-run a class or seminar series with a more experienced member of the faculty. These opportunities vary enormously from university to university, and may condition your choice of where to study.
  • Fixed-term positions: Sometimes temporary positions come up to cover sabbaticals of one or two terms. If you get wind of one of these, it is certainly worth considering dedicating a term or two of your time to getting an in-depth experience of what teaching is really like. On the other hand, you must be on top of your own work first, as the amount of time needed to teach new topics should not be underestimated.
  • Other possibilities: Don't discount other types of teaching. Summer schools, A-level tuition and TEFL jobs all help. Check the classifieds, the Goethe Institute (http://www.goethe.de), and the WIGS part-timers page: www.wigs.ac.uk/parttime.html.