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December 26, 2023
22 min read

The Ultimate Checklist for Choosing a Teacher Training Institute

The Ultimate Checklist for Choosing a Teacher Training Institute
Written By
Aashita Pillai

Aashita Pillai

Aashita is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher Mentor for a couple of years. She wields words like weapons to help readers get clear and concise information.

Are you aspiring to become a teacher or enhance your teaching skills? If yes, then finding a suitable teacher training institute near you is a crucial step in your journey. A teacher training institute can help you acquire the knowledge, skills, and qualifications that you need to succeed in your teaching career.

Session by the best institute for getting teacher training
In image: Teachers in a live professional development session conducted by experts from Suraasa in Delhi, India

However, choosing a teacher training institute can be a daunting task, especially with so many options available in the market. How do you know which institute is the best for you? What factors should you consider before enrolling in a teacher training program? How can you find the most reliable and affordable institutes near you?

In this blog, we will answer all these questions and provide you with a step-by-step process for choosing the right teacher training institute. We will also share some useful tips and resources that will help you in your search. After reading this blog, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and select an ideal teacher training institute for yourself. So, let’s get started!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Teacher Training Institute

Before you start looking for a teacher training institute, you need to have a clear idea of what you seek from your training. There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a teacher training institute. Let’s discuss a few of these factors in detail:

A. Approval and Certification

Accredited teacher training courses

Approval is the official permission or agreement for an institute by the relevant authorities. It indicates that the institute has met the standards and criteria set by those authorities. It also ensures that the institute follows the laws and regulations of the state or country where it is located. 

It is extremely important for the teacher training institute you choose to be approved. If the institute does not have approval, there's a risk that employers may not consider your training valid. This could restrict your job options and even limit your ability to pursue further education.

Certificate from a teacher training college

Moving on to Certification, in the context of teacher training, it refers to the formal acknowledgment awarded to individuals upon successfully completing their training programs. This validates your training and demonstrates that you have met a certain standard of knowledge and skill required in the teaching profession.  

Holding a certified status empowers you to confidently apply for teaching jobs and licenses. This marks the beginning of your impactful journey in education.

You should always check the approval and certification status of the teacher training institute and its programs before enrolling in them.

Did You Know?
You can confirm the approval and certification status of any teacher training institute directly. Simply visit the official websites of approving bodies or consult regional education departments.

In essence, approval and certification are crucial for a recognized, quality education and a successful teaching career. They validate your training and open doors for professional opportunities and growth.

B. Curriculum and Specialization

Curriculum is the set of courses, topics, and activities that a program covers. It is a roadmap that guides you through your learning journey. It tells you what you need to know, understand, and do in a certain field or discipline.

The curriculum of a teacher training program should be comprehensive and relevant, covering the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching. It should also align with the government standards and guidelines for teacher education.

Now let’s talk about Specialization. It is the specific area, subject, or grade level that the program focuses on. It's about aligning your training with the areas you're most passionate about. Whether it's math, science, primary education, or special needs, specialization tailors your expertise.

You should choose a teacher training program with specialization that enhances your knowledge and skills in your preferred area. For example, if you want to teach at the secondary level, you should choose a program that specializes in secondary education, such as a Bachelor’s in Education (B.Ed) or a UK Level 6 Diploma in Teaching.

This focused approach prepares you to excel in your chosen field, making your teaching journey more fulfilling. You can find out the curriculum and specialization offered by the teacher training institute on its website or brochure.

Pro-Tip
Unsure about the right curriculum or specialization? Connect with a teacher career mentor for personalized guidance. They can help align your training with your goals.

Click here to schedule a session and refine your teaching path!

C. Mode of Learning

When selecting a teacher training institute, the mode of learning is a critical consideration. The two popular modes of learning are online learning and offline learning. Let’s understand them in a bit more detail.

Online Learning: Utilizing the internet and digital technologies, online learning provides flexibility and convenience. You can study at your own pace, place, and time. 

However, it also demands self-discipline, motivation, and technical skills, as well as effective management to overcome communication and collaboration challenges.

Online teacher training course above offline learning

Offline Learning: This traditional mode employs classroom and campus settings, offering direct in-person interaction, guidance, and support. You benefit from in-person learning with teachers and peers. Yet, offline learning requires adherence to a fixed schedule and location, involving attendance, travel, and accommodation.

You should choose a mode of learning that suits your learning style, preferences, and needs. For those navigating the delicate balance between work and study, this decision holds even more significance. You should also consider the availability, quality, and credibility of the online or offline teacher training programs offered by the institute. The best practice is to visit the institute's website or brochure to explore the mode of learning offered.

Blended Learning
Considering the best of both worlds? Then, blended learning is the way to go.

Blended learning combines online flexibility with offline support, offering a balanced teacher training experience. It allows you to leverage the advantages of self-paced online modules and enjoy the benefits of in-person interactions during key sessions.


D. Reputation and Reviews

Choosing the right teacher training institute is a lot about understanding its reputation and reviews. They're like report cards showing if students and others are happy with their experience. Positive feedback from authorities, employers, alumni, and current students is a big green light.

But think a bit further. When reading reviews, also consider if an institute supports not just initial training but also your long-term career development. For example, let's look at Suraasa, an online platform offering international teaching qualifications. Here, it’s not just about training teachers.

Suraasa offers a comprehensive platform offering higher education and career growth opportunities. This is clear in reviews of their PgCTL qualification. Graduates often mention how well it prepared them for both current roles and future growth. 

This dual focus on immediate skills and future development can be a significant factor in choosing the right institute.

Here are some ways through which you can evaluate an institute's standing:

  • Online reviews and testimonials: Check websites, government education departments, or third-party platforms like Google, Facebook, Quora, or Trustpilot.
Importance of reviews when selecting a teacher training course
  • Rankings and ratings: Refer to authorities or expert rankings on platforms like government education departments and online ranking platforms.
  • Awards and recognitions: Explore the institute's website, government education departments, or third-party platforms for information about awards received.

E. Cost and Financial Aid

While choosing a teacher training institute, you need to make sure you have the financial means to chase your teaching dreams. Hence, the cost and financial aid become crucial factors to consider. 

The cost refers to the amount of money that you have to pay for enrolling in and completing the teacher training program. On the other hand, Financial aid includes grants or scholarships from the institute or external sources to support your teacher training program expenses.

Fees for a teacher training diploma course

Select an institute offering affordable programs with diverse financial aid options, ensuring it doesn’t break the bank. You should compare costs and aid across institutes to make an informed decision. Utilize institute websites, brochures, or connect with institutes’ mentors for detailed information.

You can also look for external sources of financial aid or third-party education loan agencies.

To aid your evaluation of the key points we discussed, here is a handy checklist. The checklist will help you streamline your decision-making process, helping you select a teacher training institute that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

evaluation checklist for choosing teacher training institute


How to Find Teacher Training Institutes Near You

Now that you know what factors to consider when choosing a teacher training institute, you may wonder how to find an institute near you. There are several ways to find teacher training institutes near you, such as-

A. Utilizing Search Engines

One of the fastest ways to find teacher training institutes near you is to use search engines such as Google or Bing. Enter specific queries such as 'teacher training institutes near me' or 'teacher training institutes in [Your City]' for tailored results. Get the best result of your search using filters like location, distance, rating, or relevance to obtain more accurate information.

If the idea of online learning appeals to you, tailor your search queries to 'online teacher training programs' or 'best online teacher training courses.' This way, you can spotlight online options that perfectly suit your needs.

Teacher training institute near me search results.

B. Education Directories and Websites

Another method to discover teacher training institutes near you is by using education directories and websites. These online platforms offer extensive information on various educational institutions and programs worldwide. 

Pick the perfect fit by leveraging these resources to your best. Filter on the basis of reviews, ratings, rankings, fees, placements, scholarships, or admissions to make informed decisions. Search, compare, and even apply for teacher training institutes and programs that are relevant to you.

C. Social Media and Online Teaching Communities

Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to discover teacher training institutes. Check out relevant posts, ask questions, and look for experiences shared. Engage with your peers to seek recommendations and access valuable feedback on institutes.

You can also join popular teacher communities like Suraasa Teacher Community and TeachersConnect to connect with teachers, share experiences, and gather insights.

Connect with teachers for your teacher training course

D. Local Resources

Tap into offline local resources like education departments, libraries, or community centers to discover nearby teacher training institutes. These sources offer information and guidance on educational matters in your area, helping you assess the availability and quality of programs. Seek advice, counseling, or referrals from local experts.

Now, let's compare the above-discussed methods for finding teacher training institutes. Here's a chart to help guide your search effectively.

Method Advantages Disadvantages Best For
Search Engines Fast and easy access to a wide range of options. Information may not always be accurate or reliable. Quick searches and broad overviews.
Education Directories Detailed information on institutions, including reviews and rankings. Information may not be completely updated. Comprehensive research and comparison.
Social Media & Online Communities Direct feedback and recommendations from teachers and learners. Opinions may be subjective and not always reliable. Networking and personal experiences.
Local Resources First-hand information and guidance on local institutes. Information might be limited or outdated. In-depth local insights and offline verification.

Pro-Tip
Whether you're Googling, exploring directories, scrolling through socials, or consulting local resources, remember this golden rule: always double-check the details. Visit official institute websites or shoot them a message directly. It's your education journey; make sure every step is on solid ground!


Narrowing Down Your Options

After you have found the teacher training institutes near you, you may have a long list of options to choose from. How do you narrow down your options and select the best one for you? 

Here are some steps that you can follow to narrow down your options:

A. Create a Shortlist of Potential Institutes

Start by evaluating factors like accreditation, curriculum, mode of learning, reputation, and cost. Use a spreadsheet to organize and rank information. Aim for a shortlist of three to five institutes meeting your criteria.


B. Attending Information Sessions and Webinars

Attend relevant online or offline events organized by shortlisted institutes. They give you an opportunity to interact with the faculty, staff, and students of the institutes and ask them questions. Here are some questions you can consider asking them-



C. Speaking with Current and Former Students

Connect with current and former students for firsthand insights. Drop them an email, ring them up, or DM them on social media. You can also connect with them over your alumni networks– such as WhatsApp/Facebook Groups, Online Alumni Communities, etc! Ask about their institute pick, training experiences, what they loved, what they didn't, and how it played out in their careers. Seek advice tailored to your interests and goals. It's like getting some personalized advice for your teaching career.



D. Understanding the Admission Process

The final step is to understand the admission process of your selected teacher training institutes. Check their websites or brochures for detailed instructions. 

Keep an eye out for academic prerequisites, interview requirements, and entrance exams. Know how each institute's admissions process works, and prepare necessary documents.

Documents needed for a teacher training course admission
Decode the Word
Academic prerequisites:
These are the minimum educational qualifications that you need to have to be eligible for the teacher training program. For example, you may need to have a 10+2 or equivalent certificate for a Bachelor level program. Some programs may also require you to hold a bachelor’s degree in a subject already.

Decode the Word
Interviews and entrance exams:
These are the tests or assessments that you need to take to demonstrate your aptitude and suitability for the teacher training program. For example, you need to appear for a virtual interview before qualifying for a UK-Level 6 Teaching Diploma.


Financial Planning for Undergoing Teacher Training

Choosing a teacher training institute isn't just an academic decision, it's also a financial commitment. To navigate this aspect smoothly, detailed financial planning is crucial. 

It involves understanding costs, exploring financial aid options, and budgeting effectively. This section will guide you through key steps to ensure your financial readiness for your dream teacher training institute.

A. Understanding Financial Aid Options

The first step is to understand the financial aid options that are available for you to pay for the teacher training program. There are two main types of financial aid: 

Scholarships and Grants: Scholarships and grants are given to you by the institute or other organizations based on your merit, need, or other criteria. And they don't require repayment. For example, you may get a grant of $600 from the institute if you have good academic performance. If the fee is $1500, you only need to pay $900. And you don’t have to worry about the rest.

Scholarships for teacher training course

Scholarships and grants can reduce the amount of money that you have to pay for the program. However, they may also have some conditions that you have to fulfill, such as maintaining a certain grade point average.  It's like a win-win with a dash of responsibility!

Loans: Loans are borrowed funds that you need to repay, usually with interest. They are provided by financial institutes (like banks) based on your credit score, income, or collateral.  For example, you may get a loan from the bank for your education expenses, living expenses, or emergency expenses.

Loans for teacher training courses

One option that you can consider is the equated monthly installment (EMI) option. EMI is a process in which you divide the total amount of your loan into smaller and equal parts that you pay every month to the lender. EMI can help you pay for the program in smaller installments rather than paying the whole amount at once. 

However, EMI may also increase the total amount of money that you pay for the program, as you have to pay interest on every installment. You should consider the EMI option if you have a regular and sufficient income that can cover the EMI amount and your other expenses. 

Before you apply for a particular financial aid, you should do thorough research. Take a closer look at the terms and conditions – think of amounts, durations, interest rates, repayment plans, and penalties. Only apply for the aid options that suit your eligibility and requirements.

B. Budgeting for your teacher training course

The next step is to budget for your teacher training course. Budgeting is important to ensure that you can pay for the course without overspending. 

You can budget for your teacher training course by creating a financial plan that covers the following items:

  • Tuition fees: These are the fees that you have to pay to the institute for enrolling in and completing the teacher training course. The tuition fees may vary depending on the institute, the program, and the mode of learning that you choose.
Budgeting for your teacher training online diploma
  • Books and materials: These are the costs that you have to incur for buying or renting the books and materials that are required for the teacher training course, in case it’s offline. You should look for ways to save money on books and materials, such as by borrowing, sharing, or downloading books, journals, or online resources.
  • Living expenses: The living expenses may include food, accommodation, transportation, utilities, health, entertainment, or personal expenses. Estimate your living expenses based on your location, preferences, and habits. You should also look for ways to save money on living expenses, such as cooking, sharing, or commuting.
  • Miscellaneous expenses: Set aside funds for additional costs that are not regular such as classroom supplies or occasional travel for seminars. This ensures you're prepared for any unexpected costs during your course.

Create a budget that is realistic, flexible, and balanced. Track and review your budget regularly and make adjustments as needed. You should use tools and apps, such as Excel, Mint, or Wally, to help you with your budgeting.

C. Importance of a contingency fund

The last step is to create a contingency fund for your teacher training course. A contingency fund is a reserve of money that you set aside for unforeseen or emergency situations in the future. This includes coping with situations like the loss of income or financial aid. 

Your contingency fund should be easily accessible, liquid, and safe. This means that you should keep it in a bank account or a low-risk investment that can be withdrawn quickly and without penalty.

A possible formula to calculate your contingency fund amount for tuition expenses could be:

Where:

  • Basic Expenses include monthly essential living expenses, such as rent, food, utilities, transportation, insurance.
  • Months are the number of months you want to cover with your contingency fund, typically between three and six.
  • Tuition Fees are the annual tuition fees for your course, including any additional charges or taxes.
  • Extra Money is any additional amount you want to have as a buffer for unexpected expenses or opportunities related to your course. For example- switching to a different course or institute, taking a certification exam, etc.

Note: You may need to adjust the formula and the parameters according to your own situation and preferences. The important thing is to have a realistic and reasonable estimate of how much money you may need in case of an emergency and to save accordingly.



Conclusion

To sum up, choosing the right teacher training institute is a journey that combines personal aspirations with practical considerations. From understanding approval and identifying the right specialization to financial planning—each step is critical in shaping your future as a teacher. 

Remember, the institute you choose will play a pivotal role in defining your teaching style, philosophy, and career trajectory. If you're seeking a truly transformative teaching experience, consider Suraasa—a comprehensive platform supporting your entire career, from skill development to career growth. Suraasa’s programs are approved by regulatory bodies such as OfQual, ensuring you receive internationally recognized qualifications.

Take the next step in your journey by connecting with a Suraasa mentor on a 1-1 call for personalized career insights and guidance—for FREE!

We hope this blog has offered you the clarity and direction needed to make a choice that aligns with your professional goals. Good luck on your journey towards becoming an impactful teacher!

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Written By
Aashita Pillai

Aashita Pillai

Aashita is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher Mentor for a couple of years. She wields words like weapons to help readers get clear and concise information.

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