Recently however I have been asked a few questions - not by parents but by a relative - on whether grade 8 qualifies me to teach. I know it is not a qualification but I didn't think I was breaking any rules. So my question is - are they right? Should I be pursuing a qualification? I am in Ireland by the way so not sure if it is the same.
At university I was allocated a very good and well respected member of the Edinburgh Quartet as my violin teacher and I was miserable, hated going to her house for lessons. I could do nothing right 'her way' and there was no other way in her world.
There is always another way to teach anything - the sign of a good teacher is adapting your style of teaching to suit your pupil and not trying to force the pupil to do something in a way that they cannot cope with or do not understand. If you feel you can do that with kindness (another atribute my uni violin teacher lacked) then go for it.
So how should I handle it when someone asks me how do I think I'm qualified with only grade 8?
A music degree will not qualify you any further as a teacher except to look good on paper. If you want to add further to your music qualifications, then go for whatever the next step up is from Grade 8. If memory serves, LLCM or similar if they still exist, was what my childhood piano teacher had.