Having read a great post from Headteacher Rob Carter, I decided to write my own ‘5 reasons…’ post – a personal account of what I feel I gained from the profession.
- One of the reasons I became a teacher was that I loved my subject (English) and wanted to use it every day, to continue to learn and to communicate my enthusiasm to others – and teaching gave me the opportunity to do that for 30 years. Even as a head, I taught English. I never stopped loving it.
- Teaching is demanding and can be exhausting but I can honestly say it was never boring. Time always sped by rather than dragging, and, talking to friends in other professions, I think it’s probably quite unusual to do the same job for 30 years and NOT to grow bored from time to time. There were always challenges, which kept me thinking, gave me new issues to resolve and pulled me out of my comfort zone. I needed that, and I think I thrived on it.
- I worked with pupils of different ages (4-18) and also with adults at nightschool, and (cheesy though I know it sounds) I was able to make a difference to the lives of some of them. In some cases, I was able to help individuals through difficulties, to support them in their aspirations and to guide and encourage them to fulfil their dreams. It sounds grandiose, I know, but I really do believe teaching gave me the opportunity to help shape the future for some of the learners with whom it brought me into contact.
- I liked the fact that, as years passed, I had opportunities to work with and through other staff, too, as a Middle Leader, Senior Leader and Head (and even now, post-headship, through contacts I’ve made through Twitter and blogging) and that has been incredibly satisfying and rewarding. Supporting and challenging adults, as well as children, to be their best, is a privilege. I know leadership isn’t what every teacher wants to move on to, but, if you do, the chance is there to carry out different roles as you become more experienced and when you feel ready for a new challenge.
- When I look back over my teaching career, I realise what a huge amount of fun I had. Teaching offered me a terrific range of opportunities to try new things, to visit interesting places I might otherwise never have gone to (a History trip to the WWI battlefields, a Drama trip to Greece, a Physics trip to Florida!) – all in the company of enthusiastic learners. I went sailing, flying, up in a helicopter – and it was WORK…
So there you go – my top five reasons (there were others!) If you have the temperament for teaching, it’s a fantastic job, despite its pressures. I hope others will share their own #5reasons….
Photo credit: John Berry (On a Year 6 Adventure Holiday at La Rive, France, in 2010)
This post was first published in @staffrm in 2014