One of the great joys of my current work as a travelling education consultant and teacher trainer is that I get to meet teachers everywhere; all over the UK; all over the world. Everywhere I go I encounter wonderful teams of people doing incredible work, full of energy, enthusiasm, a sense of mission; bursting with ideas, possibilities, passions…. and loving it. This is teaching.
If you are a teacher, think about all the reasons to be cheerful. We have the best job; we work in the best places. If you’re considering teaching, my advice is not to hesitate – go for it. Join this great profession. Give it a go. You’ll be making a massive difference and enjoying a rewarding professional career; you’ll have opportunities to do all kinds of interesting and challenging things; you’ll be part of a vibrant dynamic community in your own school and beyond – there are teachers everywhere who are really good at connecting and sharing ideas.
In this post 10 Reasons to Love Teaching, I set out why I love teaching… take a look. Every time I re-read it I think, Yes! That’s it…. that’s why I have loved teaching and working schools for over 30 years. Here’s a sample:
3. Young People are Wonderful
Today, students who finished their A levels in June came back for Prize Giving after a term at university. It was wonderful to talk to them…people I knew as 12-year olds, now adults living their lives, already with many tales to tell. My Year 9s can frustrate me – gosh, they like to talk! But they amaze me in equal measure – so many ideas, so curious about the world and always looking for a channel for their enthusiasm and joie de vivre. These are the people that make it all worthwhile; each one a unique personality with different attitudes and ways of thinking, bursting with possibilities for the future. The relationships you can form with your students as you strive together to maximise their learning are quite wonderful.
7. Strategic challenges and leadership opportunities
Schools are fabulously complicated and challenging organisations. I’ve always found the intellectual and personal challenge of running a great lesson, a year group, a department or a school, incredibly rewarding. There are so many opportunities to lead people, organise events or projects and to put ideas into action. Given the complexity and importance of learning, I can’t think of a profession where strategic analysis and interpersonal dynamics mix in such a fascinating way. Teaching should be the No1 graduate profession; this is where the action is.
Recently I’ve had so many reasons to believe that the current environment for new teachers is as good as it’s ever been. This is because if feels that we’re developing a real professional culture: evidence-informed and serious; as driven as ever by important ideas about social justice and empowerment. We’re also talking about curriculum more than ever. There are so many superb networks, events, movements, sources of support and information – and everyone involved at a policy level is working to make teaching better paying attention to workload, professional development and career-long support. This is a really good time to get into teaching…. not least because you’ll have so many options of places to work. Teachers are in demand!
The Chartered College of Teaching will welcome you with open arms. They’re producing lots of superb material – like their superb Impact Magazine. The internet is awash with amazing bloggers sharing their ideas – about subjects or about education in general. To give a flavour check out Mark Enser or Jo Morgan – their enthusiasm for teaching epitomises all that is great about the job – or this superb series of posts about formative assessment in science run by a group of science teacher-bloggers. There is also ResearchEd – a fabulous movement running lots of superb low-cost conferences packed with enthusiastic teachers talking about putting evidence from research into practice.
To be honest, I could go on and on. There are just so many wonderful, wonderful people doing brilliant things in great schools. The buzz around schools is infectious – it’s something you want to be part of. Different schools have their own character – here are some blogs about schools doing incredible work: Michaela in Brent; Turton High School in Bolton; Eastern High in Cardiff. Go out and find a school to work in that will bring you joy, offer challenges and rewards – a schools that will support you to build a wonderful career.
How to get started? There are lots of routes…. but it’s all explained here. https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
This video is also useful: