Will you be teaching in 3 years? 5 years? by Deputy Headteacher @Plestered

Reading time: 3


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
Read more about @TeacherToolkit

This post answers the 6th question from my TeacherToolkit Thinking page of Thunks. You can see my other top-Thunks here.

Thunk 6: Will you be teaching in 3, 5 years time? by Deputy Headteacher @Plestered Answer below.

There are various ways to answer this TTkitThunk.

  1. I am 42, I have young(ish) family, I HAVE A MORTGAGE. So, yes I will be teaching in 5, 10, 15 years time. Whether I’ll be teaching in 25 years time, when I’m 67, is a different matter all together. What will govern my decision when the time comes? What’s best for my school? My health? My financial status? Whether I want a mid-life crisis car? Whether my own children need financial support to pay off university debts or to save for a new home?…Apparently kids leave home at 18 and that’s it!? Hmm, I’m not so sure.
Will you still be teaching at 68?
  1. Will teachers still be needed, not necessarily in 5 years, but possibly 10? Sugata Mitra from Newcastle University (see his TED talk below) has shown through his ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment, that children can learn successfully by themselves with access to the Internet but without teachers. Salman Khan taught his cousin maths across the internet, followed by setting up Khan Academy  with the aim of “providing a high quality education to everyone, everywhere”, so if you have internet access do you need a teacher? Could we just have unqualified, cheap ‘staff’? ….Oh!, hold on… That would save the  government a fortune! They’d never go for that surely?!
Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education
  1. I have aspirations to be headteacher over the next few years. If I am lucky enough to be able to take on this role, will I still be teaching? I am unsure. I have had experience working with headteachers who, with all good intentions, have taught classes. The reality was that the Head was regularly late, often leaving the class on their own, often leaving the class with a cover teacher. But what a waste of resources! Why call them head teachers? Some very successful heads e.g @johntomsett is incredibly passionate about being a headTEACHER. I also realise the role of the head is very different to even a decade ago, with many now taking on the role of CEO.

So, should heads be teaching a token class to show willing, or run the school to ensure all teaching staff have the support and conducive environment to learn?

  1. Would I want to do anything else? Decorator? Chimney sweep? Taxi driver? Van driver? (all jobs a friend of mine who is a deputy thought about doing himself!). Definitely not! As I’ve matured… I mean got older.. As I have had a family and worked in several schools I feel as though I have grown into the job. I have loved working in education since being an NQT in South London, and love it even more now. I love working with the students and the fun, excitement, enthusiasm and challenges this brings; I love working with fantastic staff, working with supportive  parents, and other colleagues and schools. I did however have a ‘mid-career crisis’ as Head of Science, and was frustrated in my role…this only lasted about a week…..mainly due to another traffic jam on the North Circular.

Perhaps the key question is : What would you do if you won the lottery? I guess for me I would probably be a very wealthy Deputy Headteacher…possibly with a new sixth form block called The Plester Building!

Written by @Russell Plester and posted by @TeacherToolkit.

Read more about Russel’s school here.

Deputy Headteacher, @Plestered answers TTKitThunk Q6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.