156 Reasons to Teach

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John Dabell

I trained as a primary school teacher 25 years ago, starting my career in London and then I taught in a range of schools in the Midlands. In between teaching jobs, I worked as an Ofsted inspector (no hate mail please!), national in-service provider, project...
Read more about John Dabell

Why would anyone want to be a teacher?

It doesn’t matter if it is the new year or the start of an academic year, education offers several windows of opportunity for new employment in teaching. It is worth reminding ourselves and perhaps others, reasons for being a teacher.

I hope that this post can be used to remind and motivate current and prospective teachers of the positive reasons why any individual should join the profession.


  1. The number one reason for many adults who are teachers, is working with children.
  2. Watching that ‘eureka’ moment when a child grasps a new concept.
  3. Supporting a child through difficult circumstances …
  4. Knowing that you are making a difference to every child.
  5. That working with children, every day is different.
  6. You can watch children, who are not your own, grow up.
  7. Observing the innocent nature of a child and protecting this as much as possible.
  8. That occasion when a child accidentally calls you ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ and you both smile about it.
  9. Teaching is so much more than just being in a classroom. Teaching is about developing the ‘whole child’.
  10. In 10 years time, an ex-student will get in touch with you to say ‘how much of a difference you made’.
  11. You get to see friendships between pupils blossom, confidence rocket and intellects expand.
  12. You get to shape, mould and influence in your own unique way.
  13. You can help create critical thinkers and encourage children to be independent and confident.
  14. You can help children develop skills they need for survival.
  15. We can help children to preserve and be well motivated.
  16. We can teach children to think, reason, solve problems and be creative.
  17. We can provide equal opportunities and fight injustice.
  18. We can teach children whose progress is causing concern and turn their life chances around.
  19. We can support children with behavioural difficulties and offer them a secure base to learn from and feel safe.
  20. We can coach and mentor building the self-esteem of every pupil we teach.
  21. We can teach pupils to take personal responsibility for their actions.
  22. Children teach us something new every day.


  1. We get to continually deepen our subject skills.
  2. We can be the drivers of subject change across a school.
  3. We get to energise and enthuse pupils and staff with our subject passion.
  4. We are constantly focused on progress and rewarding progress through our subject.
  5. We can fuel learning because we can present our subject in ways that interests and motivates pupils.
  6. We get to help pupils discover their potential in your subject-area.
  7. We get to indulge your subject passion and promote its value and worth throughout each term.
  8. We can inspire wonder and awe for our subject.
  9. We can take our subject out into the community and raise its profile.
  10. We can use our subject as a gateway into new experiences and interests.


  1. We can set the pace of a class, e.g. slow and methodical, fast and furious.
  2. We can structure learning experiences by selecting groupings: whole class, small groups, independent.
  3. You have a captive audience every day who you can challenge…and they can challenge you.
  4. You can change direction at any moment if something isn’t working.
  5. You can teach indoors and outdoors.
  6. You get to share in a child’s special moments: personal, family and school.
  7. You get to laugh every day, lots and lots of times.
  8. We help children handle failure, manage mistakes and learn from experience.
  9. You can shape the day ahead by delivering an assembly to remember.
  10. We get PPA time – that’s unheard of in other professions.
  11. We get to go on amazing trips that enrich our lives– no other job lets us share the excitement of day-trips and field-trips.


  1. You get help – teaching assistants are teaching partners.
  2. You belong to a team of professionals that want to help you get better.
  3. You are never alone – there is always a support network to share with, collaborate with and come to the rescue.
  4. We can steal each other’s ideas and no one gets upset about it.
  5. You have a ready-made pool of experience to tap into at anytime.
  6. You can rely on your colleagues to fight your corner.
  7. We can work with our colleagues to make genuine and long-lasting positive contributions that impact on the school.
  8. We work with a team of optimists who see problems as opportunities.
  9. We work with pro-active and like-minded individuals with vision.
  10. We work with colleagues who are persistent who never say never.


  1. You have the option to work full-time or part-time.
  2. You enjoy better holidays than most professions.
  3. We have guaranteed Christmas and New Years with family and friends.
  4. Teaching can fit around our changing circumstances and private lives.
  5. Teaching is a job for life: teachers will always be needed.
  6. The school day starts and ends at specific times so there is consistency.
  7. You can arrive early and stay as late as you need.
  8. You get access to the school cafeterias some of which make meals especially for their teachers.
  9. Staff benefits and discounts are available to us via union and society memberships.
  10. You can plan ahead knowing each term’s schedule of events and focus on your family and well-being.


  1. As a teacher, one can never stop learning.
  2. Teachers integrate with so many different people from different backgrounds and cultures.
  3. You are part of a teaching culture that is always changing and so there is never a dull moment.
  4. You play a key role in the identity and corporate image of the school.
  5. You get to contribute to a culture of success by teaching future leaders helping pupils develop.
  6. Schools are ‘can-do’ places and you play a vital part in making sure pupils ‘can-do’; without you, many ‘can’t do’.
  7. You are part of a corporate culture dedicated to growth – you never stop growing the more you help pupils improve.
  8. The culture of growth means that pupils you see at the beginning of term are transformed by then end of the year!
  9. A school culture thrives on relationships and connections – you get to make lifelong friendships.
  10. School culture is based on learning so you never stop improving yourself and others around you.


  1. Teaching is a time-honoured profession of great historical importance.
  2. Teachers are respected by pupils.
  3. Teaching is respected by family and friends.
  4. Teaching is respected by other professions.
  5. Teachers can have a lot of influence in their local communities.
  6. Teaching enables you to give back to your community.
  7. You get given cards and gifts thanking you for doing your job.
  8. You have tremendous influence when it comes to teaching tolerance, respect and diversity, so pupils understand that our differences are strengths and not weaknesses.
  9. We have self-respect because our work is meaningful and adds enormous value to society.
  10. We have self-respect because we can choose what we want to do and can start each day with renewed optimism.


  1. You have the option to teach children and adults or both.
  2. You have the option of teaching anywhere in the country.
  3. There are teaching opportunities across the world.
  4. You can opt out and opt back in.
  5. Teachers can enjoy comparative financial stability in times of austerity.
  6. Teaching offers job security.
  7. We can improve our salary for each year of experience we work.
  8. Teaching is the polymath profession encompassing a huge number of skills.
  9. You can advance knowledge in your subject by writing for magazines, journals and blogs.
  10. You can express yourself as a teacher and develop your own style. If you want to be a maverick or a trailblazer, no need to ask for permission – just be yourself.

Professional Development:

  1. There is infinite opportunity for advancement.
  2. We have vast educational opportunities open to us as teachers and can advance our own qualifications via our work.
  3. We can increase our autonomy and responsibility as middle and/or senior leaders, trainers and inspectors.
  4. Every second of your day-to-day is professional development.
  5. We are the recipients and users of amazing technology and always learn something new.
  6. We can specialise in one area or develop opportunities to teach across the curriculum and develop our skills.
  7. We get to interact with educators across different platforms and other teaching  professions.
  8. The knowledge and understanding we gain on a daily basis develops us as people.
  9. You can engage in action research, innovate and lead change.
  10. You can become a teaching activist and campaign for change to better the profession.


  1. Teaching offers unparalleled variety and no repetitive tasks.
  2. Our work is inherently creative and forever interesting.
  3. Teaching breeds divergent thinking.
  4. You get multiple chances to inspire others with creative lessons.
  5. You share creativity and you get it back – pupils inspire us.
  6. Teaching allows you to be as creative as you want whereas other jobs allow no freedom of thought at all.
  7. Teaching allows you the luxury of reflection and contemplation that other jobs don’t allow.
  8. You can be held responsible for helping to inspire new projects and new initiatives that have impact.
  9. You can help pupils get ‘in the zone’ and
  10. You get to be in your element every day.


  1. We get to work with vulnerable young people which is a privilege.
  2. We act in ‘loco parentis’ which is a hugely rewarding responsibility.
  3. We can protect children from harm.
  4. We are respected by pupils and they come to us for help.
  5. We have opportunities to make real positive changes in the lives of all children.
  6. We have a genuine chance to help the most disadvantaged.
  7. You get a constant supply of challenge and help pupils overcome obstacles and adversities.
  8. You get to guide and map choices and can heavily influence futures.
  9. You can positively impact on a pupil’s family.
  10. We are respected advocates for healthy lifestyles, mental health and well-being.
  11. We are powerful role models.
  12. We can stop a cycle of hate, negativity and blame by giving pupils the will and  motivation to be successful.
  13. We are a shoulder to cry, a sounding board and source of strength.
  14. We might be the only ‘safe’ person a pupil can go to when they feel threatened or have suffered harm from another adult.


  1. You get to advise parents on their child’s learning.
  2. You can influence pupil behaviour at home and channel positivity into home environments.
  3. You can suggest ‘what works’ and help parents and pupils work together.
  4. You can foster meaningful relationships and build bridges.
  5. You can be a positive role model to parents in need.
  6. You can help parents with aspects of child development, creative play, family health, nutrition and behaviour.
  7. You can energise and give parents hope for their child’s future.
  8. You get opportunities to support struggling parents who look up to you as much as pupils do.
  9. Parents come to you for help, to share concerns, to seek reassurance.
  10. You get to give parents feedback, lots of times positive, sometimes amazing.

Other great reasons:

  1. Teaching is emotionally rewarding.
  2. We can help children dream big and achieve.
  3. Teaching is not a boring desk job.
  4. Teaching is an ever-changing and interesting profession.
  5. We are always learning something new.
  6. Teaching is a fast paced profession that keeps us mentally active.
  7. We have a responsibility for success so we get to breed success every day and share in success all the time.
  8. Our teaching knowledge and skills are invaluable for teaching our own children.
  9. Teaching is a challenging and stimulating profession that excites and motivates – we can never be bored!
  10. You will always make a difference to someone’s life.
  11. You teach pupils, their brothers and sisters, their cousins and eventually their children! Teaching is a family.
  12. Schools are always full of young people who keep you young at heart, motivated and focused.
  13. Teaching enriches lives and especially your own.
  14. You get to experience the magic, buzz, pleasure, enthusiasm and joy of teaching children every day.
  15. Pupils rely on us to reboot and restart every day with a fresh mindset of positivity and optimism.
  16. We make the impossible possible.
  17. We get to be lifelong learners.
  18. Teaching gives us a deep sense of purpose.
  19. The positives always outweigh the negatives…

There are many more reasons why being a teacher is the best job in the world and I’m sure you could add to the list.


6 thoughts on “156 Reasons to Teach

  1. Lifestyle 1. “You get to work full or part-time” Sometimes this is not your choice as a teacher. My school for example thinks it is perfectly OK to change teachers’ permanent contracts from year to year depending on curriculum needs etc. I have never had the same amount of hours from one year to the next in my current post and one teacher’s hours were reduced from full-time to 0.5. So to me this is a reason not to teach… Job security? Not at all.

    1. You cannot blame the whole profession for one Head Teacher way to manage staff structuring. That is a reason to change schools. We have a very good flexible working policy. Many of staff (office, TAs and teachers) work part time. Our Head is brill at making this work. We value staff so therefore make it work. Many schools do this so worth considering whether it is the right school for you.

  2. This is such a refreshing article and such a change from the usual ‘Reasons teachers are leaving the profession’ articles that are everywhere.
    Thanks for taking the time to remind us why we did the job we love.

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