10 Things You Should Know About Teachers

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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...
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What are we like?

Teachers blend knowledge, critical thinking and creativity to make a difference for children. From helping to tie shoelaces to supporting children’s understanding of coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, no two days on the job are ever the same for a teacher.

Here are 10 things you should know about teachers

Have a read and see if you agree with the following:

1. Teachers are leaders

Teachers are leaders and change agents who positively impact the quality of education. Some teachers might get professionally restless and develop the ‘leadership itch’ but every teacher is a leader in their own right regardless of whether they stay in the classroom or become a headteacher.

2. Teachers are team-players

Teachers have to work as part of a team. A class teacher will always draw on the expertise of others to help each child and these practitioners work together as a community of learning professionals. Teachers play as a team and the best teams boast players who take collective responsibility and support each other through thick and thin.

3. Teachers are life-long learners

Every day is a school day and teachers never stop learning. To keep abreast with the ever-changing landscape of education, teachers attend conferences, continuing education workshops and other professional development programmes. They engage positively with social media as powerful sources of networking, support, dialogue, reflection and learning.

4. Teachers have a sense of humour

Teachers always see the funny side of life because there is no other way. They make fools of themselves to support their students learning and they regularly go above and beyond. They might not want to do the ‘Teachers Have Talent’ show or take part in the end of term panto but they will because they know that having a laugh and being laughed at is important.

5. Teachers are flexible

Teachers have to constantly think on their feet because teaching is never still and the unexpected always happens. Lessons get derailed by wasps, fire alarms and classroom ‘incidents’. We know that wet-play plays havoc with our planning and we can be called on to lead an assembly with zero notice but we take it in our stride because that’s how good we are.

6. Teachers are expert Jekyll and Hyde characters

Classroom interactions flip in a second. Turn to the left and you have to display copious amounts of tenderness to an anxious pupil, turn to the right and you need absolute grit and toughness to get another pupil to sit down without ruining your lesson. Teachers have to be the good, the bad and the ugly so lessons don’t flop.

7. Teachers never break promises

Politicians break promises but not teachers.

Teachers know that the foundation of education is built on trust and what we say matters. Children need to know and trust what we say and have faith in us. We don’t break promises and U-turns are bad news because this makes us untrustworthy.

8. Teachers encourage mistakes

Teachers make their classrooms safe places to learn where children can make mistakes without fear. Accuracy is valued but it is not expected as learning is messy and full of mistake-making.

9. Teachers think positively

Teachers always see the good in pupils, always find the positive and never give up on them. They avoid sarcasm and look for ways to build spirits not break them.

10. Teachers have patience

Teachers have fortitude and those that don’t soon learn to develop it. Children will find a way to push every button in your body and will keep pushing. Teachers are experts at repeating themselves without losing their rag.

Teachers have loads more superpowers but what are you like? Can you add more to the list?

2 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Know About Teachers

  1. Teachers really care about the child ostensibly in their classes and wish some parents would realise this.

  2. Teachers are role models: Pupils always imitate what their teachers do in their presence and majority of them are not ready to be corrected when the character is bad. The words of their teacher is final. Teachers; be a good ambassador!

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