Why do you love teaching?
There is a fair amount of negativity and pessimism among teaching professionals sometimes but then that’s hardly surprising given budget cuts, workload burdens, professional encroachment and general uncertainties about what politicians will do next. They all take pieces out of our health and wellbeing and there are plenty of other things that do too.
But we should take every opportunity to remind ourselves what makes teaching great.
1. Transform children’s lives
There isn’t another job on the planet with so much transformative influence and power where you really do make a difference to young people. Teachers are remembered for life. Children remember the good ones and the not so good ones! The buzz of teaching is the opportunity to profoundly impact the lives of children. Teachers are change agents and transformers.
2. Are diagnosticians
Teachers are expert at assessing children’s needs. They can spot strengths and weaknesses and know what to do with them. They nurture talent, foster confidence and consistently keep needs on their radar. They help children set targets and goals and help them achieve personal bests.
3. Are safe and trusted
Children need stability in their lives and they look to their teachers for safety and security. Children trust teachers who won’t give up on them or let them down. Teachers are constant companions throughout the year and beyond.
4. Are powerful advocates
Teachers can champion the rights of children and make sure that children get seen and heard. Teachers offer an incredibly high level of support to vulnerable children, speak up for them and advocate for those whose voices are not being heard. Marginalised children and communities often rely on teachers to stand up for them and teachers do it with pride.
5. Are blessed
Experiencing the rich tapestry of school life gives teachers insights into child development and enormous advantages over many other professions. Teachers witness growth on a daily basis and are instrumental in helping others improve minute by minute. They know ‘the whole child’ and share in a range of unique of feelings, thoughts and emotions.
6. Are inclusive
Teachers have to work in teams and are dependent on the help of others. They are good at knowing their limits and they know that support is there if they need it. Teachers are pragmatic, enthusiastic and motivated people who get things done because they are part of a system that thrives on being a community.
7. Are adaptable
Plate-spinning? No Problem. Ball-juggling? No problem. Sword-swallowing? Get out of here.
Multi-tasking is what teachers have to be good at and this is a reason to love teaching because there aren’t many jobs that offer such rich diversity, chaos, mess, noise, laughter and guaranteed pandemonium and excitement. The job throws a lot at us but that’s better than sitting in an office all day.
8. Are always learning
You are constantly learning and teaching makes it impossible to be bored! You add to your skills everyday – you never stop developing curriculum expertise, you learn to manage people and you learn a lot about yourself. If you think about it, you have an impressive array of skills. You also learn that children are the best teachers and just being with them teaches you loads.
9. Are their own bosses
Okay you have to work within a system and there are policies galore to follow with huge amounts of accountability but…you still enjoy a fair degree of autonomy and control. You have your own class and you can implement your own ideas, go off piste, experiment, explore, be eccentric, be unpredictable or be yourself. You can do what you want to do.
10. Are addicted
Yes the holidays are fabulous and well-deserved but you secretly can’t wait to get back to your classroom because you miss being with the children and doing what you do. Teachers are seriously addicted to their craft.
Teachers are all these things and more, and we should try to remember this when the day-to-day pressures of work make it hard to see the wood for the trees
We have previously considered what makes teaching the best job in the world and listed 156 reasons here!