The 5 Wonders of Teaching

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Why is being a teacher so wonderful?

“I love teaching and being a teacher.” When did you last hear that? When did you last say that? Do you need to believe this before you can say it?

Joy or Anxiety?

Teaching is a wonderful profession and something that I have now been involved in my entire working life. I can’t believe that I have been teaching for 15 years and, despite lots of changing, I still fundamentally love it. But I do wonder why that is? What is it about this job that I love so much? If you were to ask my colleagues, they would confirm that I really do enjoy coming to work and enjoy teaching music. There are lots of reasons to love teaching.

Don’t me wrong, there are tough moments, but there are moments like that in every job. Budget cuts; specification changes; behaviour issues; targets; data, planning and marking … the list goes on and all of these things can be a source of anxiety. But, we have to look beyond these things and remind ourselves of the true wonders of teaching.

My 5 Wonders Of Teaching

What are the things that make it such a source of joy in my life?

1. Every day is different

In fact, every lesson is different and this is something that I really love about the job. Whilst it is a job that is dictated by a timetable and bells, it is a job that has a degree of excitement on a daily basis.

  • How will a new lesson idea go?
  • How will the class feel when they get their essays back and see their marks?
  • What will it feel like to teach this topic for the first time?

And then there are the days that are entirely different, like end of term events, concerts, sports days and special assemblies.

2. We are helping to shape minds and lives

Do you believe that? I know I do, and I think it is amazing that we get to play a part in the lives of young people. Students come to school not only to learn, but to be inspired and to develop as young men and women. They want to be taught by passionate and engaging teachers and on the whole they want to do well.

We get the opportunity to feed into their lives and genuinely make a difference. I have seen countless students change in the space of 5 years as they develop new skills and adopt fresh perspectives on life and their own future. It might sound “cheesy” but it is entirely true that as teachers we are shaping the future of this nation.

3. Teaching is a chance to be part of a wider community

It isn’t just about the students, but it is about the parents and the families that surround the young people. In my job I often see not only the children I teach, but also their families at events and concerts. Not only do we get to see the students benefiting from school, but we get to see the parents, carers and guardians grow with their children.

4. Teaching is full of possibilities

Our profession has clear scope for development, and it is possible to try out different roles and responsibilities right from the ground up. A newly qualified teacher might take on some responsibility for a specific project and an established teacher might have the chance to move up to a leadership role.

I guess what I love is that being a teacher has the potential for you to become a leader, but also you are instantly a leader in your own classroom. The scope to grow, develop and progress is fantastic and we mustn’t lose sight of the wonderful career path that teaching offers.

5. Teaching challenges and rewards

The regular holidays are one thing, but there are so many rewards if you look for them. You have the chance to work with like-minded people in small and large teams. On the whole you are also working with colleagues who all started out in the same place. The boss started where you did, and the new Head of Department was once an NQT. We get to be part of a team that shares the same fundamental DNA – we are all teachers and we all know the wonders of the classroom environment.

So if you are feeling in need of a boost then consider my 5 wonders of teaching and maybe think about what you love about your job.

I think being a teacher is a real privilege and I am so glad that I have dedicated my life so far to this wonderful profession. Let’s ‘speak up teaching’.

James Manwaring

James Manwaring is Director of Music for Windsor Learning Partnership, a Multi-Academy Trust in Windsor, Berkshire. He oversees music for the 4 schools in the trust and has been working in music education for 16 years. James has been nominated for a National Music Education Award for the last 4 years and is a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and MMA. He is passionate about music education and aims to provide opportunities for all students to get involved in learning, creating and performing music.

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