Not many perks in teaching. We get a debatable salary for the amount of work we do, especially considering the importance of our job. We have had no pay rise for years (like most of the world, it has to be said) in fact, we have had an effective pay cut. Our pensions have been raided with most of us having to teach until we’re relics before we can retire comfortably. The work load is sometimes unbearable. We get mostly bad press. We are messed around left, right and centre by politicians and exam boards, measured from every angle imaginable (to what effect?!) and pitched against one another in the league tables. I know everyone who is not a teacher comments on the holidays, but realistically, let’s face it, we work, we mark papers, we plan ahead…do we REALLY ever switch off and forget it for a while?
Yet still, we have SPIRIT – something pushes us on, something inspires us to keep going.
Hope I’ve grabbed your attention?!
Despite all of the above, and the fact that most of the time, it is a thankless profession I couldn’t think of a better job to do. I implore ANYONE who is critical (or not) of schools, teachers and teaching to try it – get involved and see how it all works. I was asked recently what motivates me. I found it a really difficult question to answer as it’s so deep rooted and totally embedded into my psyche.
I love the people I work with. Pupils and staff. So many characters, so colourful, so much going on, the camaraderie, the hustle and bustle. If you have planned your day down to the last detail….it could all take a completely different direction the minute you get into work! I love the occasional spontaneity or unexpected – because it means that EVERY day is different. I am able to use my initiative properly and often have to think on my feet.
I love getting results (not just grades!) – helping others to achieve their goals. Seeing the ‘light bulb’ moments in the classroom, to hearing from previous pupils who have done really well for themselves and are achieving their goals. If I was a banker, my value would be in how much money I had made, but to add value to someone’s life in whatever small and wonderful way is a better pay-off than anything…..it’s the best experience in the world. As a teacher, you get the chance to make a real difference. You get given the chance to make memories and have a real legacy.
I enjoy being part of a team that understands how being a teacher feels. I love all the skills you learn that are a natural part of the job, from ICT to dealing with tight budgets and time management. I love to improve and develop – I think that is natural in many teachers.
Most of all, I love smiles – and you certainly get plenty of those as a teacher. ALL teachers that read this know, when a pupil says ‘thanks miss’ or ‘thanks sir’ on the way out of your room – you’re a winner! We are under masses of pressure at the moment (actually most of the time!) and that is why we ALL need to respect, support and celebrate our profession for the jewel that it SHOULD and CAN be! Well done teachers everywhere!
What do you love about your job? What motivates you? How can you help motivate others? I think we should say what we love about our profession, using #loveteaching