Recently, a few friends have asked me this question. It’s not the easiest to answer.
I would hate to give a misleading impression of the job and so I give what I hope is an honest response. The good and the bad and let them make their own minds up.
There’s a lot of work.
This isn’t something to try and hide from a potential recruit. They are going to need to work hard and possibly long hours to get the job done. This article, though from last year, doesn’t sugar coat it. I’m not convinced things have got better since then.
Guilt if you’re ill. If you can’t get in you seem to create more work in setting cover. Guilt about what you can’t get done. It’s not a job for perfectionists. Some people feel the guilt factor more than others. Personally, I work hard, I can’t do everything. I do the best I can and that’s that. Guilt is an unproductive emotion here so I try not to bother with it.
The holidays are great.
Yes, they are. They really are. Oh, there might be a little bit of work to do in them but it’s entirely possible to just work your arse off in term time and enjoy the break.
It pays quite well.
This one really depends on your perspective. If you’re some super high flying executive (from an 80s film) you might not agree. I think it pays quite well. I realise I could probably earn more. But I do okay.
You never get bored sat at a desk behind a computer screen.
We might be straying into the realm of why I didn’t do well at academia or industry… It’s true though!
Sometimes the bosses ask you to do things which might give you the impression that they don’t know how many hours are in a day…
Or that they may slightly have forgotten what it’s like to have a full teaching load. Only sometimes though… love you SLT 😀
…or make you wonder if they just think you’re crap at your job
Oh, this one makes me feel a bit sad. I often feel like I’m being checked on so much because I might be crap. And really, I’m not. It’s just the amount of observations and book checks and learning walks and so on just get a bit much and it would be really quite nice to just be allowed to get on with the job with an element of trust that I might just know what I’m doing.
The people you get to work with are nuts and interesting, and often lovely.
The staff? the kids? both? It’s both.
Society thinks you’re lazy and responsible for all that’s wrong with the world.
Just google: ‘Teachers are to blame for ‘ and see.
But you might make a positive difference to someone.
Like it or not, you take on a pastoral role with students. You might just do something positive for your students and you might never know it.
You get to teach a subject you love.
This is an important one for me. I love my subject.
and hopefully, inspire some of your students to study it further.
I’ve had quite a few of my students go on to study physics at University in the last few years. I’m so proud. ❤
It’s a great job and I carry on doing it because I love it.
You might do too.
Teach? You decide 😉