Teaching might have been the career you always dreamt of, or perhaps you realised later on in life that you wanted to be a teacher.
Whatever path you chose, ending up in teaching means you have a profession which you can be proud of and is enormously fulfilling.
But everyone has bad days now and again so if you need a reminder about why you became a teacher in the first place, or perhaps you are thinking of becoming one, here’s a countdown of 10 great reasons to be a teacher.
1) Make a difference
Trite as it may sound, as a teacher you have the opportunity to directly shape and influence a young person’s future. And the sense of personal achievement in seeing the potential in a child, and helping them to realise it, is almost boundless.
A teacher spends a considerable part of the week with their pupils so unsurprisingly they can play a large part in not just their academic abilities but also their own self-worth. Watching your pupils grow in confidence and fulfil their goals really is what teaching is all about.
2) Potential for growth
In an economic climate where work can be hard to find and job security almost a thing of the past, teaching offers a welcome sanctuary.
Schools will always need teachers, even if the role evolves and changes as technology continues to become a more integral part of the classroom. Whilst there are children, there will be teachers!
And unlike other industries where it can be difficult to see where a career might lead, there is a defined path for those who want to climb the ladder. Taking on more responsibilities within a school leading to being a Head of Department, or ultimately a head teacher is a route well-travelled and easily accessible for those that want it.
Whilst there are undeniably some pupils which can be challenging at times, developing a rapport with your class can bring some moments of pure hilarity to the day.
Youngsters are very humorous little beings, sometimes unintentionally, and being around them can help you stay in touch with your own inner child and find more things to smile about, no matter how silly they are.
Children love to find fun and humour in everything they see – and this is a very infectious quality. You can’t help but smile at this picture can you?!
4) Improve your own knowledge
This one may come as a bit of a surprise but even though you may be deemed as an expert on a subject, there is always the possibility to know more.
And although you might have an excellent background in education solutions in a certain area of speciality, keeping lesson plans fresh and exciting means approaching them from different angles. This could mean fusing them with a different subject, combining the two to create a completely new experience. English and History work particularly well together, as an example.
And it is doing the legwork necessary to put together your lessons that you will continue to discover more facts about not just your own subjects but others too.
5) Your own empire
Many people crave autonomy in their jobs but in an open plan office of a factory environment, this can be hard to achieve.
Although teachers may have certain criteria they have to fulfil, such as teaching the National Curriculum, or ensuring children meet national floor targets, once the door to the classroom is closed, they are on their own.
Running a class means taking responsibility and having the confidence to deal with whatever arises…and with 30 children in the room, sometimes that really could mean absolutely anything!
Knowing you are responsible and accountable for what goes on in your lessons can provide a great sense of job satisfaction and enjoyment.
6) Staying hip and groovy
As we age, we inevitably lose touch with what’s happening with the younger generation and switching on the TV and catching a programme designed for teenagers can leave you scratching your head in bewilderment.
As a teacher, you have the opportunity to engage with young people every day. This provides the unique opportunity to stay closer to current trends and fads, which in turn makes you more credible and approachable to young people.
7) Family friendly
Although it may not have been the reason that you became a teacher in the first place, the fact that the hours coincide with your own children’s school life makes things much easier to organise.
Simultaneous start and finish times, together with the same holidays makes being around for your children much simpler to manage. Of course, you may have some marking or lesson plans to work out, but this can be done at home. Where else would you find a job with such flexibility?
8) Get paid to be silly
Lessons should be fun and sometimes embracing the wackiest of ideas can lead to a great class.
Pupils appreciate a teacher that makes an effort to create an interesting lesson, whether that means spontaneously taking everyone outside or arranging fancy dress to learn more about history.
Where else could you get paid to dress up like King Henry VIII?
9) Pass on your passion
Nearly everyone has a teacher they can still remember from school who was a source of great inspiration because of their passion in their subject.
By becoming a teacher you have the opportunity to become that person to your pupils, passing on not just facts and figures but an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and the drive to learn more.
Some pupils unfortunately don’t have support at home so having a teacher who believes in them and is willing to invest time and energy in helping them fulfil their potential is the greatest gift you could provide.
10) Diversity Taking up a teaching post overseas is easily arranged and could provide you with the chance to see more of the world without having to win the lottery first!
Teaching comes in all shapes and sizes and there are many choices to be made.
Do you want to work in an independent or maintained school? Primary or secondary? Mainstream or special needs? The options are endless.
Whilst most teachers have a speciality and an age group and stick to it, the majority are able to change if they so desire. Moving down in age group is decidedly easier than moving up, but with teacher qualifications usually specifying quite a large age range that you are qualified to teach, the choice really is yours.
And if you have the itch to stretch your wings even further, teaching overseas is always an option, which could really be an eye-opener.
In short, there is little which compares to the pleasure a teacher can enjoy from watching a pupil finally ‘get it’ and knowing that they were able to help them. Being around youngsters every day can be a positive and enjoyable experience, far different than a cliquey office environment. Of course, the job security and summer holidays are great but what drives most teachers is simply the pupils themselves and that is the reason why people become teachers – and remain teachers for such a long time.