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8 Reasons To Fall In Love With Teaching Again

Tom Sherrington is inviting all teachers to talk up the profession – it's surely the best job around

  • 8 Reasons To Fall In Love With Teaching Again

With the recruitment and retention crisis still looming large, Tom Sherrington wants to celebrate the great things about a career in education with current and would-be teachers alike.

1 | You get to have fun

It has always struck me as remarkable that I am paid to do a job where I get to have so much fun. And it’s not just the joy of teaching your favourite subject – you can do all kinds of other things: play in the orchestra; direct a drama production; go on school trips around the UK; coach a sports team. What other job affords so many opportunities to engage in your passions and share them with other people?

2 | You make a difference

We’re in the business of giving young people the greatest asset in the world economy. We’re doing the thing that transforms lives. It’s a big deal – which is why we spend so much time talking about how to get it right.

3 | Kids are wonderful

My pupils can frustrate me – gosh, they like to talk! But they amaze me in equal measure – so many ideas, so curious about the world, always looking for a channel for their enthusiasm. These are the people that make it all worthwhile; each one a unique personality with different attitudes and ways of thinking, bursting with possibilities for the future. The relationships you can form with your students as you strive together to maximise their learning are quite wonderful.

4 | One giant family

I love the sense of being part of something; belonging to a group of people with a shared sense of purpose; a common identity and common challenges. When you are a teacher, you are part of a much bigger project – there’s a vision for reaching audacious goals where you need to play your part. At their best, schools are giant families, offering that sense of togetherness and mutual support. We’re all in it together.

5 | Every day’s different

There is never a dull moment in teaching – something is always going on. Of course, there are tough days. It’s a challenging job, just as any worthwhile job should be – especially if you teach so that every lesson is a bit of a journey into the unknown. The events that make up your week demand such a wide range of skills and very often you’ll run through a range of emotions, from laughing to crying.

6 | Leadership opportunities

Schools are fabulously complicated and challenging organisations. I’ve always found the intellectual and personal challenge of running a great lesson, year group, department or school incredibly rewarding. There are so many opportunities to lead people, organise events and put ideas into action. I can’t think of another profession where strategic analysis and interpersonal dynamics mix in such a fascinating way.

7 | Be your own boss

Teaching affords a fantastic degree of autonomy. It can have a strong element of performance about it – you’re on stage and can express yourself in a way that you never do around adults. Alternatively, you can be quietly cerebral, wildly eccentric or straightforward and dignified. The classroom is your domain and every lesson is yours to craft. I love that.

8 | The holidays

I’m not being facetious. Teaching is incredibly rewarding, but also incredibly demanding. But then the holidays come and we deserve them. Teaching is a great job to be in to have a family, time for yourself and blocks of time to go travelling. I never take the bait when my non-teaching friends have a dig because they’re working during half-term or only get a few days off at Christmas. Not everyone wants to teach; not everybody could. But those who do deserve every minute of the holidays.

Tom Sherrington is a headteacher, author and education consultant. Find him at teacherhead.com and follow him on Twitter at @teacherhead.

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