As with every job, being able to see the joys of teaching may be difficult at times. With recruitment and retention rates for teachers remaining below target since 2012, it’s obvious that the profession requires a reboot; we need to remember the joys of teaching.
Teaching has traditionally been associated with long hours and low pay. Edtech solutions, have made important strides on cutting down teacher workload, however, there is still more to be done.
Personal satisfaction in a teaching role can be easy to come by, teachers are in a job where they can immediately see the outcome of their hard work any time a child develops a new skill or discovers a new passion. However remembering this during exam season, when you have 100s of papers to mark and no time to do it, can be tricky. Difficult students, who appear to want to do the opposite of learn, can make teaching jobs hard. But sometimes the difficult students can be the most rewarding part of the job.
Teachers are guiding students through immense changes and developments in their lives. A child you meet in year 7 will not be the same child who leaves in year 11. The teacher’s role is paramount to this positive development. All teachers will remember the amazing scene from Educating Yorkshire, which represents the importance of the work of teachers. Musharaf, a student who suffers from a stammer, is asked by his teacher to listen to music through headphones while he reads a speech. When he reads the speech stammer free, Mr Burton celebrates the success of the experiment. Teachers can be the people who know the most about their students, and as the scene shows, this knowledge can change a students life.
Teaching appeals to a huge spectrum of different types of people; both Mr T and J.K Rowling have spent time as teachers (PE and English, it’s your guess who taught what). As a teacher you are given creative control over the way you teach, a rarity in the job market.
We can also consider job security. Teachers are highly prized, particularly now when we are experiencing a deficit. Teachers also don’t have to worry about tech ever being able to take over the teacher role. Even though technology is present in the work of a teacher, the work a teacher does can never been replaced by a machine. The mentoring, coaching, parenting and caring that all teachers do on a daily basis can only ever be achieved by a human.
Technology is making teaching easier every day. Youtube is filled with teachers making videos, sharing tips on everything from seating to behaviour. VLEs are becoming more effective and user friendly, parents are becoming more engaged with the school and more supportive to the school culture at home. Fewer students are falling through the gaps because the gaps are closing.
Gaining satisfaction from teaching can be similar to any other job. Teachers want to feel useful to the school, that their voice is heard and respected in the faculty. Alleviating some of the unnecessary pressures that currently face teachers through the introduction of tech help to enhance the teacher experience and make it easy for teachers to enjoy their job and to remember why they chose to teach in the first place.