Every society’s intrinsic drive is to ensure survival and progression. The education of children and young people is key to achieving this. In the UK’s classrooms, minds are grown, imaginations fed and the future crafted. Initiatives can be conceived, policies drawn up and governmental targets used as political rhetoric. But the only thing that makes a difference, the only thing that shapes the future of a society is what happens in the classroom. It is a privileged person who gets to spend their days fulfilling the role of teacher. Why teaching?
1. Shape a future generation
Aside from teaching a subject, being a teacher in the UK is about offering an education. Education that helps young people to develop into well-rounded citizens of their community. Thinking skills and problem-solving are at the heart of successful learning and as a teacher, you have the chance to create innovative and exciting lessons that teach young people about resilience, good habits of mind, teamwork and reflection. There are no limits to what can be achieved by teachers and their pupils. There is little more satisfying in life than watching a young person learn something new. Master a situation and make connections with the world around them with the knowledge that you had a part to play in their development.
The world our young people live in is constantly changing and with the event of social media, smartphones and tablets, young people are more connected than ever. However, their young minds are still developing the ability to be discerning of the information presented to them and to understand the varied and often confusing world around them. As a teacher in the UK you will play a part in developing their understanding, helping them to think about how information is presented and developing their ability to take in information and understand it. Challenging stereotypes, encouraging inclusive behaviour and ensuring freedom of speech and thought are all the work of a teacher.
2. Meet exciting and impressionable people
Besides what you can offer to young people as a teacher in the UK, there are the benefits of working with young minds too. To spend each day with the minds that will lead the country in years to come, that will develop new technologies, medicines and social structures is a gift that no other job can offer. Whilst teaching in the UK you get to work with the most interesting and exciting people in society – the people of the future. Their minds know no boundaries, anything is possible and fear is unknown. As a teacher you get to spend each day living in this mindset. Questioning and developing your own courage, skills and motivations. Teaching allows you to give so much to society and its young minds. At the same time it also rewards you in a way no other career can.
3. Develop your own leadership skills
Good schools need good leadership and schools in the UK take great care to develop leadership and management skills. There is a strong culture of professional development. It is in a school’s interest to develop and retain its talented teachers. The promotion opportunities on offer are wide-ranging. From specialised pastoral care as a Head of Year, strategic development and leadership as part of the Senior Leadership Team or leading and managing a subject department as a Head of Department. The routes of progression are clear and open.
Opportunity abounds in teaching and there is a role to suit everyone. You will also reap the benefits of being key to the country’s development through competitive pay, a healthy pension and discounts at many council and government-managed facilities. With regular holidays throughout the year, you have a guarantee to always be at your best. Refreshed and able to deliver in the classroom. Teaching is also an excellent career to fit around family life.
4. Be part of a community
Being a teacher in the UK offers a sense of belonging and the opportunity to be a part of a community. Schools do not operate in isolation; they serve the community around them. From local business partnerships, skills groups, links with outside agencies and relationships with parents. Being a teacher in the UK means being a respected part of ‘something bigger’. Knowing that you are making a difference makes all the difference. Knowing that the work you do and the relationships you foster have a direct impact on the lives in the community. Makes each day you teach rewarding and precious.
Too few people get the honour of shaping a future generation, of working with the country’s most exciting minds and feeling the job satisfaction and personal pride that comes with teaching. A career in teaching is a career for life and one that will feed your heart and mind. Teaching will help you to grow personally and professionally - this a reason why teaching is great. Choose to be a part of something special, choose to be an inspiration to others; choose teaching.